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Growing Use of Fluorine-18 for PET Imaging Drives Global Demand

Fluorine-18 (18F) is a fluorine radioisotope, a significant source of positrons. It is mostly produced with a cyclotron primarily by proton irradiation of a stable isotope of oxygen, 18O. Fluorine-18 is the most commonly used radioisotope in the positron emission tomography (PET) radiopharmaceuticals in clinical procedures. PET imaging has become a significant way to study physiological, biochemical, and pharmacological functions in humans. It is a non-invasive imaging technique that can measure the concentration of the tracer in tissues accurately due to its high sensitivity and high spatial resolution. Its physical and nuclear features, along with high distinct activity and ease of large-scale production, and thus the radiochemical labeling and molecular imaging seem more engaging. The significant increase in fluorine-18 radiotracers for PET imaging emphasizes the need for simplistic and efficient 18F-labeling procedures. Thus, the increasing need for PET imagining in healthcare sectors is driving the demand for the global fluorine-18 market during the forecast period.

In radiochemistry, the favorable nuclear and physical characteristics of fluorine-18, including high positron decay ratio, comparatively short half-life, and low positron energy have gained higher popularity in recent years. The global market has witnessed several radio synthetic methods generated for the embodiment of this radionuclide into biologically relevant and stimulating molecules ranging from drug-like molecules to antibodies and oligonucleotides, due to the nuclear properties and the ability to incorporate fluorine-18 in large quantities. Furthermore, fluorine-18 is being widely used in various applications in the field of oncology, neurology, and cardiology. The rise in the use of fluorine-18 in a variety of sectors is driving the global fluorine-18 market.

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Decline in Overall PET/CT Scans during Coronavirus Crisis Hampers Demand for Fluorine-18

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on almost every industry segment, including healthcare systems and diagnostic imaging services. As per the Radiological Society of North America, more than 40% to 90% decline in the medical imaging practices were recorded in 2020. The same slump has been recorded in various regions during the first wave of the pandemic. However, there was a limited study on the impact on the PET designated fluorine-18 market, which reported a slowdown in the demand for fluorine-18 during the first wave of coronavirus. The nuclear medicinal studies show a decrease in the number of PET-CT scans across the globe in the previous years and a halt in the growth rate during the first quarter of 2021. In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, the number of ambulatories imaging decreased drastically, and optional imaging services were shut for a while. Besides, several regulations had to be updated in hospitals and radiology departments, regarding COVID-19 testing and PPE availability, and experts and managers had to be prepared to handle this new situation effectively.

In order to study the effects and infections of the COVID-19 virus, the fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET-CT has been suggested as a non-invasive imaging method for detecting infectious or inflammatory diseases. The ability of 18F-FDG PET/CT to recognize sites of inflammation and infection is essentially related to the glycolytic activity of the cells involved in the inflammatory response. Thus, the producers of fluorine-18 for its medical applications are permitted to keep the production running with all the safety and precautionary measures to ensure the wellbeing of the workers. Furthermore, the rapid distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across various nations ensures the restoration of market and production in a short period. Moreover, the rising immediate demand for PET/CT scan and other fluorine-18 applications is anticipating growth of the fluorine-18 market during the forecast period.

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Expensive Setup Cost Likely to Hamper Fluorine-18 Market Growth

The positron emission tomography (PET) using fluorine-18 has been used with enhanced regularity in the care of patients with soft tissue sarcomas to predict the harmful potential of tumors, the diagnosis for survival, and response to chemotherapy. Imaging with PET has been proven to precisely detect primary tumors as well as lymph node and bone metastases in patients with sarcomas. In soft tissue sarcomas, changes in tumor fluorine-18-FDG uptake correlate significantly with the histopathological response, risk of tumor recurrence, and survival. Thus, PET using ([18] F-FDG) is emerging as a significant imaging modality in the administration of patients with soft tissue sarcomas. Moreover, FDG PET-CT is increasingly being used in various non-oncologic specialties such as cardiology, neurology, and cognitive neuroscience, which is contributing to the increasing demand for the fluorine-18 market.

Major factors driving the growth of the global fluorine-18 market include increase in the rate of cancer across the globe. The PET-CT test helps to diagnose cancer and provides more data, including whether a tumor is benign or malignant, and the response of cancer to treatment. However, the FDG-PET can be expensive and thus, lack availability. Moreover, the cost of installing the PET/CT scan facility with cyclotron is around US$ 5 Mn to US$ 6 Mn. These factors are limiting the expansion of the fluorine-18 market. Nevertheless, with advancements in research and technology and increase in demand for PET-CT imaging across the world, the manufacturers are now focusing on affordable setup measures. Thus, the fluorine-18 market is expecting a heavy demand from developing countries during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific to Invest More in Fluorine-18 Market

The global increase in the frequency and the prevalence of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular diseases are generating demand for more precise diagnosis, driving the demand for F-18 isotopes. In addition, the high demand for cancer scan procedures in the developed countries is driving the FDG segment to dominate the global market during the forecast period. Moreover, the growing preference of individuals due to rising health awareness to perform PET/CT scans is one of the key factors propelling the market growth. Furthermore, Asia Pacific countries, including India and China are offering notable opportunities to F-18 producers, owing to the rise in the demand for use in health testing purposes. Hence, the global fluorine-18 market is projected to cross US$ 3 Bn by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2021 to 2031.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The future growth of the global fluorine-18 market can be credited to the rise in inclination toward diagnosis with radionuclides medicine, through PET-CT scan, as it is a well-established non-invasive imaging tool for studying disease development/progression. Moreover, PET-CT scans are proving conducive to evaluate cancer treatment more effectively. Therefore, an increasing number of doctors is preferring to carry out F18-based tests to check abnormalities of cancer cells, which offer significant opportunities for suppliers in the global market. However, the setup cost for the PET-CT system can be expensive for smaller sectors and regions. Thus, manufacturers are intensifying their use of materials to make devices more affordable. These will lead to the expansion of the fluorine-18 market in developing nations.

Fluorine-18 Market: Overview

  • Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging, which is primarily carried out through radioactive material. Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose, evaluate, or treat diseases, and fluorine-18 is widely used in PET scan.
  • Fluorine-18 is the most widely used radioisotope in positron emission tomography (PET). It has a number of applications in the fields of oncology, neurology, and cardiology.
  • Combined PET/CT scanners outperform nearly all PET scans today. These combined scans help pinpoint abnormal metabolic activity and could provide more accurate diagnoses than the two scans performed separately. This is a major factor projected to drive the demand for fluorine-18.
  • Clinical applications of the positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET-CT) with glucose analogue 2-[fluorine 18] fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) are expanding beyond the area of oncology. Apart from its high usage in clinical oncology, FDG PET-CT is used in various non-oncologic specialties such as cardiology, neurology, and cognitive neuroscience. This boosts the growth the global fluorine-18 market.
  • Increase in incidence of cancer across the globe boosts the demand for PET-CT devices. PET-CT test helps to diagnose cancer and provides more information, including whether a tumor is benign or malignant, and how well the cancer is responding to treatment. PET-CT is an extremely sensitive imaging modality in the detection of malignant tissues and presents higher specificity than PET alone, which is the primary reason for fewer equivocal scans and better diagnostic results.

Market Segmentation: Fluorine-18 Market

  • In terms of product, the global fluorine-18 market has been classified into FDG, NaF, and others
  • Based on end user, the global fluorine-18 market has been divided into hospitals, diagnostic centers, and others
  • Each of the segments has been analyzed in detail for trends, recent trends & developments, drivers, restraints, opportunities, and useful insights. The fluorine-18 market report provides current and future revenue (US$ Mn) for each of these segments for the period from 2017 to 2031, considering 2020 as the base year. The compound annual growth rate (percentage CAGR) has been provided for each segment and market from 2021 to 2031, along with market size estimations.

Regional Overview: Fluorine-18 Market

  • In terms of region, the global fluorine-18 market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The regions have been divided into major countries and sub-regions.
  • The U.S. held significant share of the fluorine-18 market in North America in 2019. The country is expected to retain market share during the forecast period. Robust healthcare infrastructure and quick adoption of advanced imaging equipment such as PET/CT are factors for the dominance of the U.S. fluorine-18 market.
  • Asia Pacific is likely to gain market share during the forecast period. Product launches, acquisitions, distribution agreements, alliances, and geographical expansion by players, especially in China and India, are projected to drive the fluorine-18 market in the region
  • The current and future market sizes in terms of value (US$ Mn) of these regional markets and major countries have been provided in the fluorine-18 market report for the period from 2017 to 2031, along with their CAGRs for the period from 2021 to 2031.
  • The study also offers a list of recommendations, highlights, and useful insights of the market, which are likely to help new companies willing to enter the fluorine-18 market and existing companies to increase market share and in the decision-making process

Major Fluorine-18 Market Players

  • The report concludes with the company profiles section that includes key information about the major players in the global fluorine-18 market
  • Leading players analyzed in the fluorine-18 market report are
    • Lantheus Holdings, Inc.
    • Siemens Healthineers
    • Advanced Accelerator Applications (a Novartis AG Company)
    • GE Healthcare (General Electric Company)
    • Blue Earth Diagnostics (A Bracco Imaging Company)
    • Jubilant Pharma Limited
    • China lsotope & Radiation Corporation
    • Eli Lilly and Company
    • Curium Pharma
    • Yantai Dongcheng Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd.
  • Each of these players has been profiled in the fluorine-18 market report based on parameters such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, product portfolio, business segments, and recent developments

Fluorine-18 Market – Scope of the Report

TMR’s report on the global fluorine-18 market studies the past as well as the current growth trends and opportunities to gain valuable insights of the indicators of the market during the forecast period from 2021 to 2031. The report provides the revenue of the global fluorine-18 market for the period of 2017–2031, considering 2020 as the base year and 2031 as the forecast year. The report also provides the compound annual growth rate (CAGR %) of the global fluorine-18 market from 2021 to 2031.

The report has been prepared after extensive research. Primary research involved bulk of research efforts, wherein analysts carried out interviews with key industry leaders and opinion makers. Secondary research involved referring to key players’ product literature, annual reports, press releases, and relevant documents to understand the global fluorine-18 market.

Secondary research also included Internet sources, statistical data from government agencies, websites, and trade associations. Analysts employed a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches to study various attributes of the global fluorine-18 market.

The report includes an elaborate executive summary, along with a snapshot of the growth behavior of various segments and sub-segments included in the scope of the study. Moreover, the report sheds light on changing competitive dynamics in the global fluorine-18 market. These serve as valuable tools for existing market players as well as entities interested in participating in the global fluorine-18 market.

The report also delves into the competitive landscape of the global fluorine-18 market. Key players operating in the global fluorine-18 market have been identified and each one of these has been profiled in terms of various attributes. Company overview, financial standings, recent developments, and SWOT are attributes of players in the global fluorine-18 market that have been profiled in this report.

Key Questions Answered in Fluorine-18 Market Report

  • What is the sales/revenue generated by product providers across all regions during the forecast period?
  • What are the opportunities in the global fluorine-18 market?
  • What are the major drivers, restraints, opportunities, and threats in the global market?
  • Which region is set to expand at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period?
  • Which application segment is expected to generate the highest revenue globally in 2030?
  • What are the market positions of different companies operating in the global market?

Fluorine-18 Market – Research Objectives and Research Approach

The comprehensive report on the global fluorine-18 market begins with an overview, followed by the scope and objectives of the study. Following this, the report provides detailed explanation of the objectives behind this study and key vendors and distributors operating in the market and regulatory scenario for approval of product.

For reading comprehensibility, the report has been compiled in a chapter-wise layout, with each section divided into smaller ones. The report comprises an exhaustive collection of graphs and tables that have been appropriately interspersed. Pictorial representation of actual and projected values of key segments is visually appealing to readers. This also allows comparison of market shares of key segments in the past and at the end of the forecast period.

The report analyzes the global fluorine-18 market in terms of product, end user, and region. Key segments under each criteria have been studied at length, and the market share for each of these at the end of 2031 has been provided. Such valuable insights enable market stakeholders to make informed business decisions for investment in the global fluorine-18 market.

Fluorine-18 Market – Segmentation

TMR’s study on the global fluorine-18 market includes information divided into three segments: product, end user, and region. Changing industry trends and other crucial market dynamics associated with these segments of the global fluorine-18 market have been discussed in detail.

  • FDG
  • NaF
  • Others
End User
  • Hospitals
  • Diagnostic Centers
  • Others
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

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Fluorine18 Market

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