Spray drying is a drying technique used in the pharmaceutical industry to produce dry or coarse powder from liquid or slurry. It is usually used in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the active ingredients in drugs. The spray drying process mainly consist of three phases. The first phase is atomization, where liquid feed is turned into small liquid droplets with the help of a nozzle. This is the most critical stage in the process for achieving desired product qualities such as viscosity and particle size. The second stage is drying, where droplets from the nozzle are dried with the help of air heated with natural gas. The last stage involves recovery of powder from the exhaust gas. The advantages of spray drying are speedy drying, versatility, suitability for heat sensitive products, and ease in maintaining quality of products. Expansion in the pharmaceutical market, increased disease prevalence globally, supporting government facilities, technological advancements in the production of drugs, improvement in the stability of products, and increased R&D spending globally are major factors projected to propel the growth of the pharmaceutical spray drying market. According to data published by the statistics portal Statistica, the pharmaceutical industry invested US$ 159 Bn in research and development activities globally in 2016.  Initiatives undertaken by the government to commercialize spray drying technologies and increase in the acceptance of spray drying in developing countries are also expected to propel the global pharmaceutical spray drying market over forecast period. However, high costs associated with spray drying are likely to restrain the growth of the pharmaceutical spray drying market. The application of ultrasound technique during atomization and alternatives for selection of controlled environment are some of the latest trends in the pharmaceutical spray drying market. These advancements are expected to contribute to improving conventional spray drying distinctly.

The global pharmaceutical spray drying market can be segmented based on application and region. In terms of application, the pharmaceutical spray drying market can be divided into excipient production, encapsulation, enhancing bioavailability, dry powder inhalers, and others. Excipients are inactive substances that are used as fillers in the formulation of drugs. The encapsulation process involves the enclosing of drug molecules in a shell such as capsule. This is usually done to increase the stability of the drug and to achieve targeted or sustained release of the drug. Dry powder inhalers are used to deliver medications to the lungs. The excipient production segment dominated the market in 2017. It is expected to maintain its leading position in terms of pharmaceutical spray drying market share over the forecast period. This is mainly attributed to convenience offered by spray drying in the production of pharmaceutical excipients.

In terms of region, the global pharmaceutical spray drying market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominated the global pharmaceutical spray drying market in 2017. This is mainly attributed to the well-developed pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. and technological advancements in the region. According to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association (EFPIA), North America accounted for 49.0% of the world’s total pharmaceutical sales in 2016. The pharmaceutical spray drying market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid CAGR, owing to the flourishing pharmaceutical industry in developing countries such as India and China.

Major players operating in the global pharmaceutical spray drying market include Albany Molecular Research Inc., Catalent, Inc, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Hovione, Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd, Nova Laboratories, Janssen Global Services, LLC, Zambon Company S.P.A., GlaxoSmithKline plc. Novartis AG, and Wuxi AppTec.

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