The optimal formulation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) into efficacious dosage form to ensure stability and acceptable shelf life is a critical and prime prerequisite. The use of albumin as an excipient with proven preference in culture media, stabilizer in pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, vaccines, and as a drug carrier in the form of nanoparticles or microspheres has made it a multifunctional excipient in the formulation development. The unique features of albumin such as amphiphilicity and surface-active properties, as well as high glass transition temperature make it a suitable excipient. The global albumin market was valued at USD 704.9 million in 2013 and is expected to reach USD 828.2 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 2.3% during the forecast period 2014 to 2020. Improved product stability, enhancement in protein purification technology and emerging use of recombinant albumin are some factors propelling market growth.
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The global albumin market is broadly categorized into type, applications and geography. Human serum albumin, bovine serum albumin and recombinant albumin altogether comprise the albumin type segment. Human serum albumin was the largest segment and was valued at USD 476.7 million in 2013. Rising ethical concerns regarding cruelty toward bovine fetuses in deriving bovine serum as well as the retention of some amount of impurities in the albumin excipient has prompted researchers and manufacturers to opt for alternatives. Moreover, trend towards use of serum-free and chemically defined media could hamper the use of albumin as an excipient. Recombinant albumin is anticipated to be the fastest growing segment at a CAGR of 2.7% during the forecast period. Applications for this market include drug formulation and drug delivery, vaccines, and component of media. The drug formulation segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 2.4% during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020. Some examples of products with albumin as an excipient include Kogenate (Bayer), Avonex (Biogen Idec), Intron A (Merck) and Aralast (Baxter).
Geographically, the global albumin market has been segmented into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). The albumin market is majorly concentrated in the U.S., followed by Europe and Asia, especially China. The dominance of North America is attributed to the presence of a large number of pharmaceutical companies and research institutions where albumin consumption is higher. Technological development in drug formulation and drug delivery and increased access to technologies such as use of albumin in culture media would serve as an opportunity for investors in emerging countries. Manufacturers investing in these developing markets and increase in contract research manufacturing are expected to boost market growth due to the increasing demand and awareness among end-users about albumin as an excipient.
CSL Behring, HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., InVitria, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Octapharma AG, Novozymes A/S, Raybiotech, Inc., Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific and MedxBio Pte. Ltd. are some of the major companies operating in the global albumin market.