Nerve gases are a class of phosphorus based organic chemicals that disrupts the biological mechanism through which nerves present in the brain transfer messages and instructions to various organs of the body. The disturbance is caused due to the blockage of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholinesterase. Poisoning by nerve gases and pesticides leads to various medical complications such as convulsions, contractions of pupils, profuse salivation, involuntary defecation and death.
There are two main classes of nerve gas and agents, which are usually used in military warfare:
G – series, a class of non persistent toxic chemical substances. The nerve agents belonging to this group are:
- GA (Tabun)
- GB (Sarin)
- GD (Soman)
- GF (Cyclosarin)
V – series, a class of organophosphate compounds persistent in nature. The nerve agents belonging to this class are:
- VG (Tetram)
- VM (Edemo)
- VR (Russian VX, Soviet V-gas, Substance 33, R-33)
- VX (nerve agent)
Some of the drugs usually used in the treatment of nerve gas and pesticide poisoning are as follows:
- Anticholinergic agents
- Atropine IV/IM
- Pralidoxime chloride
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In terms of geography, nerve gas and pesticide poisoning is not prevalent in any specific regions. It has also been observed that nerve agent exposure is exceptionally rare in the U.S. Thus, the market growth of the drugs for treating nerve gas and pesticide poisoning might be sluggish in this region. However, despite implementation of stringent regulatory policies to control the propagation of chemical weapons, nerve gas agents are still stored by the military of several countries such as Iraq, Sudan, Japan and North Korea. To date there is no large scale military deployment of nerve gas and pesticide poisons during wars, but if the use of chemical weapons increases then there are chances that the antidote for these chemicals might experience an exceptional growth across the globe.
Some of the major factors driving the growth of Nerve Gas & Pesticide Poisoning market are increasing incidence rate of biological and chemical warfare along with high usage of toxic chemicals in the weapons and artilleries. Moreover, frequent riots in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia and Sudan is expected to propel the market for nerve gas & pesticide poisoning to a remarkable extent. Furthermore, frequent outbreak of civil wars such as South Sudanese Civil War (2013), Pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine (2014) and internal conflict in Mozambique (2013) are expected to boost the development of antidotes for chemical weapons; which will alternatively drive the sales of nerve gas treatment agents especially in these regions. However, narrow distribution channels and stringent regulatory approvals for these antidotes are few factors that might negatively affect the growth of this market.
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At present, the global nerve gas & pesticide poisoning market is a highly consolidated market. Development of products for treating nerve gas & pesticide poisoning market is highly critical and expensive, so only a few players have entered into the market. However, it is expected that in due course of time other companies will try to penetrate in this industry owing to the high incidence rate of biological warfare. Some of the companies involved with the development of drugs for treating nerve gas & pesticide poisoning are Baxter International, Inc., Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc., MicroDose Therapeutx, Inc., PharmAthene, Inc., Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., amongst others.
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