Apheresis enables simultaneous separation of blood components and delivery of unused components back to donor’s body. Apheresis is widely used for collecting blood components such as platelets and plasma. Based on applications, the market is segmented into plateletpheresis, erythrocytapheresis, plasmapheresis, LDL apheresis, leukapheresis, photopheresis, lymphapheresis, and extracorporeal immunoadsorption.
Plasmapheresis is the most attractive market segment accounting for largest market share. Myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, multiple sclerosis, immune thrombocytopenia, systemic lupus erythematosus are some of the major disorders treated with plasmapheresis. Photopheresis involves treatment with photosensitizing agent and subsequently irradiated with specified wavelengths. Photopheresis is an U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved procedure for the treatment of advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The treatment is also effective in treatment of psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleromyxedema.
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Wide range of apheresis technology applications has supported the market growth to a large extent. External supply of blood component is required in various clinical manifestations, and is an important part of success of treatment prescribed. Diseases related to hematology, neurology, oncology, and renal diseases are most prominent areas requiring blood and blood components. Traumatic injuries and open surgeries involving severe loss of blood also require supply of external blood components for faster patient recovery. American Red Cross Association states that more than 35,000 units of red blood cells (RBC) are required every day in the U.S. alone. Furthermore, there has been a surge in application of therapeutic apheresis in oncology procedures. Scientists are also engaged in conducting continuous research activities to discover novel treatment methods for critical illness involving application of apheresis. Majority of these include autoimmune diseases, cancer, and hereditary blood disorders. These factors would act as initial drivers for the global apheresis market. However, scarcity of blood donors and histocompatibility pose a challenge.
North America has well established distribution channels, and large installed base, which makes it the market leader from geographical standpoint. Europe and Asia region comprise 30% to 35% of the global market share. The market would expand as hematology research advances in near future, and adoption and awareness regarding apheresis application percolates to developing nations. Although this would also require investment from the side of healthcare service providers, the demand for better healthcare service would assist in adoption of this technology. Market for apheresis systems is largely consolidated; 60% market share being occupied by top five players. Fresenius Medical Care, Terumo BCT, Inc., Medica S.p.A., Haemonetics Corporation, and Therakos, Inc. are some of the leading players in the apheresis market.
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