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North American Nuclear Medicine / Radiopharmaceutical Market worth $2.7 Billion by 2017

The report "North American Nuclear Medicine/Radiopharmaceuticals Market & Stable Isotopes [SPECT/PET Radioisotopes (Technetium, F-18)], [Beta/Alpha Radiation Therapy (I131, Y-90)], [Applications (Cancer/Oncology, Cardiac)] & (Deuterium, C-13) – Forecast to 2017", the global North American radiopharmaceutical market was valued at $1.9 billion in 2012 and is poised to reach $2.7 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 7.2%.

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The radioisotopes market is categorized into diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The diagnostic market consists of PET and SPECT technologies, while the therapy market comprises of beta emitters and brachytherapy seeds. The SPECT market accounted for a major share of the diagnostic segment in 2012. Significant radioisotopes in the SPECT diagnostic market are Tc-99m, Tl- 201, Ga-67, and I-123, while PET market is dominated by F-18, and Rb-82. The therapy market is led by I-131, Sm-153, Re-186, Y-90, and Lu-177. Alpha emitters are being developed and considered for cancer treatment, however not available commercially.

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It is estimated that Tc-99m diagnostic procedures are expected to increase by more than 15% in mature markets such as North America, between 2010 and 2030, however shortage of Mo-99/Tc-99m has been a threat to this industry. The scheduled shutdown of the NRU reactor in 2016 is a major risk for manufacturers in the near future.Companies have increased the production of thallium to meet the shortage, as it is the most commonly used substitute for technetium-99 in cardiac-stress tests, conducted to evaluate the functioning of coronary arteries. Radiopharmaceuticals in neurological applications such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia are also being preferred by practitioners besides conventional treatment. Further, upcoming radioisotopes such as Ra-223 (Alpharadin) and Ga-68 possess huge potential for clinical applications.

Increasing use of SPECT and PET scans, technical advancements in equipment and other factors such as rising awareness of radiopharmaceuticals among physicians, alpha radioimmunotherapy based targeted cancer treatment, and ready availability of radiopharmaceutical from cyclotrons have driven the market. High cost of devices using radioisotopes, short half-life, lack of good manufacturing practices, and stringent regulatory approvals are major hurdles to growth of the market.

North America is the dominant market for diagnostic radioisotopes. The U.S. is the largest consumer market for radiopharmaceuticals, while Canada is one of the largest producers of Tc-99m. Major players in the radiopharmaceuticals market are Cardinal Health, Inc. (U.S.), Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. (U.S.), Nordion, Inc. (Canada), and Triad Isotopes, Inc. (U.S.), Cardinal Health dominated with more than 40% share in 2012.

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The stable isotopes market was less than $50 million in 2012 and poised to grow at high double digit CAGR in the next 5 years. Carbon-13 commanded the largest share of the global stable isotope market in 2012; however deuterium and oxygen show tremendous potential to grow in the near future.The market was dominated by two players, Cambridge Isotope Laboratories (CIL) (U.S.) and Isotec (Sigma Aldrich) (U.S.) in 2012 jointly contributing more than 90% to the North America revenue.

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