por Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | April 02, 2014
The global market for radiopharmaceuticals is estimated to reach approximately USD 10.6 billion by 2018, up from USD 5.3 billion in 2013, according to a new market research report from RnRMarketResearch.com.
The twofold increase over the next five years is due in large part to the increasing adoption rates of PET and SPECT scanners, the availability of radiopharmaceuticals from cyclotrons as well as new strides in research and technology, according to the report.
"The new innovations in nuclear medicine to target coronary heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, and bone metastasis would be the major drivers of the diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals market in the future," said the report.
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In fact, last week, a third PET radiotracer for the detection of beta amyloid in the brains of patients being evaluated for Alzheimer's disease and related cognitive disorders was approved
in the U.S. And the U.K. received a boost for this category of radiotracers when Britain's National Health Service announced recently that it would cover beta-amyloid PET imaging to rule out Alzheimer's disease. Coverage for the scans in the U.S. does not exist
But there are larger barriers radiopharmaceuticals face, including a short half-life, stringent regulatory approvals and a cumbersome manufacturing process.
One U.S. company, Zevacor Molecular, is working to build
the first commercial 70MeV cyclotron in the U.S. that will be able to make several radioisotopes used in nuclear imaging, which were only previously available offshore or from national labs.
"We are trying to stop the complex supply chain," Peter Webner, vice president of business and clinical development at Zevacor, told DOTmed News.
The only 70MeV in existence in the world today is in France.
Although diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals dominate a majority of the market, the other segment consists of therapeutics, which accounts for 10 percent of the market share.
"It is expected that over the next 5-6 years horizon, this market would witness a steep increase owing to the introduction of many new products for treating lymphoma, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, bone cancer and other persistent cancers," said the report.
The report says there are currently about 87 radiopharmaceuticals in clinical trial today.