Addressing The Rapidly Growing Southeast Asia Bioprocessing Market
- Singapore has been receiving notable investments in facility set-up and expansion.
- Thailand is seeing increase in the demand for viral vector manufacturing and the production of plasmid DNA and fusion proteins.
- While the biotech industry is still in its infancy in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, there has been emphasis on development of biotech infrastructure and domestic biotechnology innovation.
- The Malaysian government’s funding scheme is focused more on the R&D program of biologics development
- Training, post sales services (spare parts), quality and timely delivery are the factors pinpointed to make a significant difference when making purchasing decisions, as opposed to price.
Over the past few years, Singapore has been receiving notable investments in facility set-up and expansion from big pharmas, including GSK’s $130m continuous manufacturing facility, WuXi Biologics’ $80m facility and Novartis’s $500m biologics plant. Earlier this year, BioNTech announced its plans to build a regional headquarters for South East Asia and a fully integrated mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore to meet the region’s and world’s supply capacity of mRNA-based drug products. This facility is part of BioNTech’s plan to ensure rapid response production capability for South East Asia should the need arise. Adding to the list of companies turning to Singapore as their base of operation for the rest of Asia are Tessa Therapeutics and CellVec. Tessa Therapeutics inaugurated a plant for its CAR-T programs, while CellVec launched operations for its viral vector facility to support their clients’ gene therapy projects. In light of this, it is no mystery that Singapore’s biomedical manufacturing output has increased by about 10% in the first half of 2019 compared to that of 2018 due to the investment into building and expanding bioprocessing facilities in the island state.
Similar trends have also been observed in other South East Asian nations. In Thailand, the market has grown at the rate of 10-12% over the past 3 years. The growth of the biologics sector is said to be higher than that of the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, there has been an increase in the demand for viral vector manufacturing, such as adenovirus and lentiviral manufacturing, as well as the production of plasmid DNA and fusion proteins.
While the biotech industry is still in its infancy in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, there has been an active push towards development of biotech infrastructure and domestic biotechnology innovation. Vietnam, one of the fastest growing markets in APAC, observes chemical drugs being the preferred choice of production in the market. Although, biologics are seeing a rise owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile in Indonesia, several companies like PT Kalbio Global Medika have taken up the challenge and are currently investing product licenses, facilities etc. In view of this, PT Kalbio Global Medika inaugurated its first biological drug factory back in 2018, thereby reinforcing its commitment towards boosting the biopharmaceutical industry in Indonesia.
Lastly, the Malaysian government’s funding scheme has made a decisive push towards the R&D program of biologics development. Based on the Ministry of Health list as of 3 November 2020, there are 10 biopharma companies registered with the biologic’s product type.
All in all, in light of the recent developments, the South East Asian bioprocessing industry is predicted to show an upward trajectory in growth. In a recent survey conducted by IMAPAC as part of the Southeast Asia Bioprocessing Market, biopharmaceutical companies in the region are evaluating training, post sales services (spare parts), quality and timely delivery over price when making purchasing decisions in the bioprocessing industry. Therefore, this points to a plethora of opportunities on the horizon for innovators and technology providers in this space.
This article is brought to you by IMAPAC’s market research team. For more on the details of the APAC Bioprocessing sector, check our Market Reports or Dashboards.