• by esalazar@marketresearch.com
  • January 30 2015
  • blood
  • plasma

Plasma Is Stronger than Blood - What to Expect in Blood-Related Device, Diagnostic and Biopharma Markets

Plasma Is Stronger than Blood - What to Expect in Blood-Related Device, Diagnostic and Biopharma Markets

The expansion of viable, safe blood collection systems remains a challenge in the developing world; established economies - where the bulk of the global blood products market is found - face a far different form of market transition. The volume of blood transfusions in the United States is declining: between 2009 and 2014 blood transfusions fell approximately by one third according to the American Red Cross. Recent blood transfusion statistics from Europe show a similarly negative trend. Lower transfusion rates have been the result of reformed hospital practices; medical advances that mitigate the need for transfusion; and autologous (same patient) blood salvaging. In turn, insurance companies have reduced rates for transfusion procedures and hospitals now seek out lower blood unit prices. The growth of mature markets associated with the collection, processing and therapeutic use of whole blood and derived products are by and large endangered without the robustness of the global plasma market.

Although blood donation workforces are cut, blood banks are consolidated and collection centers are closed, the worldwide market for blood products, blood testing and blood equipment has yet to overtly contract. Sustaining several market segments has been fast-rising demand for source plasma (not collected from whole blood) and plasma-derived products. Data from the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association indicates that total plasma collected worldwide (source and recovered from donated blood) increased by roughly 9% on average annually between 2008 and 2012. Source plasma - collected with machines that separate and transfuse red blood cells back into the donor (apheresis) - rose by 11% on average each year over the same period. Kalorama Information expects plasma collection to continue to outpace overall blood collection through 2018. The primary market driver will be plasma-derived immunoglobulins (Ig) used to produce intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapies - Kalorama Information expects the plasma Ig market to grow by over 6% annually through 2018.

Markets associated with the collection and use of source plasma have significant long-term growth potential through the persisting market imbalances for plasma. Over ten times as much plasma is collected in the United States as in Europe- in 2013, 29.4 million liters to 2.3 million liters. The vast majority of source plasma is collected by private (for-profit) industry. National governments once active in plasma markets through blood fractionation activities have since ceded collection to plasma specialists in the pharmaceutical industry and not-for-profit blood collection organizations. The production of not-for-profit participants has become increasingly insufficient towards meeting regional plasma demand. Plasma collection from the fractionation of whole blood has remained largely flat in volume for over the past decade, with source plasma responsible for supplying rising demand. While national self-sufficiency in plasma collection is not necessary across the board, better distribution globally of large-scale plasma facilities - outside of hubs in the United States, some EU countries and Australia - could stimulate higher demand from neglected markets. The majority of countries in the world consume plasma-derived products at rates well below their potential usage as suggested by disease prevalence.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that momentum in blood-related markets is squarely behind source plasma. Green Cross America, a Korean biopharmaceutical company, opened its sixth source plasma collection center in Idaho this month capable of supplying 50,000 liters of plasma annually. In September 2014, BloodSource opened a new source plasma center in the Sacramento area. ADMA Biologics opened another plasma collection facility in the Atlanta area in November 2014. Another major plasma player, Biotest Pharmaceuticals, opened a plasma collection center in Georgia in July 2014. The recent activity in plasma collection expansion contrasts sharply with the consolidation and shuttering of whole blood collection centers in the United States.

The sustained success of the plasma market, even through the downturn of the whole blood market ensures growth in many blood-related markets. Strong growth in infectious disease screening for blood banks and plasma collection facilities is predicated on the equally valid demand for screening after plasmapheresis. Discussions of ending heavy plasma imports into the United Kingdom and restoring domestic collection activities center around the development of a novel highly sensitive blood test for Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD) or the manifestation of mad cow disease (BSE) in humans. Similar test product development is likely to follow in regions where plasma collection is established and endemic disease threats exist. Blood typing and blood collection equipment will see relatively lower growth rates attributable to plasma collection as consolidation is also a key characteristic of the modern plasma industry.

Kalorama Information’s Blood:The Worldwide Market for Blood Products, Blood Testing, Blood Equipment, and Synthetic Blood Products is a definitive resource for companies variously involved in blood collection, from blood management, blood and plasma products, blood banking and plasma collection diagnostics, blood collection equipment, to blood component substitutes.