Trends in the vaccine contract manufacturing market

29 June 2021

Hannah Balfour / European Pharmaceutical Review

While we all know that COVID-19 has promoted growth in the vaccine contract manufacturing market, what other factors are impacting the field? In this article, EPR’s Hannah Balfour summarises the trends and opportunities identified by a new market research report.

According to a new market research report, the global vaccine contract manufacturing market is anticipated to value $4 billion by 2026, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent between 2021 and 2026.

The report explains the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on vaccine development and thus this market. According to the report, the new era of vaccine and biological drug development brought on by the pandemic has resulted in radical transformations in the vaccine contract manufacturing market. One change is the focus on RNA-based COVID vaccines, a novel concept rapidly accelerated by the pandemic, which contract manufacturing companies are still working to increase the availability of.

According to the report, to meet the demands of the pandemic, almost three quarters of the pharma and biotech companies have entered into mergers and agreements with contract manufacturers to develop COVID-19 vaccines. The analysts suggest this is because outsourcing has numerous benefits to manufacturing in-house, including end-to-end manufacturing solutions and expertise in vaccine manufacturing.

Other factors that may encourage growth in the market include growing populations and healthcare awareness, demand for newer vaccination products, increasing global vaccination coverage.

Market by scale of operation

According to the report, commercial vaccine contract manufacturing accounted for over 64 percent of the market in 2020, primarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The clinical vaccine contract manufacturing market is expected to experience an absolute growth of over 113 percent and an incremental growth of over $492 million over the forecast period. The authors of the report suggest that recent pandemics and epidemics, including COVID-19, Ebola and Lassa fever have all highlighted the urgent need for vaccines and therapeutics against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. As a result, the preclinical segment accounted for a share of 13 percent of the global vaccine contract manufacturing market in 2020 and there are now several serums in the pipeline for wide-ranging contagious diseases, including COVID-19.

Contract manufacturing by vaccine type

Sub-unit vaccines accounted for the largest share of the market in 2020, some 34 percent, and are likely to witness the highest incremental growth (over $633 million) during the forecast period. The report states that this is due to the emergence of pandemics and epidemics forcing national and international bodies to implement stricter vaccination programmes, which is likely to increase the demand for vaccine production and thus drive growth in the vaccine contract manufacturing market.

The global live-attenuated vaccines contract manufacturing market is anticipated to grow to over $1 billion by 2026, since live attenuated serums are one of the most widely used vaccination technologies. They have complex manufacturing requirements, which increase pharma and biotech R&D budgets and thus companies outsource their manufacture to meet demands and reduce costs.

Interestingly, the report states that RNA vaccines are faster and less expensive than traditional ones. With the mRNA platform positioned as the emerging, non-infectious and non-integrating technology and the global RNA market expected to observe an incremental growth of over 124 percent during the forecast period, how this will affect contract manufacturing is undecided.

By service

The fill/finish services market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of approximately 13 percent between 2020 and 2026. According to the report, these steps are often outsourced because of the extreme regulatory scrutiny in this area – and because fill/finish tend to be costly. Hence, vaccine manufacturers outsource these services to CMOs. Additionally, biopharma companies outsource fill/finish needs to gain access to specialised technology.

The report also states that the analytical and QC studies services market is expected to observe an incremental growth of over $322 million by 2026. An increase in product-pipeline manufacturing requiring both method development and method validation is apparently driving several biopharma companies to opt for analytical method development services.

By geography

North America has a high number of CMOs and accounted for the largest share of the vaccine contract manufacturing marker (35 percent) in 2020. Within the region, the US holds over 90 percent of the market and Canada approximately 10 percent. According to the report, the trend of outsourcing is being supported by manufacturing regulations in the region, as well as the demand for vaccines to treat the increasing number of deaths caused by vaccine-preventable diseases.

Europe has the second highest share of the vaccine contract manufacturing market in 2020 at 26 percent. According to the authors, the increasing elderly population, prevalence of bacterial and viral infections, increasing demand of new vaccinations and expanding biopharma and biotech industry are major factors contributing to the growth of contract manufacturing in Europe. This region has few prominent vaccine contract manufacturing players, instead having several small and mid-sized vendors.

The Asia Pacific region (APAC), similar to above, is primarily dominated by small and mid-sized vendors. It is anticipated to witness the largest CAGR, due to the large and growing population high prevalence of infectious diseases and thus high demand for vaccine programmes. According to the report, the growing vaccine pipeline, rise in outsourcing of vaccine manufacturing services and implementation of novel and innovative technologies are all expected to have a significant influence on the vaccine contract manufacturing market in this region.

The report also stated that emerging economies, including China, India, Brazil and Mexico, are likely to offer significant growth opportunities for vendors. The vaccine contract manufacturing market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 15 percent between 2020 and 2026.

Key players

Key players in the vaccine contract manufacturing market market include Ajinomoto BioPharma, Albany Molecular Research Institute, Catalent, Cytovance Biologics, Emergent Biosolutions, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.

Established players are entering into strategic alliances and co-marketing agreements to elevate the market competitiveness and penetration. They also make long-term relationships with distributors and suppliers for scale-up production and expand geographical presence in the market.

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