The global nuclear medicine market size was accounted at USD 8.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to hit around USD 25 billion by 2030, expanding growth at a CAGR 13.2% from 2022 to 2030.
The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer & thyroid is anticipated to drive market growth. The impending approval of multiple radiopharmaceutical therapeutics during the forecast period will be a major driver for the market. For instance, in March 2022, Novartis AG received approval for Pluvicto (Lu 177) for the treatment of adult patients with prostate cancer.
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in 2022, globally around 20 million new cases of cancer are estimated to be diagnosed, and around 10 million deaths occurred due to this disease. Factors like changing lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and less awareness about oral hygiene in low and middle-income countries is the most common cause of the prevalence of cancer.
Increasing adoption of nuclear medicine products in diagnosis and the approval of new generators to help increase the supply of radionuclides is expected to drive growth. For instance, in November 2021, EZAG received the Brazilian Health Authority Regulatory Agency’s (ANVISA) approval for GalliaPharm in Brazil. It is a gallium-68 generator used to extract the positron-emitting isotope of gallium from a source of decaying germanium-68 for making G68 dotatate injection. This is the first and only gallium generator approved for pharmaceutical use in Brazil. The approval of such products contributes to the market growth in developing markets.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market was moderately impacted. A survey was conducted for reactor-based medical isotopes by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during the second quarter of 2020 to assess the continuity of the supply chain during the COVID-19 crisis. It was revealed that major producers continued with production in line with IAEA safety standards, as their operations were categorized as essential by their respective governments.
The diagnostic product segment held the highest market share in 2021 owing to the presence of a large patient base and the availability of advanced technologies such as Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). According to the World Nuclear Association Analysis 2021, about 40 million nuclear medicine procedures are performed annually and the demand for radioisotopes increases by around 5% every year. The wide range of radiotracers that are currently employed in the diagnosis of tumors, coupled with technological advancements, are contributing to the growth of the nuclear medicines market.
The therapeutic segment is further divided into alpha emitters, beta emitters, and brachytherapy. The robust product pipeline coupled with the approval and commercialization of nuclear medicine therapeutics may fuel the segment growth. For instance, in October 2021, the U.S. FDA approved and granted breakthrough designation to diffusing alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy (DaRT) for the treatment of patients suffering from recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). It is a standalone therapy when other therapies have failed to work in patients with GBM. Currently, radium (Ra-223) is the most widely used alpha emitter in therapeutics. Development of potential radioisotopes, such as Terbium (Tb-149), Bismuth (Bi-212), and Actinium (Ac-225) is expected to augment market growth.
Based on application, global nuclear medicine is divided into oncology, thyroid, neurology, cardiology, lymphoma, bone metastasis, endocrine tumors, and other markets, wherein, the oncology segment dominated the market in 2021. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Factors such as unhealthy diet, smoking habits, and lack of exercise contribute to rising prevalence. Furthermore, rising investment in the R&D of novel nuclear medicines for the treatment of cancer may contribute to segment growth. For instance, in January 2022, ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE initiated COMPOSE phase 3 trial of 177lu-edotreotide to evaluate the viability of the product for treating patients with neuroendocrine tumors.
The cardiology segment is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period due to the increasing demand for the diagnosis of CVD. In March 2021, Bracco Diagnostics Inc. entered into a partnership with CardioNavix, LLC aimed at improving the patient reach of the novel cardiac PET imaging system. This new initiative provides patients easy access to hospitals, physicians, and diagnostic centers, for cardiac PET imaging. This program may reduce the upfront cost and risk of business loss by encouraging clinical practitioners to prescribe & avail of this important diagnostic test.
North America dominated the market with a share of 45.1% in 2021 and is anticipated to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period. The high market share in the region can be attributed to the increased investment in R&D activities, high volume of nuclear medicine procedures, and strong healthcare infrastructure. For instance, in January 2021, Eckert & Ziegler announced the development plan of a cGMP facility for contract manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals in Boston, U.S. The facility will be dedicated to the production of late-investigational-stage and commercial-stage radioisotopes used in nuclear medicines and can help address the increasing demand for radionuclides in the market.
Asia Pacific region is estimated to be the fastest-growing region owing to the increased awareness about nuclear medicine therapies and rising investment in nuclear medicine space. For instance, in March 2022, Penang Adventist Hospital (PAH) announced the launch of a private nuclear medicine center in the northern part of Malaysia. This launch is anticipated to have a positive impact on the regional market. However, the high cost associated with these therapies may restrain the market growth as the lower-income group of the population in developing countries may not afford such treatment. For instance, the cost of treatment with Yttrium-90, Lutetium-177, and Iodine-131 may account for approximately USD 23,850, USD 5,962, and USD 3,312 respectively in India.
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