Increasing Popularity of Membrane Technology in Pharmaceutical, Biopharma and Life Sciences

  • Published On : Sep 12, 2014
The global membrane technology market in pharmaceuticals, biopharma and life sciences is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1% between the years 2014 and 2019 thereby reaching an estimated value of $10,886 million by the year 2019. Membrane technology primarily deals with movement of substances between fractions with the application of permeable membranes. It makes use of all different types of engineering approaches.  

Membrane technology, a sophisticated separation technology, is extensively used in mechanical techniques for separating liquid and gaseous streams. The growth of the membrane technology market can be owed to factors like greater production and research and development activities taking place in the areas of life sciences, pharmaceuticals and biopharma. Membrane technology is widely applied in large scale pharmaceutical production and laboratory drug research. 

Cell culturing, protein and DNA separation and analysis, virus removal and drug screenings are some of the applications of membrane technology in industries dealing in pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and life sciences. Some of the popular products in the membrane technology market include syringe membrane filters, microarray products, bottle top filters and multiwall filters. 

Market Segmentation and Market Overview of the Global Membrane Technology Market

The global membrane technology market is segmented on the basis of the technology used and geography. This market is segmented on the basis of four key technologies which are nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, chromatography and microfiltration. Biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries these days are extensively using these aforementioned filtration techniques for purification and separation of biomolecules and components. 

Membrane technology is also being used widely in creating processed water from surface water, groundwater and sometimes even wastewater. Membrane filters are used for recovery of valuable constituents, producing potable water from sea water, cleaning industrial effluents and fractionating or purifying macromolecular mixtures in drug and food industries. 

Greater usage of single-use disposable techniques and tight regulations worldwide also play a significant role in the expansion of the global membrane technology market. However, there are a few challenges that this market has to deal with, which pertain to the effects of limitation of membrane materials, membrane fouling and high investment and operational costs. Membrane fouling reduces membrane efficiency drastically which is why membrane filters need to cleaned or replaced every three or four years for removal of membrane foulants. 

Dominant Role of North America in the growing Global Membrane Technology Market

Geographically, the most significant membrane technology market in life sciences, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals is North America. 

The largest market for biopharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical products is the US and the US pharmaceutical market is strictly regulated by the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Almost, 80% of R&D activities in innovative medicines are carried out by US based pharma and biopharma firms. 

Many societies, associations and organizations in Europe’s membrane technology market are engaged in implementing and expanding this sophisticated technology in industries dealing in life sciences, biopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals. European organizations like European Membrane House (EMH) and European Desalination Society (EDS) are conducting membrane technology promotional activities in research institutes, universities, government agencies and various companies. 

The membrane technology market in Asia is also growing quite rapidly because of the emergence of biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries which are driven by factors like greater health awareness, greater government spending on healthcare, growing population and rising frequency of chronic diseases and ailments.

The key players in the global membrane technology market include Advantec MFS, Pall Corporation, Amazon Filters Ltd., Sartorius, TriSep Corporation, 3M, Novasep, Merck Millipore, Koch Membrane Systems Inc. and GE Healthcare Life Sciences.

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