" We are seeing a growing need for contract research organizations (CROs), pharmaceutical companies and regulators in APAC for access to the bioanalysis training needed to conduct drug equivalence tests for the approval of generic drugs " : David Curtin

27 June 2022 | Monday | Influencers

BioPharma APAC, In an interaction with David Curtin, Vice President Asia Pacific, Waters Corporation.
David Curtin, Vice President Asia Pacific, Waters Corporation.

David Curtin, Vice President Asia Pacific, Waters Corporation.


  1. What are the current opportunities and challenges at Waters ?


There is a lot of activity with pharma contract organizations in Asia. For contract organizations, our unique technical abilities and ability to collaborate closely with our customers are resulting in market share gains and strong revenue growth.


Furthermore, there’s great momentum within India with local pharma and CDMOs that are driving a lot of QA/QC activity. They are a major buyer of our Arc HPLC and chemistry consumables.


As for challenges, Waters is not immune to the China lockdowns but even still, China has been one of the standouts in our overall geographic performance.


2 .How is the company responding to the ongoing pandemic? What steps have been taken so far?


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Waters formed a Science Advisory Council, comprised of scientists from across the organization, to conduct daily monitoring of regional COVID infection and vaccination rates, local government advisories, and published studies as the pandemic evolved. Their expertise and insights have been central to keeping our leaders around the world informed on facility safety procedures, return-to-office protocols, general health recommendations and more.


Waters has also worked to stay in close communication with customers and suppliers to help ensure uninterrupted delivery of instruments, consumables, components, etc. During the worst of the pandemic, Waters field support engineers in multiple APAC countries were allowed priority access to many customer sites to ensure Waters instruments were serviced and operational.


 3. What are the strategies in store for the post-covid era? Anything particular for the APAC region?


We are seeing a growing need for contract research organizations (CROs), pharmaceutical companies and regulators in APAC for access to the bioanalysis training needed to conduct drug equivalence tests for the approval of generic drugs. That’s why we recently announced a collaboration with BioInfra, a pioneering contract research organization (CRO) company for the pharmaceutical and clinical fields, to jointly establish the ASEAN Academy for Bioanalysis. The academy is dedicated to providing scientists with the hands-on knowledge required to design and perform a variety of bioanalytical methods, which are vital throughout every stage of drug discovery and development.


4. What would be the impact of COVID-19 on the biopharmaceutical industry?


COVID-19 propelled demand for large molecule biologics and the desire for accelerating development, manufacturing and delivery of promising new therapies to patients in need. This has led to a continued interest in the purchase of analytical tools from companies like Waters that provide essential technologies for drug discovery and development.


5. How was the previous FY for the company and what are the expectations from the current one?


We’re very proud to have achieved the results we did for fiscal year 2021. Waters sales were $2,786 million, an increase of 18% as reported and 16% in constant currency, compared to sales of $2,365 million for fiscal year 2020. Across the board, Waters saw an increase in sales in many of the key markets we play in including pharmaceutical, industrial, and academic and government. Geographically, sales in Asia, the Americas and in Europe increased as well. 


As a testament to our teams’ dedication to delivering operational excellence and exceptional support for our customers through the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we’ve started this year strong with a 13% year-over-year increase in revenues for the first quarter. 


Our team continues to provide top-notch results with robust instrument growth and significant demand for our new instrument offerings despite the difficult environment. We are happy with the year's excellent start as well as the operational performance and revenue growth results, which show that our focus on execution, innovation, and growth is continuing to pay off.


As we look ahead, we expect solid momentum to continue and that our near-term growth initiatives will continue to contribute to our performance. 


6. What are the major plans for 2022-23?


Waters is in the midst of a major LC and MS platform refresh cycle. Our revitalized portfolio is contributing to growth with demand ramping for Arc HPLC, ACQUITY Premier and MAX premier columns. ACQUITY Premier and MAX Premier were specifically designed to help with the separation of biomolecules such as organic acids, organophosphates, oligonucleotides, phosphopeptides, acidic glycans and phospholipids by reversed phase and hydrophilic interaction chromatography. Meanwhile, the growth of our business in small molecules remains solid with customers continuing to purchase new capital equipment, including Arc HPLC.


We’ve also released two new mass spectrometry instruments in the past few months. The first being the Xevo TQ Absolute which is designed to help pharmaceutical, food and beverage and environmental analytical labs meet regulations requiring trace-level quantitative mass spec analysis for a broad set of applications. Additionally, and more recently, Waters announced the Xevo G3 QToF to give scientists both reproducible and accurate qualitative and quantitative information about molecules in their samples whether in very small or very large amounts. We’re excited for new additions anticipated in our instrument, chemistry and software portfolios over the next year.

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