Peptides are short-chain amino acids used therapeutically in the treatment and management of several diseases, including major killers such as diabetes. Peptides are differentiated from proteins by the length of their amino acids; proteins have longer amino acid chains than peptides. Peptides such as insulin have been in therapeutic use for a long time and have helped drive investment in research into the therapeutic efficacy of peptides. Due to the growing investment in the sector, peptide therapeutics are becoming increasingly important in the global healthcare sector.
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According to Transparency Market Research, the global peptide therapeutics market is expected to exhibit a low yet steady 2.8% CAGR between 2014 and 2020. The market’s valuation is expected to rise from US$18.9 bn in 2013 to a projected US$23.7 bn by the end of the forecast period. Apart from the established therapeutic uses of peptides, their potential use in the treatment of various cancers, neurological disorders, hematological disorders, and cardiovascular and respiratory disorders is expected to be crucial for the market’s growth in the forecast period.
How important will the growing prevalence of diabetes be for the peptide therapeutics market?
Despite the increasing research into the use of peptides in the treatment of various other diseases, the use of insulin in diabetes management remains the key application of peptide therapeutics. Diabetes has not shown any signs of slowing down since insulin became the first therapeutically used peptide; in fact, its prevalence has grown rapidly in the last few decades, as the increasing prosperity in developed economies has made various risk factors for diabetes increasingly accessible to the average consumer. The disease is expected to remain a global healthcare concern in the coming years, driving the market for advanced insulin products.
Apart from the use of insulin in diabetes management, what is the key driver for the peptide therapeutics market?
The increasing innovation of advanced peptide therapeutics is another key driver for the global peptide therapeutics. As the infrastructure for clinical research into peptide therapeutics becomes more refined, the use of high-precision methods and tools has allowed market giants to come up with safe and effective peptide therapeutics. Due to the increasing consumer satisfaction brought about by technological progress, collaboration between biotech and pharmaceutical companies is expected to be a prominent feature of the global peptide therapeutics market in the coming years.
A key advancement in the field of peptide therapeutics is the innovation of stable peptide molecules that aren’t degenerated by the body as quickly as conventional peptides. The conventional mode of delivering peptide therapeutics has involved permeability enhancement, which comprises various techniques to ease the entry of the peptide into the vascular network around the digestive tract. However, most slow-acting peptide therapeutics fail to achieve significant bioavailability through this procedure. The promising recent development of a phase-II GLP-1 analog that has a circulating half life of around one week by Novo Nordisk could open the doors for peptide therapeutics to be used on a wider scale in the treatment of several other diseases.
Which region presents the most lucrative opportunities for producers of peptide therapeutics?
Even though North America and Europe currently account for a majority share in the global peptide therapeutics market, the future of the market is expected to be dominated by Asia Pacific. The medical research sector in Asia Pacific has undergone significant development in the last few years, and the high prevalence of diabetes in Asian races means peptide therapeutics are not an entirely novel field.