Transportation Will be the Key for Future Biomaterial Market Growth

Pharma IQ

Biomaterials developers gave made a number of strides in recent years which have seen their applications increase significantly.

According to Global Biomaterial Market (2009-2014) by MarketsandMarkets, the biomaterials industry is expected to be worth $58.1 billion (£37.2 billion) by the year 2014, thanks to factors such as aging populations, short time for products arriving to market and increasing awareness of their use.

"The U.S. and Europe hold a major share of the global biomaterials market; while emerging economies such as China, India, Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Romania represent a high growth rate," said the report.

However, this growth will not be achievable unless companies are able to access the transportation and storage services needed to conduct clinical trials and eventually bring their products to market.

Safe transportation of biomaterials

Even once mode of transportation and changing outside temperatures are taken into account, there are a high number of variables which can affect the temperature at which biomaterials are transported.

Writing in the Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices, Lori A Ball, chief operating of BioStorage Technolgies, identified selecting the right type of packing as an essential step in ensuring products remain at the correct temperature throughout shipment.

"Structural integrity, insulation and refrigerant (typically dry ice) are  obvious elements of suitable packaging, but even the size of the package and the placement  of contents are important, " she said.

"If the package is too large, excess air will enter and cause dry ice to dissipate too quickly. Validated packaging solutions, along with IATA- and DOT-approved packing techniques, exist to help safeguard materials in transit," she explained.

Biologistics hub

Companies in the United States have been relatively quick to cash-in on the increase in demand for frozen specimen and biomaterials distribution, particularly in Indiana.

The state is now considered to be a biologistics hub, as providers were ahead of the curve in developing biologistics facilities and growth has been spurred by the location of major pharmaceutical companies and two established medical schools.

John Mills, who founded BioStorage Technologies in 2002, said initially there was little demand, yet this has now changed and the company has been rapidly expanding its product offerings in the past couple of years to cope with the needs of the biosciences industry.

From its central location, Indiana is well placed to serve the United States market, which is the largest geographic segment of the biomaterials industry, according to the MarketsandMarkets report.

Mark Sell, president and chief executive officer of MD Logistics, told Indiana Inside Business: "Expedited shipping and being able to reach the market is extremely important, especially in this industry because of the life and death nature of the products we manage.

Sample logistics and transportation

BioStorage Logistics also realises the importance of being able to bring biomaterials swiftly and safely to the customer wherever they may be – both in and out of the United States.

The company recently launched its global sample relocation services, which uses the ReloFleet 52-foot long purpose build trailer to allow customers to transport full sample industries and equipment across the world.

Designed to transport materials stored between ambient and -20 degrees C, the unit is able to cater for multiple biomaterial samples at any one time, including blood, plasma and tissue samples.

The unit is also able to transport freezers, including those using liquid nitrogen, while they're running, alongside finished pharmaceutical products,

"We utilised today’s most innovative tracking, storing and temperature control technology to essentially transform a semi-trailer into a fully compliant biorepository on wheels. It’s truly the first of its kind," Jeff Clark, global head of logistics and facilities at Biostorage Technologies, said.

Ball added: "Sample logistics and transportation deficiencies are widely recognised as a primary cause of compromised biological samples, which renders them ineffective for testing and research."