Nuclear Medicine Global Market – Forecast To 2030
Nuclear medicine is a highly multi-disciplined medical specialty sector that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and treat diseases related to the gastrointestinal system, neurology, endocrine system, cardiology, inflammation, pain and cancer, etc. Radiopharmaceuticals containing a radioactive tracer are generally inhaled, swallowed, or injected into the patient, and the gamma-rays emitted by these materials are used by the SPECT and PET imaging modalities to display images. The nuclear medicine technique provides enhanced, early detection, accurate diagnosis, rapid results, detailed description of various diseases and helps in adopting additional treatment plans when compared to traditional imaging methods. The adoption of nuclear medicine for effective usage in integrated structure-function imaging has made it a preferred imaging technique over traditional methods and increases its use in diagnostic radiology and various therapeutic indications. Advancements in radioactive tracers are providing practical methods for studying the limited metabolic activities and in the development of next-generation therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals conjugated with antibodies and peptides, which are expanding new areas of research.
According to IQ4I Research, the nuclear medicine global market is estimated to grow at a high single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030 to reach $11,362.0 million by 2030. Increasing radioisotopes application, rise in public awareness, use of SPECT/CT and PET/CT imaging scans (hybrid imaging), and advancements in technology are driving nuclear medicine market growth. In addition, increasing demand in emerging markets, production of radiopharmaceuticals from cyclotrons, efficient diagnosis and treatments, emerging radioisotopes, and replacement of old/traditional equipment are the opportunities likely to propel the growth of the nuclear medicine market. There has been a decline in the overall number of nuclear medicine procedures performed in 2021 because the healthcare resources were diverted to deal with the second and third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early months of the year, later there has been a recovery in the number of radiopharmaceutical procedure and it will take one to two years to reach the levels of 2019.
The nuclear medicine market is segmented based on modality, end-users, and geography. Further, the market based on modality is segmented into diagnostics (SPECT and PET) and therapeutics market (alpha radiation therapy, beta radiation therapy, and brachytherapy). The diagnostics market generated the largest market revenue in 2021 and is expected to grow at a mid-single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030 and the therapeutics segment is expected to grow at a strong double-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030. Among the diagnostics sub-segments, SPECT commanded the largest revenue in 2021 and is expected to grow at low single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030. Among SPECT isotopes, Technetium (Tc-99m) accounted for the largest revenue in 2021 and is expected to grow at a low single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030. The PET segment is expected to grow at a mid-single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030 due to high accuracy and better contrast of images. Among PET isotopes, Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) accounted for the largest revenue in 2021 and is expected to grow at mid-single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030. Gallium (Ga-68) is expected to grow at high double-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030.
Among the therapeutic nuclear medicine market segments, beta radiation accounted for the largest share in 2021 and is projected to grow at a high double-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030 due to the anticipated launch of many promising late-stage therapeutic products based on Lu-177, Ac-225, At-211, and Y-90 isotopes. Among the therapeutic nuclear medicine market based on application, GEP-NETs accounted for the largest share in 2021 and is expected to grow at high teen CAGR from 2021 to 2030. Prostate cancer is expected to grow at a high teen CAGR from 2021 to 2030 due to the anticipated launch of Lu-177 PSMA-617 and rapid adoption across regions.
Among the nuclear medicine market based on end-users, the hospitals' segment accounted for the largest share in 2021 and is expected to grow at a high single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030. Among the nuclear medicine global market based on geography, North America commands the largest revenue in 2021 and is expected to grow at a high single-digit CAGR from 2021 to 2030..
The market is moving towards consolidation where large players are acquiring small innovative companies to consolidate their competitive position and to integrate their operations. For instance, In May 2021, GE Healthcare acquired Zionexa to develop and bring to market its pipeline biomarkers, as well as the recently FDA-approved PET imaging agent, Cerianna (fluoroestradiol F-18), this acquisition enables GE to introduce more precise diagnosis tools, improved treatment decision-making and clinical outcomes for patients.
Considering the attractiveness of the nuclear medicine market, several venture capitalists are investing in nurturing new applications or increasing market access for advanced isotopes for several applications. According to IQ4I analysis, the reported funding received by companies during the period 2020-2021 was worth ~$XX million.
According to IQ4I analysis, the nuclear medicine market is consolidated and the major players are Novartis, Curium Pharma, GE Healthcare, Cardinal Health, Bayer Group, Sumitomo Chemicals, Fujifilm, and Jubilant which occupy XX% of the market, among these, Novartis is recognized as the global leader with the largest share of XX% of the overall market in 2021.
Currently, most of the radiopharmaceuticals demand is met through the research reactors which are cost-effective and very well suited for commercial, large-scale production, however, as many of them are reaching the end of their lifespan, accelerators or cyclotrons have emerged as an alternative by offering many advantages, such as less radioactive waste and cheaper operating and decommissioning costs. Also, many of the radioisotopes have a very short half-life which necessitates constant production to meet demand and quick consumption and thus curtailing its reach to remote medical facilities.
The emergence of radioisotope targeted imaging and therapy (Theranostics) in managing cancers through a personalized treatment approach and the approval of Lutathera (Lu-177 Dotatate) has revitalized the interest in nuclear medicine. Various isotopes emitting alpha ((Ac-225), Radium (Ra-223, Ra-224)) and beta radiation (I-131, Lu-177, and Y-90) are under different stages of clinical development. Some isotopes such as Bismuth (Bi-213) and Rhenium (Re-188) are being explored to cure chronic infectious diseases, in the form of Radio-immunotherapy (RIT). Cryptococcus neoformans, HIV, and Bacillus anthracis have been tested in animal models with promising results.
Major players in the nuclear medicine global market are Novartis International AG (Advanced accelerator) (Switzerland), Curium Pharma (France), GE Healthcare (U.S.), Cardinal Health (U.S.), Bayer Group (Germany), Jubilant Pharmova (India), Lantheus Medical Imaging (U.S.), Bracco S.p.A (Italy), Sumitomo Chemicals, (Japan), CDH Investments/China Grand Pharma (Sirtex Medical) (China), and Fujifilm Holding Corporation (Japan).