Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing: An Overview

by David Sherwood, PhD
Volume 2, Issue 3 (May/June 2003)

The revolution in biotechnology has led to 133 biotechnology-derived medicines being approved by 2001 with sales of $22 billion. This is less than 10 percent of today’s total pharmaceutical market, but it is a rapidly growing sector. Biologics are predicted to grow to nearly $50 billion by 2008. Marketed biopharmaceuticals include several blockbuster products with multibillion-dollar sales. In recent years, biotechnology-derived therapies represented 10 percent to 20 percent of all new approved molecular entities and hundreds more are in development, including nearly 200 proteins in late-stage trials. Microbial and mammalian expression systems are typically used to produce biotherapeutic proteins (many companies are also working on transgenic expression systems). Microbial cultures (typically, Escherichia coli or yeast) are used to produce smaller, less-complex proteins or those where specific modifications, especially glycosolation, are not required…

Sherwood D. Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing: An Overview. BioProcess J, 2003; 2(3): 33-35.