Biopharmaceuticals packaging trends: A future in focus

The rising demand for pharmaceutical drugs creating demand for biopharmaceuticals packaging

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Biopharmaceuticals Packaging market on rise at 7% CAGR in the historical period 2018 to 2022. Courtesy- Pharma Packaging Solutions

The global biopharmaceutical packaging market is anticipated to accumulate a market value of US$ 18.87 billion in 2023 and is expected to garner a valuation of US$ 44 billion by exhibiting a CAGR of 8.8 % in the forecast period 2023 to 2033. The biopharmaceutical packaging market reflected a growth of 7% CAGR in the historical period 2018 to 2022.

The rising demand for pharmaceutical drugs and medicines associated with technological advancements in the pharmaceutical industry is directly creating the demand for biopharmaceuticals packaging solutions such as bottles, ampules, glass and vials.

With the increasing rate of chronic diseases and a significant number of vaccine doses being manufactured for Covid-19, the demand for biopharma packaging is expected to rise, especially glass-based packaging. Also, characteristic benefits of glass, such as chemically durable and suitability to preserve various chemical compositions, are some factors driving packaging vendors to choose glass as a biopharmaceutical packaging material. Additionally, ampoules and glass vials offer better transparency, allowing easy viewing and monitoring of the contents.

The glass-based biologics packaging acts as a barrier to atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen and stops them from entering the primary container. This is essential for mitigating the risk of drug contamination. The use of glass packaging reduces a drug’s susceptibility to degradation via hydrolysis and oxidation. Furthermore, glass packaging helps resist the escape of sensitive ingredients, thereby, increasing the stability of the drug. All these factors are anticipated to increase product demand over the forecast period.

Apart from this, rising significance of cost-sensitivity and biotech drugs in the healthcare sector has resulted in the establishment of stringent regulations associated with drug delivery products. Various manufacturers working in the pharmaceutical glass manufacturing industry are focused on packaging aimed at improving the shelf life of products and are therefore investing in vial forms of biopharmaceuticals packaging.

Biopharmaceutical packaging developers have been improving their product features to cater to the changing needs of the pharmaceutical industry, which can further contribute to market growth across the globe. For instance, in November 2021, Corning Incorporated launched coated, specially engineered, Type I borosilicate vials known as Corning Velocity Vials. These vials offer effective hardness compared to traditional borosilicate vials, minimizing the probability of cracking, and breaking.

Also, pharmaceutical companies are focusing more on developing treatments and medications for rare diseases, which is estimated to boost product demand during the forecast period.

The development of vaccines for rare diseases, such as blood diseases, is generating profits for major players in the biopharmaceutical industry. Growing public support, rising government programs, and encouragement for businesses will lead to orphan drug development for the world’s rare diseases.

North America dominated the market and accounted for more than 35.5% share of global revenue in 2022. This region is expected to retain its dominance by accounting for 42.7% market share by end of the forecast period. The United States is expected to remain a key driver and the key market for the growth of the biopharmaceutical sector in the region, with innovative products leading the growth. This growth is expected to be supported by the emergence of biosimilars and technological breakthroughs in the development of gene therapies in the region.

On the other hand, Europe is expected to accumulate a 36.4% market share by end of the forecast period. The research-based pharmaceutical industry is a vital asset of the European economy. The biopharmaceutical glass packaging industry is on the rise owing to the thriving growth in medical progress using research, development, and the launch of new medicines aimed at improving the health of patients in the region.

Biopharmaceuticals are medicinal drugs that are manufactured by using biotechnology. They are mainly proteins (antibodies), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) which are commonly used for in vivo or therapeutic purposes. Biopharmaceutical packaging plays a very important role in maintaining the product quality and characteristics of the drugs.

Biopharmaceuticals are very sensitive to the temperature and the environment to they are being exposed, thereby biopharmaceuticals packaging act as a shield to the biological or biopharmaceutical products by temperature regulation and without causing any damage to the product. Biopharmaceuticals are used over many untreatable conditions on which there are negligible chances of working of the conventional drug or medicine.

Furthermore, the biopharmaceutical manufacturers are seeking new methods for promoting and protecting their products, meeting new regulations, and increasing patient compliance which will uplift the demand for the biopharmaceuticals packaging market. Thereby, owing to the above factors, the biopharmaceuticals packaging market is projected to gain a certain demand in the coming years.

What are the key trends impacting growth of the biopharmaceuticals packaging market?

The new evolving diseases on which the medicinal drug is not that effective with combatting the disease, even after conducting several clinical studies or phase trials, biosimilar/antibodies/cytokines extracted from the living or biological source can trigger the demand for biopharmaceuticals market, thereby increasing the demand for the biopharmaceuticals packaging market.

Also, the launch of biosimilar drugs in the next five years will lead to significant growth in the biopharmaceuticals packaging market.

The ground-breaking development in biopharma research for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and diseases like cancer is also expected to create a positive impact on the biopharmaceuticals packaging market.

New technologies growing attention for biopharmaceuticals packaging

Blow-fill-seal (BFS), a packaging technology is growing attention for the biopharmaceutical products, in which the plastic vials or any other form of container firstly is formed, filled, and sealed in a continuous process. This method allows product manufacturing in a sterile and controlled environment.

BFS is mostly used for biopharmaceuticals as it not only offers low-cost packaging but also sterility assurance with minimum human intervention. Also, this method is suitable for biological products which are temperature sensitive and cannot withstand high temperature for terminal sterilization.

How is the demand for biosimilar uplifting the biopharmaceuticals packaging market?

A biosimilar is a biological medicinal product that is manufactured using living organisms which is similar to another approved biological medicine. Biosimilar is used to treat a variety of diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and other autoimmune disorders.

Biosimilar is manufactured using a complex process and is very sensitive to the outer environment. After conducting several clinical trials, FDA approves the drug after studying its effect and then if found effective, can be used for the treatment of the diseases.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first biosimilar product for marketing in the United States in March 2015. After that, recognizing the biosimilars’ important role in 2018, the FDA also launched the Biosimilars Action Plan to help encourage additional competition.

Therefore, the underlined efficacy of the biosimilar with the FDA approval is forecasted to boost the biopharmaceuticals packaging market.

What are the key challenges that may restrain growth of the biopharmaceuticals packaging market?

The cost of the biopharmaceutical packaging is high owing to the cost of manufacturing the biopharmaceutical product, long process durations which are costlier to run, the costly raw materials, and also a team of highly skilled experts. Also, the biopharmaceutical products are temperature-sensitive and need to be transported through controlled environmental conditions which are very challenging.

How competitive is the market?

Recent developments and breakthroughs in technology, mergers, acquisitions, tie-ups, and partnerships within the companies involved in manufacturing biopharmaceuticals packaging solutions are expected to create lucrative opportunities for market growth during the forecast period.

  • In October 2022, Merck & Co. Inc. reported the opening of a new secondary packaging facility in Singapore to increase the production of vaccines and biologics. These new manufacturing facilities are key enablers of the company’s up to US$ 500 million investment over five years, starting in 2020.
  • In September 2022, a leading provider of medical technology, Becton, Dickinson, and Company, showcased a new generation of glass prefillable syringes (PFS) that surpasses previous models in terms of processability, aesthetics, contamination, and integrity. In order to meet the complex and changing needs of vaccine manufacturing, the new BD Effivax Glass Prefillable Syringe was developed in collaboration with top pharmaceutical companies.

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