A: SOME OF MY SOURCES INDICATE THAT DS CAPACITY is largely consumed at the current time. Major biologics enterprises continue to expand internal capacity, which indicates the dwindling capacity at CMOs and the continued expectations of new biological products in the pipeline. The same does not appear to be true of DP capacity, as pricing for this entity remains competitive, indicating some excess capacity. Similarly, these assets are fungible across product types, and demand often can be shifted as volumes change. However, as many firms wait for confirmed demand and high line occupancy prior to investing in new lines, there are often periods of limited capacity while new capacity is added. It’s possible that 2017 could be a year of short contract capacity for both DS and DP.
Jim is the former VP for vaccine and biologics technical operations for Merck & Co.