Bio Live, the new bioprocessing and manufacturing event running alongside this year’s Cphi Worldwide — announced the initial findings of the first biopharma league table, which evaluates the reputations of major bio manufacturing countries across a number of characteristics.
Amsterdam/The Netherlands — The provisional results indicate global industry executives and pharmaceutical companies perceived the United States as the top ranking nation for all major categories — ‘knowledge of professionals’ (8.2); ‘ability to meet future capacity’ (7.9); ‘bio innovation’ (8.0); ‘quality of processing’ (8.1) — and, perhaps more surprisingly, ‘growth potential’, ahead of emerging bio hubs in China, Ireland, and Singapore, as well as established rivals in the UK, Japan and Germany.
Most surprising are the results of China — a nation that has seen a well-documented surge in both innovative biotech start-ups and bioprocessing and manufacturing companies — whose reputation in biologics is still far behind the more established players. China scored below 6 for ‘bio innovation’ and ‘quality of biological manufacturing’ — bottom in both respective league tables — suggesting perception here may lag behind reality.
Considering quality and innovation the US, Germany and Japan are ranked highest, followed by several other European countries, where biomanufacturing is a mature industry. China and India, both burgeoning markets for biologics, were not ranked as high for innovation. According to Bio Live expert, Dawn M. Ecker of Bio Process Technology Consultants, this perception might relate to the still developing biologics and bioprocessing industry in these regions, coupled with the knowledge of their existing reputations for mass production of generics.
The full findings from 500 companies will be announced during Bio Live in Madrid (October 9-11, 2018), with host nation Spain scoring just above 6 for all categories — significantly behind the other four major EU economies, as well as Ireland. In fact, recent training initiatives by Ireland’s NIBRT (National Institute for Bioprocessing Research) may be paying dividends as the country scored highly on ‘knowledge of bio professionals’ (7.2), and second only to Germany in terms of ‘growth potential’ (7.0) amongst EU countries.
Ecker is, however, surprised that Ireland did not score as high as other European countries, despite the strong presence of biopharma manufacturing and the significant number of biomanufacturing facilities to be built here in the coming years. In this case, perception might be related to the increased demand for skilled staff, with not enough skilled staff to support the projected additional capacity growth, the expert said.
Overall, when performance across all categories is analyzed, the USA (7.88), Germany (7.49) and Japan (7.46) again appear as tier one nations — mirroring the results in small molecule manufacturing — with Sweden (6.95) and the United Kingdom (6.91), ranking as the best of the rest.
The most notable difference between small and large molecule rankings was amongst the performance of mid to high ranking countries with Sweden (6.95), Singapore (6.54), and notably, South Korea (6.69) — home of a growing biopharma sector including Samsung Biologics – performing comparably to France (6.72), Spain (6.51), Italy (6.55) and Ireland (6.81) in terms of biologics. India (6.31) and China (6.29) were adrift at the foot of the table — however, given the larger number of Indian participants in the survey data, India would finish behind China, if Indian participants were excluded.