US demand for drug delivery systems is set to increase by over 10 per cent a year, reaching $132bn in 2012 with growth driven by injectable biologic dugs, according to a new study by the Freedonia Group.
The report suggests that oral delivery methods will continue to dominate the sector, with increased patient demand for alternatives to injection-based medications and significant advances in transmucosal and oral disintegration technologies producing a sustained 7 per cent annual growth rate over the period.
But the Freedonia study also predicts that advances in the biotechnology sector will lead to a rapid rise in demand for parenteral delivery systems, that is, those using a non-gastrointestinal route of administration.
The report suggests that the success of drugs such as Roche's Herceptin (trastuzumab) and Abbott's Humira (adalimumab) in cancer and autoimmune diseases respectively, will increase demand for novel targeted therapies over the next few years.
Overall, Freedonia predicted that such demand would allow the US parenteral delivery market to expand by 15 per cent a year and reach a value of around $52bn (€33bn) by 2012.
The strong growth rates across drug delivery sectors are positive news for excipient manufacturers, whose products are intimately linked to drug delivery technologies, and are roughly in keeping with the results of a recent Kalorama report that forecast annual 6 per cent growth of the excipient market over the next five years.
Inhalation healthy despite Exubera setback
The report also forecasts that the market for inhalable delivery methods will grow by 9 per cent a year through to 2012. This suggests that while the failure of Pfizer's insulin product Exubera may have dampened enthusiasm for the treatment of certain diseases, as indicated by Eli Lilly's subsequent decision to abandon development of its own inhalable insulin product, more traditional indications for the inhalation market still provide significant growth potential.
Freedonia argues that the increasing incidence of respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the USA will see dry-powder inhalation systems continue to dominate the market. It also predicted that metered dose inhalation products will see significant gains as a result of improvements in propellant safety and particle manufacturing technologies.
Implantable systems and transdermals
The study findings also suggest that advances in stenting technology, in terms of both safety and efficacy, will allow the implantable therapeutics market to regain some of the ground lost to oral drugs in recent years. The report highlights the cardiovascular disease sector as a key opportunity for such expansion.
Additionally, the report predicts a considerable expansion of the market for drugs delivered using transdermal technology. Recent developments in skin patches, including advances in microneedle administration methods, coupled with the potential of such products in indications ranging from Parkinson's disease to central nervous system disorders, would seem to support Freedonia's forecast.