Contrast Agents/Media Global Market estimated to be worth $6,879.0 million by 2025

Contrast agents/Media are substances that improve the visibility of specific organs, tissues or blood vessels and help in diagnostic imaging and interventional procedures using medical imaging tools. These substances are introduced by swallowing or injection into a specific area of the body and are absorbed or excreted through urine or bowel movements. Contrast agents used are usually Iodine based, Gadolinium-based, Microbubble based contrast agent and other which include Iron-based and barium based contrast agents. Iodine-based and Barium-sulfate contrast agents are used in X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging exams wherein the presence of Iodine-based and Barium-sulfate contrast materials at a specific area of the body will block or limit the ability of X-rays to pass through and change their state of appearance on X-ray or CT images. Gadolinium-based contrast agents are preferred in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan in order to improve the clarity of the images of the body’s internal structures. Microbubbles based contrast media is used during ultrasound scans wherein the microbubbles present in suspension strongly interact with the ultrasound beam and easily detectable by ultrasound imaging systems.

As estimated by IQ4I Research, the contrast agents global market expected to reach $6,879.0 million by 2025.The increase in diagnostic imaging procedures and interventional imaging procedures, increase in incidence and prevalence of disease conditions, increasing in aging population, expansion in indications of contrast media, growth of medical imaging technologies in emerging market, increasing research activities for contrast agents, and favourable reimbursements are driving the market growth. However, adverse effects related to contrast agents and shortage of radiologists is restraining the market growth. Stringent regulations and availability of alternative products are hampering the market expansion.

The contrast agents global market by molecule is segmented into Iodine based [Ionic (Monomeric and Dimeric), Non-Ionic (Monomeric and Dimeric)], Gadolinium-based contrast agents [Macrocyclic (Ionic and Non-Ionic), Linear (Ionic and Non-Ionic)], Microbubble based contrast agent and others which include Barium, iron and dyes. Iodine-based contrast agents market held the largest market share in 2018 and microbubble segment is growing at high double digit CAGR from 2018 to 2025 due to expansion in disease indications.

The contrast agents by modality are segmented into X-Ray/CT, MRI, and Ultrasound. X-Ray/CT market commanded the largest market revenue in 2018 and ultrasound segment is growing at fast/rapidly at double digit CAGR from 2018 to 2025 due to increase in incidence and prevalence of disease conditions, increase in aging population who are more prone to cardiovascular disease.

The contrast agents by applications is segmented into cardiovascular, cancer, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, neurology, nephrology, obstetrics & gynecology, urology and others which include neck imaging, liver imaging, and salivary gland imaging. Cardiovascular market accounted the largest share and is the fastest growing market at mid single digit CAGR from 2018 to 2025 due to increase in number of cardiac imaging procedures using Iodine, Gadolinium and microbubble contrast agents. Contrast agents market by route of administration is segmented into intravascular, oral, rectal and others which include intraosseous, intrathecal and intravesically. Intravascular accounted for largest share and is the fastest growing market from 2018 to 2025 due to increase in incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular, cancer, neurology, nephrology related conditions which require Iodine, Gadolinium and microbubble contrast agents to be administered.

Contrast agents market by imaging is segmented into diagnostic and interventional imaging. Diagnostic imaging market held the largest market share in 2018 and interventional imaging segment is growing at fast/rapidly at double digit CAGR from 2018 to 2025 due to increase in image guided procedures and increase in aging population who usually opt minimally invasive procedures.

Contrast agents based on the end-user market is segmented into hospitals, diagnostic & ambulatory surgical centers and other which include academic and research institutes. Hospitals market accounted largest share in 2018 due to as there is a rise in demand for the diagnosis and interventional treatment of diseases with CT or X-Ray, MRI and ultrasound imaging procedures due to increase in incidence and prevalence of diseases and Diagnostic & Ambulatory surgical centers is the fastest growing market due to increase in number of diagnostic procedures related to musculoskeletal (arthroscopy, imaging of spine), gastrointestinal (imaging of abdomen, GI tract) and obstetrics & gynecology (hysterosalpingography).

The contrast agents global market based on geography is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the world. North America region commanded the largest revenue in 2018. Favorable reimbursement coverage and increase in incidence and prevalence of diseases conditions due to change in lifestyle, obesity has led the market growth in this region. However, Asia-Pacific region is the second leading market for contrast agents and is expected to grow at highest CAGR from 2018 to 2025 due to increased healthcare awareness, improved economic growth, large patient pool, and rising aged population.

The innovations in contrast agents are taking place in area of packaging, the development of bulk, multi-dose containers, and polymer containers. For instance, FDA approved Isovue (iopamidol injection) Imaging Bulk Package (IBP) (developed by Bracco) which is a specific combination multi-patient, multi-dose compliant contrast medium for point-of-care use in the computed tomography (CT) suite. Increase in research activities for contrast which is supported by funding from different institutes. For instance, Ferric Contrast Company received $225,000 for phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) fund in 2017 in for developing iron-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which is an alternative to the Gadolinium complexes that have traditionally been employed in MRI. Likewise, Inlighta Biosciences LLC received a $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute in 2017 for development of an improved MRI contrast agent i.e. ProCA32 a next-generation MRI contrast agents that could be utilized for early detection of primary and metastasized liver cancers and the research is done through collaboration between Inlighta Biosciences, Georgia State University, and Emory University. The funding is used in validation of ProCA32 and used for toxicology a study which is required to support an application to the FDA for human clinical trials.

The contrast agents/media market is consolidated and the top players in the market such as GE Healthcare, Bracco Guerbet and Bayer control approximately XX% of the market as these companies have a strong distribution network acquiring small companies and collaborations to reach the hospitals. For instance, Bracco and Shanghai pharmaceuticals collaborated to provide innovative drugs in the field of oncology, infectious and CVDs in China by making use of microbubble technology. Off-label use of contrast agents is a major contributor of revenue growth.

Major players in the contrast agents global market are GE Company (GE Healthcare) (U.S.), Bayer Group (Germany), Guerbet (France), Taejoon Pharm Co. Ltd., (South Korea), Beijing Beilu Pharmaceuticals Company Limited (China), Bracco Group (Italy), Fujifilm Holding Corporation (Japan), Sanochemia Pharmazeutika AG (Austria), Dongkook Lifescience (Korea), Lantheus medical imaging (U.S.) and Fujipharma Co. Ltd (Japan).

Some of the emerging players in the contrast agents market are IMAX Diagnostic Imaging Limited (Ireland), Zhejiang Starry Pharma (China), Graton Pharma (Pakistan), Nano-Therapeutics (India), Unimark remedies (India), Harmony life sciences (India), Trivitron Healthcare (India), Rege Imaging & Cinefilms private limited (India), Biem ─░laç San. And Tic. Inc. (Turkey), JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (India), Jodas Expoim Pvt. Ltd (India), Unijules Life Sciences Ltd (India), Magnus Health (India) and other companies.