Medical imaging plays a prominent role in clinical trials as it can help in providing answers to the critical challenges that occur in drug development process. It takes about 15 years for a drug to move from a laboratory set-up to FDA approval. The chances of a compound getting regulatory approval are minimal as out of 6 to 11,000 compounds that are evaluated in the pre-clinical stage, only 5 are able to make it to the clinical trials and only one of them gets regulatory approval. Medical imaging can help play a crucial role in the product development process as it can reduce the late-stage attrition by gathering more information in the pre-clinical trials of safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action.
Medical imaging applications for pharmaceutical clinical trials include identifying disease predisposition, diagnosing and evaluating lesions and their severity, determining the responder patients, and monitoring therapy effects and their follow-ups. Nuclear imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) are used to observe drug pharmacokinetics and distribution along with studying the specific molecular endpoints. For drug efficacy studies, use of imaging surrogate endpoints and imaging biomarkers can provide quick results with good statistical power as they help in facilitating small group sizes. In addition, imaging has a huge potential in drug safety assessment during clinical trials in the absence of suitable biomarker. With its widespread applications, medical imaging is witnessing a rapid growth in its use for clinical trials. In fact, medical imaging is used as an endpoint for about half of all clinical trials.
Factors that are driving the growth of the global clinical trial imaging market are increase in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, rise in the number of contract manufacturing/contract research organizations, and an overall increase in research and development spending. Furthermore, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, portability and miniaturization of equipment, and rise in geriatric population are fueling the growth of the market. On the other hand, high cost of installation of these systems and enormous cost of clinical trials are projected to impede the growth of the market. However, the rise in demand for multimodal imaging systems and the growth potential offered by the emerging markets are projected to further boost the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The global clinical trial imaging market is segmented into product, end-user, modality, and geography. In terms of product, the market is classified into software and services. The services segment is expected to have a significant share of the market owing to high costs associated with the imaging equipment. The biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies have been forced to outsource imaging clinical trials to service providers owing to the high cost. In terms of modality, the market is divided into PET, MRI, ultrasound, CT, X-Ray, and ECHO. The CT segment is projected to dominate the market. Based on end-user, the market is segmented into biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, medical device manufacturers, government research and academic institutes, skincare companies, and others. Pharmaceutical companies are projected to account for a prime share of the market.
In terms of geography, the global clinical trial imaging market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to dominate the market in terms of size owing to presence of large number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, large R&D spending, and rise in number of contract research organizations (CROs). North America is followed by Europe. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to register a fast growth due to rapid advancements in the health care infrastructure and rise in prevalence of chronic diseases.
The major prominent players operating in the clinical trial imaging market are Cardiovascular Imaging Technologies LLC, Intrinsic Imaging, LLC, PAREXEL International Corporation, BioClinica, Inc, ICON plc, Biomedical Systems, IXICO PLC, WorldCare Clinical, LLC, and VirtualScopics Inc.
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