Like pharmaceutical companies, life science tool and technology companies are also experiencing a wave of cost spiral and consolidation in recent years. Among these top 20 companies on this year’s list, the lowest-ranked firm invested a total of over 48 million US dollars on R&D, a growth of $10 million compared with the lowest-ranked company in 2013 Top list.
Three companies fell off the list this year (Single-cell sequencing company Fluidigm, bio-analytical instruments company Luminex, and the German company Sartorius Stedim Biotech), even they spent more than one million dollars on R&D—$38 million higher than those ranked 20th in 2013. In 2014, Fluidigm doubled its R&D investment, reaching $43.423 million.
Only four Top 20 companies reduced R & D investment between 2013 and 2014, and two of them cut their budgets by less than 2%. This is very different from the pharmaceutical industry, as drug developers are now more inclined to increase R&D expense by external cooperation or acquisitions rather than in-house.
However, it will be the last for two companies appearing on the list—Sigma-Aldrich (being acquired by Merck KGaA), and Pall Life Sciences (part of Pall Corp., being acquired by Danaher). A similar situation also occurred in 2013: Life Technologies acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Complete Genomics acquired by BGI Shenzhen.
Below are 20 publicly-traded life science tool and technology companies listed in descending order by R&D spending as disclosed in regulatory filings, annual reports, and/or press announcements. The following listings include R&D spending for 2014 and 2013, and the percentage difference between the two years.
|Rank||Company||2014 R&D Spending
(Million $ )
|2013 R&D Spending
|1||Roche – Diagnostics Division||1596||1138||4.00%|
|4||Thermo Fisher Scientific||691.1||395.5||74.70%|
|5||BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.)||550||494||11.30%|
Sciences & Diagnostics
|9||Merck Life Science||179||175.9||1.80%|
|16||Pall Life Sciences||65.594||61.483||6.70%|