This week, Process Development Forum's new Q&A feature interviews Rita Peters, Editor of BioPharm International Magazine, about second quarter trends in drug development.
Q: What trends have you seen in the drug development market as 2014 enters the second quarter?
A; At recent industry conferences and trade shows for pharmaceutical development, both educational sessions and new product introductions revealed a recurring theme: a stronger focus on biologic drug research and development versus small-molecule development.
At Pittcon 2014, the annual exhibition for analytical instruments and technologies, major instrument manufacturers announced product introductions specific to biologic drug research and development. This trend continued at Interphex 2014 with the introduction of equipment and systems targeting biologics manufacturing.
In other developments, mergers, acquisitions, and supplier consolidation continue to shape the equipment and supply market. One example is GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ acquisition of the HyClone line cell culture media, sera, and process liquids; Dharmacon RNAi gene modulation, products; and Sera-Mag magnetic beads. With the changes in company ownership, users may now find familiar product brands under new ownership. With additional product lines through acquisition or innovation, many suppliers emphasized capabilities of providing end-to-end technologies, equipment and support to the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.
Continuous processing is established in solid-dose manufacturing and is being used in upstream biopharmaceutical production. Strategies to connect upstream and downstream operations and extend continuous bioprocessing were popular topics in educational sessions at Interphex as were well-attended and interest was strong.
Another area of emphasis was flexible, modular facilities and single-use technologies. Manufacturers announced new materials, connectors, and supplies for single-use.