We use "Top 10" lists to help put order to our environment, but until recently, little effort was given to defining who is manufacturing biologics, and where. This, in our opinion, is more important to us individually than lists of companies based on revenue. While revenue analysis can define a company's distribution, marketing, and business development prowess, it does not necessarily define its core operations and manufacturing competence. Revenue reported from "headquarters" can be moved around, but manufacturing is a fixed, long-term commitment to a community, an employment base, and a strategy.
In today's global biomanufacturing environment, buyouts, layoffs, and divestitures can take place rapidly. But establishing a manufacturing base requires long-term commitment to communities, to internal strategy, and to individual employees.
The success of a biomanufacturing enterprise depends as much on its human capital as its fixed capital, and a critical mass of appropriately educated and skilled people is often needed to establish a viable biotech cluster. Funding alone isn't enough to build a cluster. Neither is raw access to life-scientist communities (for example, the 9000+ scientists around the National Institutes of Health and FDA hasn't produced a Top Biotech Manufacturing Cluster for the Maryland or Washington DC area). A successful cluster requires the right mix of people and funding in addition to other factors, as our research at BioPlan Associates indicates.
The global biomanufacturing industry is growing, and the need to benchmark the relative strength of existing and emerging manufacturing clusters is becoming imperative. So as part of our 20+ years of evaluating and benchmarking the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry (1), BioPlan Associates is sponsoring the Top 1000 Global Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities Index. We will be presenting this as an industry-driven website at the BIO International Convention in Washington DC in June (updates will also be available at
Table 1: Top 1000 biopharmaceutical facility counts by region as of May 2011.