Nuclear medicine, practiced for over three decades now, has a tremendous impact on medical diagnostic procedures. Easy to use, transportable, and relatively economical, molybdenum-99 (99Mo) is, and promises to remain one of the widely used radioisotope accounting for the majority of all nuclear diagnostic medicine procedures.
The global year-on-year growth for the molybdenum-99 is currently estimated at a little below 5%. However, recently procuring 99Mo has become increasingly difficult. Various factors are responsible for this, including shutting down of some nuclear reactors and uncertainties pertaining to reliable operating conditions.
Nonetheless, increasing investment in production infrastructure and recent approvals of 99Mo and products derived from it will offer substantial economic incentives to the market players.
Innovations are on the cards, however, any new processes with possibilities of influencing product quality in comparison to the existing counterparts must be licensed and demonstrated to realize their market potential.
Focus on Capacity Expansions
While the current supply of 99Mo is considered sufficient to meet global demand, changing supply chain might result in severe shortage. This can adversely impact the delivery of medical care.
Technetium-99m obtained from 99Mo is one of the primary isotopes used in radionuclide medical imaging. It helps in noninvasively evaluating regional metabolic and phsycologic processes such as cardiac blood flow to localize the affected tissue or organ.
A large share of the global supply of molybdenum-99 is derived from irradiating targets, which is a sold plate containing aluminum clad uranium, found across seven reactors located in Canada, Australia, Europe, and South Africa.
Technetium-99m and molybdenum – 99 are distributed via international supply chain, either weekly or on a more frequent basis. Prompt delivery of these components are essential since they cannot be stockpiled because of their short half-lives.
Future Market Insights (FMI) finds that the capacity of supply to have been significantly affected since Canada stopped production towards the end of October 2016. Current efforts are therefore dedicated to increase the supply by expanding existing production overseas.
Because the U.S. is likely to face serious shortage due to limited supply from Canada, efforts are now being dedicated to expansion of production in overseas locations. There also is considerable focus on initiating domestic production by methods not requiring highly enriched uranium.
Although various leading institutions are determining strategic moves to fill the gap in existing supply chain, further delays in additional supplies of 99Mo can expose the market to risk of substantial shortage.
Rising Penetration of Radio-therapeutics
Rising penetration of radio-therapeutics is expected to be the chief driver of the global market. Radiotherapeutics is already touted as the next wave in medicine, accounting for nearly 13% of the nuclear medicine market.
As a result of increasing incidence of prostate and bone cancers, the demand for effective treatment and innovation in medicine is at all-time high. This also is the primary reason driving investment in radio therapeutics, which has augured well for the molybdenum-99 market.
Studies suggest that prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Despite significant reduction in fatality in the last couple of years, the disease has continued costing precious human lives despite advancements in screening methods and treatment.
Penetration of radio-therapeutics is therefore considered as a path-breaking move in the cancer diagnostic market. Launch of molybdenum-99 for the treatment of bone and prostate cancer is therefore considered an indispensable move in the medical world.
In the coming years, greater discoveries are on the card, especially as leading players continue investing in advancements. For instance, the demand for effective treatment of tumors impelled launch of novel radio-therapeutics by GE Healthcare.
Spurred by similar developments, the market is expected to demonstrate growth at a steady pace.
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Use in Managing Non-communicable Diseases
The demand for molybendum-99 is rising in response to the increasing incidence of various non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular ailments.
As opposed to communicable diseases witnessed in underdeveloped countries, communicable diseases are primarily byproducts of aging population, unhealthy and stressful life, and increasing life expectancy.
Treatment of non-communicable diseases is often time-consuming and very complicated. Delay in diagnosis can further complicate a patient’s condition.
As a result of these factors, radio-therapeutics are increasingly adopted. Investment too is on cards especially since healthcare institutions are looking at offering improved patient care through precise diagnosis and accurate treatment.
Social and economic transformation in high potential pockets have been creating a strong foundation for healthcare developments to happen. Improvement in living standard and per-capita income has made people more willing to spend on advanced treatment, creating a conducive environment for the growth of the market for 99Mo.
The availability of technetium-99m or 99mTc is dependent on the production and supply of 99Mo from a limited number of nuclear reactors located around the world. Some of the major ones are close to shutting down, which has been leading to production disruption.
Looming closure of aged reactors or extended shutdowns for planned and unplanned maintenance works have been disrupting the market’s supply chain since the last couple of years.
With this the demand for alternative imaging modalities has gained momentum, creating significant bottlenecks for the market. As a result of anticipated shortage in the near future, healthcare institutions are shifting to PET, SPECT, and other imaging modalities denting future prospects for the market.
North America Molybdenum-99 Market
North America is identified as a key market for molybdenum-99. The region has been exhibiting increasing consumption of 99Mo in response to the rising incidence of chronic non-communicable ailment.
Growth witnessed in the region is backed by high demand in the U.S., coupled with the country’s favorable healthcare reimbursement policies. Governments in North America often extend support via managed care plans and comprehensive healthcare support.
Spurred by this, the demand for 99Mo is considerably high in North America. Also the allocation of federal healthcare funds is expected to create viable opportunities for research and development in healthcare. These policies have created favorable environment for the growth of the market in North America.
Presence of a sophisticated healthcare network, constituting hospitals and diagnostic centers with state-of-the-art infrastructure has been of support as well. The U.S. primarily will account for the majority demand witnessed in the North America market.
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Europe Molybdenum-99 Market
Europe too has emerged as a lucrative market for molybdenum-99. Between 2020 and 2030, the Europe market is forecast to exhibit a steady growth.
The rising demand from countries such as Germany, the U.K., France, and Spain has been crucial in enabling growth in the Europe market.
Besides favorable reimbursement policies, focus on innovations to offer better healthcare facilities is driving growth in Europe.
The market in Europe too will be aided by the presence of a sophisticated healthcare infrastructure. Consistently rising demand from both hospitals and diagnostic centers will prove to primary growth drivers.
Among countries, Germany currently accounts for the maximum share. The country exhibits significantly high demand and the trend is unlikely to slowdown in the coming years. The presence of several leading companies as well will back growth witnessed in the region.
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Asia Pacific Molybdenum-99 Market
Asia Pacific has emerged as a highly lucrative market for molybdenum-99. The region’s rising investment in healthcare development and strengthening research and development initiatives will bode well for the market.
Penetration of advanced healthcare technologies is rising, which works in favor of growth in the region. However, lack of trained professionals and poor healthcare facilities have been creating bottlenecks to growth in certain under-developed pockets.
The use of private healthcare is increasing in countries such as India. In fact, studies report remarkable growth in this sector since 2000. Additionally, insurance support extended by various government and non-government providers has been supporting patients and their families, encouraging them to spend on advanced healthcare.
Spurred by these factors, the demand for molybdenum-99 is expected to rise in Asia Pacific. In East Asia, demand from hospitals will be a major support to the growth witnessed and Japan will emerge as a highly lucrative market.
In South Asia too hospitals will emerge as the more attractive segment than diagnostic centers. Demand from countries such as India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia will support expansion of the market in the region.
SPECT and Gamma camera constitute two primary segments in terms of application. Gama camera, also referred to as scintillation camera uses nuclear medicine to offer precise diagnoses of vital human organs such as heart, lungs, and thyroid.
It works on principle of tracing gamma rays emitted from radio when introduced in the human body. SPECT, meanwhile, is a highly sensitive technique used to detect parathyroid adenomas in the human body.
Demand witnessed in both segments will equally contribute to the growth of the market in the coming years. Currently however SPECT account for the higher percentage of share.
In terms of end user, the market can be bifurcated into hospitals and diagnostic centers. Of these, hospitals account for the majority share in the global market. The trend is likely to remain unchanged through the course of the forecast period.
Hospitals will remain dominant, especially due to the rising healthcare spending recorded across the world. It is also true that clinical and technological advances will contribute to demand witnessed from hospitals and diagnostic centers alike.
New government administrations are pushing for affordable healthcare. This move has been of incredible importance for the market players. The focus on making cancer treatment more affordable is expected to fuel demand from both end-use segments in the forthcoming years
The molybdenum market continues to be consolidated. A majority of its share is accounted by tier 1 players. Backed by better investment capabilities these companies are at the forefront of various clinical researches reported in the market.
Mid-level players too are witnessing scope for expansion. In the coming years, the market will see immense focus on strengthening portfolio among the companies. Besides this, many of them also will focus on the expansion of their footprint worldwide.
The key intent behind their strategies is to gain competitive advantage. It is therefore a little surprise to witness investment towards research and development activities. Also strategic collaborations will become more common in the near future.
GE Healthcare, for instance, had signed an agreement with HealthTrust to supply Radiopharmaceuticals in March 2017. It is therefore evidence that the company is focusing on boosting their supply via partnership agreements.
Curium Pharmaceuticals meanwhile acquired MAP Medical Technologies Oy, which is a radio pharmaceuticals company in December 2019. The company intends to expand its footprint via this acquisition.
Some of the other leading companies operating in the market are:
- Sumitomo Corporation
- Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Inc.
- Siemens Healthineers
Molybdenum-99 Industry Report: Scope
Historical Data Available for
USD Million for value
Key Regions Covered
North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania Middle East & Africa
Key Countries Covered
US, Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, GCC Countries, Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa
Key Segments Covered
End User, Isotopic Application, and Region
Key Companies Profiled
GE Healthcare, IBA, Sumitomo Corporation, Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Siemens Healthineers
Market Forecast, brand share analysis, competition intelligence, DROT analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, Strategic Growth Initiatives
Customization & Pricing
Key Questions Answered by the Report
- Which is the largest market for molybdenum-99?
North America, led by the US, is currently the largest market for molybdenum-99.
- What is the molybdenum-99 market size?
The global market for molybdenum-99 is forecast to surpass US$ 6.3 billion by the end of 2030. Between 2020 and 2030, the market is forecast to rise at a CAGR of 5.2%.
- Which are the top companies in market?
Some of the top companies operating in the market GE Healthcare, IBA, Sumitomo Corporation, Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Siemens Healthineers
- What are the uses of molybdenum-99?
Molybdenum-99 is used radionuclide medical imaging. It helps in noninvasively evaluating regional metabolic and phsycologic processes such as cardiac blood flow to localize the affected tissue or organ.
- Who are the key end users of molybdenum-99?
Molybdenum-99 primarily has demand in hospitals and diagnostic centers.
- What is the outlook on molybdenum-99 market?
Limited supply could hamper the growth of the market in the near future. It is also expected to face threat from alternatives. Nonetheless, research and development initiatives undertaken by key players will enable growth in the market in the coming years.
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- Gamma Camera
- Diagnostic Centers
- North America (U.S., Canada)
- Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Rest of LATAM)
- Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, Rest of Europe)
- East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea)
- South Asia (India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia)
- Oceania (Australia, New Zealand)
- Middle East & Africa (GCC Countries, Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa)