Global biopharma is increasingly moving towards biologic medicines, which promise a greater impact on patient’s lives than the small-molecule drugs that preceded them, but which come with significant added costs and complexity. Against this backdrop, biologic drug developers are leaning evermore on experienced contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), of which 9 leading players are profiled below.*
Lonza, founded in 1897 in Switzerland, initially produced electricity for the manufacture of chemicals. Over the following century, it expanded into various industries, including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. In 2020, Lonza spun off its Specialty Ingredients segment to focus on its biopharma businesses, shifting from chemical manufacturing to becoming a leading CDMO.
With an enviable legacy spanning over 125 years, Lonza has solidified its position as a global powerhouse in the pharma and life sciences industry. Demonstrating impressive financial strength with a yearly revenue of CHF 4.5 billion as of 2022, Lonza’s diverse product portfolio encompasses over 1,000 products. Operating across three primary segments – Pharma & Biotech, Specialty Ingredients, and Corporate – Lonza’s global footprint is reinforced by a workforce of over 16,000 employees. The recent initiation of a share buyback program further attests to its robust financial standing.
Carving a unique niche in the industry, Catalent brings more than 80 years of expertise in soft gel technology. The company has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of biologic drug development and manufacturing, contributing to seven of the top 10 biologic drugs currently in the market. With a global network of over 50 locations, Catalent stands as a pillar of the industry, offering comprehensive product development, launch, and full life-cycle supply services.
However, Catalent has been experiencing several financial difficulties and is expecting to reduce both its full-year revenue and core profit forecasts by more than $400 million, which has resulted in a 27% drop in its share price.
Samsung Biologics was established in April 2011 as a part of Samsung’s diversification strategy into high-tech and high-value businesses. The company was set up as a CDMO to cater to the global biopharmaceutical industry.
Since its establishment, Samsung Biologics has rapidly grown and expanded its capabilities and capacities. By 2016, it had become one of the world’s largest producers of biopharmaceuticals by production capacity.
Operating from its headquarters in Incheon, South Korea, Samsung Biologics is a globally recognized CDMO known for its all-inclusive services for biopharmaceutical products. With a dedicated workforce of over 4,400 employees serving more than 100 global clients, the company’s production prowess is evidenced by its astounding capacity of 604KL. Further cementing its place as a leader in the industry, Samsung Biologics has repeatedly emerged victorious in the CDMO Leadership Awards for a decade, a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality and excellence.
WuXi Biologics, a leading global open-access biologics technology platform, was founded in 2000 in China. It offers comprehensive solutions for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of biologics, including antibodies, proteins, and vaccines. Over the years, it has significantly expanded its capabilities and manufacturing capacity, becoming a key player in the global biopharmaceutical industry
WuXi Biologics, with its extensive global footprint, serves as a groundbreaking global CRDMO. With a pool of over 12,000 professionals worldwide, the organization is a crucial support for 588 integrated client projects, including 17 in commercial manufacturing. WuXi’s foray into the North American market, marked by the establishment of its biomanufacturing facility in Cranbury, New Jersey, which received GMP certification in 2022, further underscores its leading position in the global market.
Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence
Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence is a division of Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company based in Germany. Boehringer Ingelheim was founded in 1885 by Albert Boehringer in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany. The company has been family-owned since its inception and is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies.
As a well-established branch of Boehringer Ingelheim, BioXcellence stands as an expert in contract development and manufacturing services for various bioprocesses. With a network of global manufacturing facilities and an adept workforce of over 5,000, BioXcellence recently inaugurated a cutting-edge production facility in Vienna, Austria, marking a significant step in its growth journey.
In 2017, Thermo Fisher Scientific, a global leader in scientific research services, acquired Patheon. This acquisition integrated Patheon’s capabilities into Thermo Fisher’s laboratory products and services segment, enabling Thermo Fisher to provide an even broader array of services to its customers in the life sciences industry.
Patheon is a trendsetter in the provision of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing services. Offering comprehensive end-to-end solutions, Patheon maintains a broad presence with operations spanning North America, Europe, and Australia, perpetually committed to upholding the highest standards of quality and efficiency in drug development.
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies was created from the merger of two companies: Diosynth RTP and Fujifilm’s biopharmaceutical division. Diosynth RTP was established as a spinoff from AkzoNobel in 2007, while Fujifilm had been developing its biopharmaceutical capabilities since 2010. The two entities combined in 2011 to form FDB.
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is a globally acclaimed CDMO that specializes in cell culture, microbial fermentation, and cell and gene therapy services. Boasting a dedicated workforce of 3,000 employees, the organization continues to evolve its global process characterization offerings, reflecting its commitment to constant innovation and growth.
AGC Biologics is a global biopharmaceutical CDMO that was created in 2017 through the merger of AGC Asahi Glass (a world-leading manufacturer of glass, chemicals and high-tech materials), Biomeva GmbH, and CMC Biologics.
Founded in 2018, AGC Biologics has emerged as a global CDMO offering a diverse range of services. Its global network, encompassing the US, Europe, and Asia, is serviced by a dedicated team of 2,151 professionals, making AGC a formidable player in the biologics space as of 2023.
KBI Biopharma has successfully supported more than 400 drug candidates, with its customers leveraging the company’s cutting-edge platforms supporting various therapeutic indications both through KBI’s mammalian and microbial expertise. Its global presence, evidenced by 8 international locations, enables a broad reach across markets, making its services accessible to over 500 clients worldwide. Staffed by a team of nearly 2,000 professionals, KBI Biopharma offers a wide spectrum of services, from cell line development to commercial manufacturing and cell therapy. Its Patriot Park facility, supporting mammalian-based commercial manufacturing, was named a finalist in the prestigious 2023 ISPE Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) in the Operations and Pharma 4.0 categories.
A recent and noteworthy enhancement to KBI’s organization is the successful integration of Selexis in mid-2023. Selexis’ reputation and strong brand recognition in Europe underscore KBI’s commitment to offering cutting-edge, high-quality services. KBI is incorporating Selexis leading cell line development technology into its portfolio, enhancing its integrated capabilities from early discovery through commercial manufacturing.
* This does not represent a company ranking and is solely intended for informational purposes. PharmaBoardroom is grateful to the team at KBI Biopharma which assisted in the compilation of this article.