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Vector Research - Global Technologies.


If bioremediation technology were used in just 1% of the hazardous waste industry, then it is potentially a $10 million industry. There are only a couple of pure players in the bioremediation market, and they are companies which should be watched. These companies make and manage their own bioreactor technology. Bioremediation is also handled by large hazardous waste management companies as one of their potential technologies. Big players in the bioreactor business have estimated that 2% of their boioreactors sold are used for bioremediation. For the market as a whole, there are many big possibilities on the brink of actuality. Tissue engineering, artificial organs, gene therapy, the replacement of ascites mice in the U.S. diagnostic industry - all of these possibilities require bioreactor technology. In addition, with may drug patents ending in 2000, there has been a race in the pharmaceutical technology to develop replacements. Biotechnology companies have developed new technologies which have allowed them to discover and create a greater number of potential compounds a lot more efficiently. As for new technology, there are new devices such as cell production systems as well as technology adapted to make conventional systems more cost efficient. The devices that have worked in the past have rarely been patented, but rather replicated by all when the industry found consumers prefer these systems or technologies. The new cell culture and hollow fiber devices are showing a red trend towards increased patenting. This trend may represent an effort among suppliers to demonstrate that cutting technology is important within this highly regulated industry and can be useful to consumers.

According to a soon-to-be-released Business Communications Company, Inc. study,C-086R, Cell Culture Systems and Conventional Bioreactor Technology, the worldwide market for all bioreactors was valued at $275 million in 1997 and is projected to increase to $380 million in 2002, representing an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.6%.

BCC points out that the market for conventional bioreactors was valued at $100 million in 1997 and is projected to increase to $136.9 million in 2002, an AAGR of 6.4%.

Suppliers of conventional bioreactor technology have no fear of being replaced by alternative technologies. One type of alternative technology that has survived the hype is hollow fiber reactors. The market sector for hollow fiber is projected to experience substantial growth over the forecast period. The is sector was valued at $10 million in 1997 and is projected to increase to $15.6 million in 2002, an AAGR of 9.3%.

The market for specialty bioreactors was valued at $3.2 million in 1997 and is forecasted to increase to $4.3 million in 2002, and AAGR of 6%.

The market for cell cultures is forecasted to grow at an AAGR of 8%, increasing from $2 million in 1997 to $ 2.9 million in 2002. A new line of products known as cell production or cell culture systems are emerging. The current mix of commercial cell culture systems is diverse in nature.

BCC concludes that bioreactor related devices, namely media bags, were valued at $160 million in 1997 and is expected to increase to $220 million in 2002, an AAGR of 6.6%. Both are used for small scale systems and pilot projects, most typically seen in research and development. It is also important to note that there is a growing amount of interest in develping media that keeps cells alive longer and producing optimally. Media seems to be the new area within bioreactor technology to create cost efficiency.

Estimate of Total U.S. Bioreactor Market Size and Growth
($ Million)
Market 1997 2002 AAGR%
Conventional Bioreactors 100.0 136.9 6.4
Hollow Fiber 10.0 15.6 9.3
Speciality Bioreactors 3.2 4.3 6.0
Cell Culture 2.0 2.9 8.0
Related Devices 160.0 220.0 6.6
Total 275.2 380.5 6.6

Source: BCC, Inc.

C-086R Cell Culture Systems and Conventional Bioreactor Technology

PUBLISHED: October 1997

Data and analysis provided courtesy of BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY, INC., 25 Van Zant Street, Norwalk, CT 06855,  Telephone: (203) 853-4266; ext. 309,  Email: publisher@bccresearch.com

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