Antibacterial drugs are classified into β-lactams, macrolides, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, phenicols, quinolones, and miscellaneous antibacterial drugs. Quinolones is a major class of antibacterial drugs. Quinolones/fluoroquinolones are synthetic antibacterial drugs that exhibit a specific function of inhibiting the nucleic acid synthesis. Depending on their bactericidal properties, quinolones are effective against bacterial infections of the skin, the sinuses, the lungs, the stomach, and the urinary tract. With their property of inhibiting the nucleic acid synthesis, these drugs can interfere with the human DNA synthesis, as humans have the same basic nucleic acid constituents as those of bacteria. Quinolones exhibit rapid bactericidal activity, wherein they easily penetrate the bacterial cell membrane and reach the DNA where they bind to bacterial topoisomerases such as DNA gyrase, thereby inhibiting the bacterial nucleic acid synthesis.
There have been side-effects associated with the use of quinolones, due to which some of the drugs such as Tequin (gatifloxacin) manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb have been withdrawn from the market in a very short span after their launch (in 2006). According to the United States Food & Drug Administration (U.S. FDA), Tequin was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 2.7% of more than 5,000 treated patients. Some of the first-generation quinolones include nalidixic acid and cinoxacin. Also, nalidixic acid was among the first quinolone drugs that were utilized for treating urinary tract infections way back in 1962. Quinolones exhibit significant bactericidal activity and hence, they have been widely utilized in treating bacterial infections of the skin, the sinuses, the lungs, the stomach, and the urinary tract.
Key driver for the quinolones/fluoroquinolones market is the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases led by emergence of various mutant bacterial strains worldwide. Other drivers include increasing occurrence of multi-drug resistant forms of bacteria, which raises health care concerns and thereby, provides ample growth opportunities to drug manufacturers. Due to their numerous benefits over other antibacterial drugs, quinolones may replace other drug therapies to some extent. These beneficial characteristics include good oral absorption, easier tissue penetration, lower side-effects, easier dosage of once or twice a day, and a broad-spectrum activity against several pathogenic bacterial strains. However, patent expiries of leading antibacterial drugs of this class, narrow product pipeline, and availability of different generic drugs may restrain the quinolones market in the near future.
Some of the most widely used quinolones available for human use are norfloxacin (the first quinolone approved in 1986) and ciprofloxacin (approved in 1987). Other important quinolones include ofloxacin (1990), enoxacin (1991), lomefloxacin (1992), levofloxacin (1996), trovafloxacin (1997), gatifloxacin (1999), and moxifloxacin (1999). The leading branded drugs available in the global quinolones market are Avelox/Avalox (moxifloxacin), Cipro/Ciprobay (ciprofloxacin), Zymaxid (gatifloxacin), Levaquin, and Tavanic (levofloxacin).
The global quinolones market can be segmented based on type, distribution channel, and region. Based on type, the market can be divided into norfloxacin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, gemifloxacin, grepafloxacin, gatifloxacin, sparfloxacin, enoxacin, and moxifloxacin. Based on distribution channel, the global quinolones market has been segregated into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies. Geographically, the global quinolones market can be segmented into five key regions viz. North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Asia Pacific hold a leading share of the global quinolones market. Increasing prevalence of infectious diseases in developing countries offers immense growth opportunities to the quinolones market in these countries.
Key players operating in the global quinolones market are Bayer AG, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, Inc., LG Life Sciences, Allergan, Inc., and Novartis AG.
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