Allergen extract is a mixture of various naturally occurring compounds such as allergens, proteins and other enzymes that are obtained from allergic sources including pollen, animal hair, molds, and insects. Naturally occurring compounds are used to test antibody response when exposed to various allergens and other immunotherapeutic tests. Allergens are used in diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), conjunctivitis, sinusitis and allergies caused by food and animal venoms. Based on the route of administration, allergen extracts are categorized as follows:
- Injectable allergen extracts
- Oral allergen extracts
Injectable allergen extracts are sterile liquids mixed with allergen compounds manufactured from different natural allergen sources. Injectable allergen extracts are used mainly for diagnosis and treatment of food allergies and dermatitis caused by allergic substances. Allergen extracts are used for diagnostic purpose in food allergies. Injectable allergen extracts are administered through subcutaneous layer since it may cause heightened allergic reactions when given intravenously. Injectable allergen extracts are further categorized into two types namely standardized and non-standardized. Standardized allergen extracts have known potency while non-standardized extracts has no known measure of potency. Oral allergen extracts are available in tablet form intended for oral administration to test allergic reactions. Oral allergen extracts are used in the treatment of hay fever, and allergic conjunctivitis. Some of the commercially available oral administration allergen extracts include sublingual tablets namely, Grastek, Oralair and Ragwitek.
Furthermore, less popular diagnostic tests available in the market include allergen patch tests and allergen skin tests. Allergen patch tests are also referred as Thin Layer Rapid Use Epicutaneous Patch tests (T.R.U.E test). T.R.U.E patch test is used to diagnose different forms of contact dermatitis and is manufactured from various natural allergic substances or chemicals such as nickel, rubber and other elicit substances (fragrant mixes). T.R.U.E. patch test is commonly used in adults having allergic history from one of the 35 different allergens stated under T.R.U.E test standards. Antigen skin tests are used to diagnose allergies caused by different pathogens such as Candida albicans and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
The market for allergen extracts is anticipated to grow owing to perpetually rising demand for immunotherapeutic diagnosis and treatment of different diseases caused by allergens. The U.S. is the largest market for allergen extracts and is expected to show positive growth during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020. Factors such as high demand of oral administration allergen extracts over subcutaneous administration allergen extracts are driving the growth of allergen extracts market in the U.S. Merck & Co., Inc. and Greer are expected to lead the allergen extract market in the U.S. Europe has large potential for growth of the allergen extracts market especially for the subcutaneously administered allergy extracts. However economic slowdown of healthcare expenditure in Europe is restraining the growth of allergen extracts market. Asia Pacific market is anticipated to expand during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020 owing to launch of new sublingual allergy extract therapies in the Japanese market by local manufacturers. Rest of the world (RoW) countries mainly Latin American countries are expected to increase the potential of global allergen extract market in near future. Some of the major players in the allergen extract market are Greer, ALK-Abello, Allergopharma (Merck), Genentech, Roche, Shionogi & Co., Novartis, HollisterStier Allergy, MSD (Merck & Co.) and others.
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