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The global immunology market size was USD 85.74 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with immunology drugs witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of 4.2% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 92.00 billion in 2021 to USD 158.69 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.1% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Immunology drugs or agents modify the immune response, either by enhancing or suppressing the immune system. They are used to fight infections, prevent or treat certain autoimmune or immunological disorders.
The rise in awareness regarding immunological diseases in both developing and developed nations and the growing prevalence of immunological disorders due to environmental factors are the critical reasons propelling the growth of the global market. Moreover, existing market players operating in the global market focus on constant innovation and upgrading their product portfolio for better treatment outcomes for the patients. This is anticipated to augment the market growth during the forecast period.
Robust Efforts by Key Players Led COVID-19 Pandemic to Have a Minimal Impact on Immunology Market Growth
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a minimal impact on the sales generated by the immunology drugs. The majority of the market players did not report any drop in the sales for products related to this market during the market. This was attributable to one major factor such as the pharmaceutical companies significantly improved their supply chain management, enhanced the capabilities of their R&D, and increased investment in manufacturing management and quality control. For instance, in the financial year 2020, AbbVie Inc. reported an increase of 13.2% in the sales generated from the drugs, as compared to the prior year.
However, few market players such as F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd witnessed a decline in their revenues generated from drugs in the immunology segment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in slower growth of the market during 2019-2020. Moreover, the slower growth of the market is partially also attributed to the loss of patents of blockbuster drugs during the past few years, postponement of regulatory approvals for new drugs and biosimilars during the pandemic, slight disruptions in the supply chain, and delayed or canceled patient visits to hospitals and clinics.
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Growing Penetration of Biosimilars to Surge the Market
Due to its successful clinical use, the growing demand of biological drugs is motivating players to invest in the launch of biosimilars, the highly similar copies of biological drugs, in the market. The use of these biological drugs is associated with higher costs as compared to the other drug therapies. Hence, this creates opportunities for the market players to introduce biosimilars, which have comparatively lower costs.
Moreover, the expected patent expiry of the top-selling biological drugs also presents opportunities for the key market players to invest in the research and development of biosimilars, thus augmenting the market growth. For instance, the key HUMIRA patent expired in Europe in 2017. This has led to numerous biosimilar launches by the market players over these years.
Increasing Prevalence of Autoimmune Disorders to Propel Market Growth
Various environmental factors, including exposure to toxic chemicals, stress, dietary components, gut dysbiosis, and infections, give rise to a large patient pool suffering from autoimmune diseases.
Market players actively invest in the research and development of these drugs due to their huge demand worldwide.
Additionally, rising awareness of autoimmune disorders in both developed and developing nations and potential pipeline candidates are anticipated to boost the market growth during the forecast period.
High Cost of Treatment and Adverse Effects Associated with Product to Restrict Market Growth
Despite the increasing prevalence of immunological disorders in key regions, certain factors restrict the market growth during the forecast period. High cost and adverse effects associated with these drugs are the two such factors. The high price of biologics is partly due to the costly manufacturing facilities and the large investment in research and development necessary to take biologics through clinical trials and FDA approval processes.
Additionally, these drugs are associated with various adverse effects such as infections, allergic reactions, muscle aches, fever, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, etc. Hence, the factors mentioned above and the limited reimbursement policies in developing regions hamper the market growth during the forecast period.
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Immunosuppressants to Grow at a Faster Pace
Based on drug class, the global market is segmented into the monoclonal antibody (mAb), fusion proteins, immunosuppressants, polyclonal antibody (pAb), and others.
The monoclonal antibody (mAb) held the dominating share in 2020. The dominance is attributable to the established clinical efficiency of monoclonal antibodies such as adalimumab, rituximab, and the treatment of rare and chronic conditions and autoimmune diseases. In addition to this, a higher number of approvals for mAb’s for treatment of various conditions favor segmental growth.
The immunosuppressants segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to the strong focus on R&D of leading market players to establish the increasing number of regulatory approvals for these drugs. Moreover, increasing the adoption of immunosuppressants in developing nations due to their higher treatment efficacy contributes to its faster growth rate.
Rising Prevalence of Rheumatoid Arthritis to Lead to Segment Dominance
Based on disease indication, the global market for immunology is segmented into rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, prophylaxis of organ rejection, and others.
The rheumatoid arthritis segment dominated the market in 2020. The increasing prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis and the rising number of patients undergoing treatment will lead to the rise in demand for drugs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. For instance, according to various regional and national databases, the global incidence of rheumatoid arthritis is around 3 cases per 10,000, whereas the global prevalence is an estimated 1% to 2% of the total population.
On the other hand, limited drug approvals for ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, other conditions, and the comparatively high cost of treatment with currently marketed drugs limit the adoption of these drugs among the patient population, especially in emerging countries.
Hospital Pharmacies Segment to Hold Highest Market Share
Based on the distribution channel, the market includes hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies.
The hospital pharmacies segment held the lion’s share in the global immunology market share in 2020 due to the increasing number of hospitalization and visits to physicians by patients suffering from immunological or autoimmune disorders and well-established healthcare infrastructure.
On the other hand, the online pharmacies segment is expected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period. Evolving regulatory policies for online sales of prescription drugs in developed countries, combined with the entry of leading e-pharmacy players in countries such as Germany, the U.K., and others, leads to a shift of patient preference towards online pharmacies.
North America Immunology Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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North America stood at USD 46.17 billion in 2020 and is expected to dominate the global market of immunology. The presence of well-established healthcare infrastructure, higher prevalence of chronic conditions, and comparatively higher diagnosis and treatment rates among the patient population in the U.S. are factors responsible for the dominance of the region in the global market.
Europe is anticipated to register a significant CAGR during the forecast period due to the rising prevalence of autoimmune conditions and increasing drug approvals in the region. For instance, according to the British Society for Immunology, in 2018, an estimated 400,000 people in the U.K. were suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and an estimated 4 million people in the country were suffering from an autoimmune condition.
The market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a higher CAGR due to the large pool of patients suffering from autoimmune disorders and the increasing demand for preventive care.
Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are expected to witness comparatively slower growth owing to their developing healthcare infrastructure and lack of favorable reimbursement policies. However, growing awareness among people coupled with higher demand for treatment options among patients is expected to propel the demand for these drugs in these regions during the forecast period.
Strong Portfolio and Growth Strategies by Key Players to Improve Business Outcome
The current market scenario is consolidated with players such as AbbVie Inc., Janssen Global Services, LLC, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, and Novartis AG. Major players are constantly focusing on research and development of these drugs and strategic acquisition of other domestic players to strengthen their market position
Moreover, other players like Astellas Pharma Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, etc. are continuously engaged in the development of novel drugs and strengthening their distribution channel across the globe to establish their footprints in emerging regions.
An Infographic Representation of Immunology Market
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The global immunology market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, drug class, disease indications, and distribution channels. Besides this, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
Value (USD billion)
By Drug Class
By Disease Indication
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market stood at USD 85.74 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 158.69 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the market size in North America was USD 46.17 billion.
The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
By drug class, the monoclonal antibody (mAb) segment will lead the market.
The increasing prevalence of immunological disorders and the growing demand for biosimilars are the key drivers of the market.
AbbVie Inc., Janssen Global Services, LLC, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, and Novartis AG are the market players.
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