Nuclear Medicine/Radiopharmaceuticals Global Market is estimated to be worth $10.7 billion by 2027
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. It is estimated that globally, XX million PET and XX million SPECT procedures will be performed in 2020, of which XX million PET and XX million SPECT procedures will be performed in the U.S. alone.
According to IQ4I Research, the nuclear medicine global market is expected to grow at high single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 to reach $10,742.7 million by 2027. 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 radio isotopes and replacement of old/traditional equipment are the opportunities likely to propel the growth of the nuclear medicine market. However, the high cost of radioisotopes, shorter half-life, shortage of qualified technicians and radiotoxicity issues are restraining the market growth. Stringent regulations, high capital investment, closure of reactors and threat from traditional imaging techniques are hampering the market expansion. There has been a decline in the number of nuclear medicine procedures performed in 2020 because the healthcare resources are being diverted to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and only emergency cases are being attended thereby hindering the growth of the market.
The nuclear medicine is segmented based on modality, end-users and geography. Further, the market by modality is segmented into diagnostics (SPECT and PET) and therapeutics market (alpha radiation therapy, beta radiation therapy and brachytherapy). The diagnostics market held the largest market in 2020 and the therapeutics segment is growing at high teen CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to technological advancements in targeted radiation treatment especially cancer-related diseases, and many radioisotope based treatments in advanced developmental and testing stages in neurological and cardiology applications. Among the diagnostics sub-segments, SPECT commanded the largest revenue in 2020. Among SPECT isotopes, Technetium (Tc-99m) accounted the largest revenue in 2020 and is expected to grow at mid single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027. Various trends like growing diseased population, increasing prevalence of various medical conditions, availability of low cost SPECT cameras and new radiopharmaceuticals driving the market growth of Technetium Tc-99m. PET is expected to be the fastest-growing segment at high single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to high accuracy and better contrast of images. Among PET isotopes, Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) accounted for the largest in 2020 and is expected to grow at mid single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027. This is due to fact that, FDG is easily absorbed by the body and difficult to break. Moreover, its short half-life adds to its function as a radiotracer. Gallium (Ga-68) is expected to grow at high double digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to its increasing usage as theranostic pair in assessing the suitability of patient for Lutathera and many emerging targeted radiotherapy agents.
Among the nuclear medicine SPECT market by applications, the cardiology sub-segment accounted for the largest share in 2020 and is the market is projected to grow at low single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to an increase in the number of cardiac imaging procedures using Tc-99m. Among the PET market by applications, oncology sub-segment accounted for the largest share in 2020 and is projected to grow at high single CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to an increase in cancer imaging such as lung, thyroid and breast cancer.
Among the therapeutic nuclear medicine market segments, Beta radiation accounted for the largest share in 2020 and is projected to grow at high double digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to the anticipated launch of many promising late stage therapeutic products based on Lu-177 and Y-90 isotopes. Among the therapeutic nuclear medicine by application, GEP-NETs accounted for the largest share in 2020 and is expected to grow at high double digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to promising results from users of Lutathera therapy from many late stage patients and this therapy is expected to be adopted in all major countries. Prostate cancer is expected to grow at high double digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to anticipated launch of Lu-177 PSMA-617 in 2021 and rapid adoption across regions.
Among the Nuclear medicine end-users market, the hospitals market accounted for the largest share in 2020 and is expected to grow at double digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to the ready availability of cyclotrons for the generation of isotopes and the presence of trained technicians who can handle radioisotopes.
Among the nuclear medicine global market based on geography, North America commands the largest revenue in 2020 and expected to grow at double digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027. The growing use of SPECT and PET scans, technological advancement in equipment, increased utilization of fusion imaging, increasing awareness of radiopharmaceuticals among radiologists and alpha radio immunotherapy-based targeted cancer treatment and on-demand availability of radiopharmaceuticals has led the market growth in this region.
The market is moving towards consolidation where large players are acquiring small innovative companies in order to consolidate their competitive position and to integrate their operations. For instance, In May 2020, Curium acquired Cyclopharma’s manufacturing and commercial operations in France. The combined group will be able to leverage the strengths of both businesses to provide a more comprehensive footprint and a significantly enhanced reliability to its portfolio of PET tracers to customers and patients across France. Similarly, companies are expanding their product offerings and geographical presence through regulatory approvals, for instance, in January 2020, Jubilant received approval from Health Canada for Drax Examethazine a kit for the preparation of TC-99m for leukocyte labeling used for the diagnosis of Intra-Abdominal Infection and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
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 2018-2020 was worth ~$542.8 million. For instance, in February 2020, ITM Isotopen Technologien Munchen AG received $43.0 million from European Investment Bank (EIB) for research and development of a proprietary portfolio of Targeted Radionuclide Diagnostics and Therapies, addressing a range of cancers such as neuroendocrine tumors and bone metastases. Similarly, in April 2019, the company Fusion pharmaceuticals received $105 million from Varian and new investor Orbimed to broaden the scope of the clinical program investigating alpha therapeutics.
Technological advancements such as Compton camera-based SPECT and PET procedures, Subtle PET system, and cyclotron based production of isotopes and LINAC based Tc-99 m production have gained importance in nuclear medicine. According to IQ4I analysis, the nuclear medicine market is consolidated and the major players in Nuclear Medicine global market are Curium Pharma, Novartis, Cardinal Health, Fujifilm, GE Healthcare, Bayer Group and Jubilant Lifesciences which occupy XX% of the market, among these, Curium Pharma is recognized as the global leader with the largest share of XX% of the overall market in 2020.
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 very short half-life which necessitates constant production to meet demand and quick consumption and thus curtailing its reach to remote medical facilities. There have been constant efforts to produce isotopes that have optimal half-life enabling producers to deliver to a broader area and an increasing number of medical facilities offering nuclear medicine.
The emergence of radioisotope targeted imaging and therapy (theranostics) in treating cancers through personalized treatment approach and the approval of Lutathera (Lu-177 Dotatate) by the U.S.FDA, subsequent acquisition of AAA and Endocyte by Novartis has once again 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 Radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Cryptococcus neoformans, HIV, and Bacillus anthracis have been tested in animal models with promising results.
Increase in research application with respect to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector are driving the market for stable isotopes, however high cost of the stable isotope, side effects of isotopes and stringent regulations for the manufacturing of stable isotopes are the factors hampering the market of the stable isotope. According to IQ4I Analysis, the stable isotope global market is expected to grow at low single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027.
Stable isotopes are precursors used in the production of radioisotopes and among the segments Deuterium (D-2) accounted the largest share in 2020 and is projected to grow at low single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to use in the dietary supplement of deuterium-depleted water which helps to extend the survival rate of lung cancer patient via exerting anticancer effect and modification of deuterium leads to the development of novel, highly differentiated drugs which have therapeutic applications in diabetic nephropathy, hot flashes, spasticity, neuropathic pain and multiple melanomas. Among the stable isotope market by application the diagnostics and therapy segment commanded the largest market revenue of in 2020 and is expected to grow at low single digit CAGR due to use in diagnosis and treatment of pancreas, liver and intestine related disorders. The pharmaceutical segment is projected to grow at low single digit CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to novel developments in the utilization of stable isotopes that involve biopolymers, where isotope-labeled species are generated from cells grown on labeled growth media. North America region commanded the largest revenue of a stable isotope market in 2020 and expected to grow at low single digit CAGR due to an increase in research activities and increase in application in this region. Asia-Pacific has the largest share in terms of R&D investment is driving the market for stable isotope, but the high cost of stable isotopes is hampering the market in this region. Some of the companies related to stable isotopes are Isoflex Isotope (U.S.), Perkin Elmer (U.S.), 13C Molecular (U.S.), Merck KGaA (Sigma Aldrich-Isotec Inc.) (U.S.), Iso-Analytical Ltd. (U.K.) and other companies.
Major players in the nuclear medicine global market are Curium Pharma (France), Bayer Group (Germany), GE Healthcare (U.S.), Cardinal Health (U.S.), Jubilant Life Sciences (India), Lantheus Medical Imaging (U.S.), Novartis International AG (Advanced accelerator) (Switzerland), Bracco S.p.A (Italy), CDH Investments (Sirtex Medical) (China), Siemens AG (Germany) and Fujifilm Holding Corporation (Japan).
Some of the emerging players in the nuclear medicine market are Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Perma Fix Medical SA) (Poland), Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (India), Institute of Isotopes (Hungary), Isotopia Molecular Imaging Ltd. (Israel), Orano Med (Areva Med) (U.S.), Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen (Germany), IsoAid LLC (U.S.), Shine Medical Technologies, Inc. (U.S.), Theragenics Corporation (U.S.) and Isoray Medical Inc. (U.S.).