BioSpectrum Asia spoke to Francis Van Parys, Vice-President Commercial, Asia-Pacific, Cytiva (Formerly GE Life Sciences)
Cytiva, formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences, has recently announced an investment of $500 million for expansion of its manufacturing capacity and hiring nearly 1000 personnel in Austria, China, Singapore, Sweden, and the United States.
In addition, the company’s single-use capacity in the APAC region will triple through a partnership with healthcare technology supplier in China, Wego, which is already producing consumables for Cytiva’s customers in the region. BioSpectrum Asia took this opportunity to speak with Francis Van Parys, Vice President Commercial, Asia Pacific, Cytiva, to find out what more is in store at Cytiva.
What are the current opportunities and challenges at the new Cytiva?
- We have a proven past with a new beginning since joining Danaher in April 2020. Since then, we have seen tremendous opportunities.
- Region-wise, Asia-Pacific is one of the most fast growing and robust markets. By 2030, Asia-Pacific is expected to contribute roughly 60% of global growth.
- Industry-wise, demand for established biotherapeutics and new mAbs is expected to grow double-digits year on year between now and 2025 (CAGR ‘20-’25 12%). In times of COVID-19, demand is high in every area. Biotherapeutics are, and will remain, in the forefront of curing many of these diseases and improving the quality of lives. Cytiva is well positioned to support the growth in protein-based therapeutics and future treatments. We will ensure we are developing the right tools and technologies to ensure efficient manufacturing of novel therapeutics.
- To capture the opportunities, we need to prepare ourselves, and continue to innovate, to meet the increased demand. That’s why we announced earlier this week that Cytiva will invest 500 million dollars, and hire 1,000 people to expand our product manufacturing capacity. The investment plan will respond to in-region, for-region demand, bolster security of supply through dual manufacturing, and increase overall global capacity in key product areas.
How is the company responding to the ongoing pandemic? What all steps have been taken so far?
- We accelerate our expansion plan to better prepare the increased demand caused by the ongoing pandemic. We announced earlier this week that Cytiva will invest 500 million dollars, and hire 1,000 people to expand our product manufacturing capacity, which is part of a long-term strategy that started well before the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan has accelerated due to demand surges in the current environment.
- The additional manufacturing capacity will be realized through a variety of measures, including new manufacturing lines, 24/7 shift patterns, and increased automation.
- The increased capacity will start to come online before the end of 2020, with additional developments through 2021-2023.
What are the strategies in store for the post-COVID era? Anything particular for the APAC region?
- In Asia-Pacific, we will see “in region for region” will be future trend in post-COVID era. Like COVID has forced companies to rethink supply chains and the importance of being able to source regionally. For customers in Asia-Pacific, we are planning to deliver products with a lower cost, shorter lead time, and agile implementation, due to local manufacturing.
- In long term, Cytiva will continue to offer the same high-quality services as before. Our products and services are a critical part of our customers’ supply chain, and they rely on us. We have leading brands in the form of AKTA, Amersham, HyClone and Whatman, among others. We have more than 100,000 systems in use globally. Our FlexFactory and KUBio solutions enable our customers to get to market 50 percent faster. Helping our customers manufacture novel therapeutics faster will continue to be a critical bedrock of what we do. However, we are also looking at new ways to drive growth and innovation.
What would be the impact of COVID-19 on the biopharmaceutical industry?
- Regionalization/decentralization: More new facilities, including vaccines related and for bioprocessing supplies, will be located internationally, with emphasis on regional manufacturing and distribution of both supplies and biopharmaceuticals. This is now seen as essential to deal with any future pandemics. For example, suppliers expect to build more equipment capacity in India for the Indian market, in China for the Chinese market, etc. Biopharmaceutical manufacturing itself will likely be more internationally disseminated to increase ﬂexibility and manufacturing redundancy.
- More Collaboration: Those in the industry recognize the need for more collaboration and communication among bioprocessing professionals and companies/facilities at all levels. This already includes pandemic related developer companies banding together to perform vaccine or therapeutics R&D and manufacturing. On a global level, the unprecedented R&D efforts for development of life-saving medicines will result in signiﬁcant growth in scientiﬁc collaborations as the early successes from the crisis response bear fruit. And I am very looking forward to seeing more collaboration in building the manufacturing infrastructure for the industry.
- Single-use systems: The trend for single use-based commercial manufacturing (and also adoption of modular process lines) will rapidly accelerate. Single-use system can help reduce the risk, and it also ensures that in the longer timeframe, the production capacity can be utilized in a much more flexible manner.