Global bioreactor market to value over $16bn by 2027

A report indicates ongoing demand for COVID-19 vaccines and other biologics, as well as increasing investment will drive a 16.6 percent CAGR in the bioreactors market.

Industrial bioreactor for the cultivation of microorganisms.

According to a recent report, the global bioreactor market value will surpass $16 billion by 2027.

The market was valued at just over $5.4 billion in 2020, so the anticipated growth would equate to a 16.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), with the commercial production segment achieving a 15.3 percent CAGR.

Bioreactors are used in industrial processes to cultivate organisms (such as animal cells, mammalian cells, yeast cells and bacteria) under controlled conditions and produce biopharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, among other products. Both the potential applications and adoption of biological products are expanding in healthcare industry, thereby driving demand for production space and bioreactors.

Growth promoting factors

The analysts stated in the report that companies expanding their facilities to fulfil the demand for COVID-19 vaccine production boosted bioreactor sales during the pandemic and the ongoing demand will contribute to further sales in coming years. Vaccines accounted for 47 percent of the bioreactors market in 2020.

The report also stated that the rising demand for biopharmaceuticals will spur the market. It cites the high demand for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for the treatment of cancer as one driver of the growth, as the incidence of cancers climbs each year. In addition, it found that the adoption of advanced technologies, development in bioprocessing equipment and increasing demand for single-use bioreactors will all positively influence the market value.

In fact, the report indicates the single-use bioreactor marker segment could achieve a 20.2 percent CAGR between 2021 and 2027, primarily due to advantages over re-useable bioreactors, such as reduced cross contamination, cost-effectiveness, flexibility and increased productivity. Additionally, the adoption of multi-drug facility will further propel the acceptance of single-use bioreactors.

Other drivers of growth included mounting R&D expenditure by the government and major market players.

Bioreactors by cell type

By cell type, the report indicates that the yeast cells segment will achieve lucrative growth between now and 2027, in part, due to a growing interest in flocculation bioreactors. Flocculation is a two-step particle aggregation process and flocculation bioreactors can support high cell densities and allow high productivity in continuous processes.

The stem cells segment held a $210 million share in the market in 2020 and, according to the analysts, will continue to be prevalent due to the application of stem cell therapies in treating cancers. Such therapies also have an expanding range of potential uses in curing heart disorders and neuromuscular diseases. In addition, rising R&D expenditure by the companies, increasing government funding and growing demand for cell-based products will further propel the growth of the bioreactors market in coming years.

Which region corners the market?

By geography, the Asia Pacific bioreactor market held around 20 percent of revenue share in 2020. According to the report, this was driven by the increasing use of advanced technology and presence of firms with robust manufacturing capacity. The authors stated that, with increasing government investments in healthcare and R&D, and potential opportunities for domestic and international collaboration, the region will continue to offer profitable avenues for the industry during the forecast period.

The North American region accounted for over $2 billion of the total market value in 2020. According to the report, government investment into COVID-19 vaccine and treatment R&D, as well as the focus on product innovation, growing prevalence of chronic diseases and an increase in the number of academic institutes and R&D facilities in the region will all create significant demand for bioreactors. Europe accounted for more than 35 percent of the bioreactors market in 2020 and the value of the market in this region is also anticipated to continue to grow.

Major bioreactor market players include Merck Group, Cytiva, Getinge (Applikon Biotechnology), Eppendorf AG, Sartorius Group and Thermo Fisher Scientific. According to the report, the industry leaders are adopting various inorganic growth strategies to gain market share and competitive advantage, including collaborations and new product launches.