Virus filtration is an important procedure in the pharmaceutical industry. It ensures the purity and steady consumption of valuable products, besides optimizing the economic process and preventing loss. Virus filtration feed streams generally exhibit high purity and heavy product concentrations. Retrovirus and parvovirus filtration membranes are two ultrafiltration membranes tested (and their performances compared) using realistic model feed streams consisting of minute virus of mice (recommended from FDA). This approach provides an industry-relevant benchmark for the engineering competence of virus filters. Asymmetric membranes operate in direct flow and in a constant pressure mode in accordance with the industrial practice of virus filtration. However, new developments in research and development using flux method allow to image at the performance of virus filtration and similar ultrafiltration membranes, which also provides insights into designing virus filtration membranes.
Hike in R&D expenditure, development of the biopharmaceutical industry, and increasing government funding for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are driving the global virus filtration market. According to the parenteral drug association, parvovirus filters in the downstream process have become an industry standard and a common regulatory expectation in the recent years. The filters consistently demonstrate highly effective retrovirus retention without impacting the quality of the product across a wide range of parameters and are an effective method to reduce virus risks in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The filtration technique needs to be approved by the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA). Regulatory agencies in Germany and France require the manufacturing processes to be evaluated and the units to be cleared of the multiple models of relevant viruses before being marketed as authorization. These stringent government validation practices are expected to be a hindrance for the global virus filtration market.
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The market has been segmented by product type, application, end-users, and geography. In terms of product type, it is classified into the following categories: virus filters, kits and reagents, filtration systems, and others. It majorly has biological applications, besides being employed in medical devices, water purification, stem cell products, vaccine & therapeutics, and others. Based on end-user, its divisions include pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies (which use virus filtration techniques in order to prevent unavoidable contamination in products), medical device companies, and contract research organizations. Filtration systems and devices are becoming popular because they deliver a high level of retention assurance and productivity across a broad range of feed stream characteristics. Rising industrialization coupled with the rapid evolution of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and water purification sectors, along with demand for medical devices & implants are likely to propel the virus filtration market by 2024.
Geographically, the market is distributed over North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is the dominant region due to the increasing modern industrialization, sophisticated infrastructure, patient awareness, and high per capita health care expenditure here. Moreover, the emerging trend of single-use techniques provides a boost to the pharmaceutical & biotechnology market, in turn motivating the virus filtration market. This is followed by Europe where there exist favorable government policies regarding health care infrastructure and awareness programs about the various diseases which can spread among the population through the air, water, or even products generated from industries. In 2013, the ICH (international conference on harmonization of technical requirements for registration of pharmaceuticals for human use), a project that brings together the regulatory authorities of Europe, Japan, and the U.S., discussed the scientific and technical aspects of drug registration in order to streamline the testing requirement for research and development of new medicines and eliminate unnecessary delays in their global development. The market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand swiftly due to rising population, changing lifestyles, rising number of awareness programs for patients, and the ever-increasing per capita expenditure. In addition, economic growth supports pharmaceutical and biotechnology units in developing countries such as India, China, and Singapore. All these factors collectively support the virus filtration market in Asia Pacific.
Key players operating in the market include Merck KGaA, GE Healthcare, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Lonza Group Ltd., Pall Corporation, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, Sartorius AG, Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., and WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc.
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