Viscosupplementation is a treatment that helps reduce the joint pain and improves the functional condition of the osteoarthritic joint. It involves the injection of a thick fluid called hyaluronate into the knee. Hyaluronic acid is found in the viscous synovial fluid that lubricates the cartilage surfaces and protects the joints from shock. This acid is an elastic substance that is naturally secreted by mesothelial cells. Osteoarthritis—the most common type of arthritis—is characterized by loss of function and degeneration of cartilage and tissues that cover the ends of the bones in a joint. Rising global prevalence of osteoarthritis leads to high demand for osteoarthritis therapeutic products, including viscosupplementation. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million people in the U.S. suffered from osteoarthritis and around 10% people over 55 years suffered from knee pain in 2015.
According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, 10% men and 13% women of aged 60 years and older are suffering from osteoarthritis in the U.S. The prevalence of osteoarthritis is high in females as compared to men, due to menopause and hormonal imbalance. Factors that may lead to osteoarthritis are knee injury, overweight, obesity, muscle weakness, repetitive unnatural strain on joints, loss of bone density, and joint laxity, among others. Thus, growing prevalence of this disease is the major factor contributing towards growth of the overall viscosupplementation market.
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Viscosupplementation market taxonomy
On the basis of treatment, the global viscosupplementation market is classified into the following:
- Three-injection cycle
- Five-injection cycle
- Single-injection cycle
Three injection-cycle is the largest segment in terms of revenue contribution towards the global viscosupplementation market. Low cost of the three-injection cycle products than single-injection cycle products and shorter treatment period as compared to five-injection cycle are some of the major factors contributing toward its large share.
Companies are focusing on integrating cutting edge technologies to manufacture advanced viscosupplements. For example, Anika Therapeutics' launched a new patented HYAFF technology, which helps in manufacturing of highly effective biocompatible viscosupplements. Introduction of advanced products is a critical trend followed by industry players in order to ensure sustainability in the competitive viscosupplementation market.
Various government and non-governmental organizations such as WHO are taking initiatives to provide better quality products and services to patients suffering from osteoarthritis. For instance, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides funds to researchers across the U.S. for osteoarthritis research.
However, the growth of the market could be hindered by stringent regulations for the manufacturing and development of viscosupplementation products. Commercialization of viscosupplementation depends on successful accomplishment of clinical trials, which is an expensive, time consuming, and uncertain process.
North America is the largest revenue contributor towards the global viscosupplementation market. This is due to the presence of well-developed healthcare infrastructure and presence of leading vendors such as Anika Therapeutics, Sanofi, and Fidia Farmaceutici in the region. Asia Pacific market is expected to expand at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. There is high demand for viscosupplementation products in APAC region due to increasing research activities, rising awareness regarding viscosupplementation procedures, and presence of large geriatric population.
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Presence of various global and local players in market leads to high competition among vendors. The top players compete with each other on various factors such as brand, product quality, pricing, and availability. The growth of market players depends on market conditions, industry development, and government support.
Key vendors in this viscosupplementation market include Anika Therapeutics, Sanofi, Seikagaku, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and Fidia Farmaceutici .Other prominent vendors in the market include Mylan, Contipro Biotech, Lifecore Biomedical, Smith & Nephew, HTL Biotechnology, Hyaltech, Expanscience Laboratories, Nordic Drugs, Shandong Freda Biochem, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Lipo Chemicals, DePuy Synthes, Galderma, Merz Aesthetics, Shanghai Jingfeng Pharmaceutical, Allergan, TEIJIN PHARMA, and TRB Chemedica International. Companies are focusing on expansion of their geographical reach and increase domestic sales in order to enhance their share in the global viscosupplementation market.
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