Empty Capsule Market Trends Analysis
Empty capsules are made from gelatin, which is derived from animal protein (pork skin, animal bones & skin and fish bones) and plant polysaccharides or their derivatives (HPMC, starch, pullulan and others). These empty capsules are made in two halves: a lower-diameter “body” that is filled with various drug dosage forms and then sealed using a higher-diameter “cap”. Empty capsules are conventionally used as a dosage form for both prescription and OTC drugs, herbal products and nutrient supplements (either in powder or pellets form). In addition, empty capsules are also used for filling liquids and semi-solid dosage forms, especially for drugs that have low bioavailability, poor water solubility, critical stability, low dose/high potency and low melting points. Empty capsules offer some advantages over soft-gelatin capsules such as constant capsule dimensions and low sensitive to oxygen permeability. Also, these capsules can be manufactured in small batches and can be developed and manufactured in-house. In this report, the global empty capsules market has been segmented on the basis of product type, raw material, size of capsules, route of administration, end user and region.
Steady increase in the number of photochemically unstable drugs will continue to positively influence the growth of the empty capsules market in 2016, with global revenues expected to increase by 6% to reach US$ 1,432.6 Mn.
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Increasing demand for vegan and Halal pharmaceuticals is ramping up adoption, and providing support to a market, which is primarily driven by Type-A (pork-based) capsules. Development of hypromellose capsules for the treatment of pulmonary and non-pulmonary diseases are also creating growth opportunities for manufacturers.
Gelatin-based capsules will continue to account for higher demand than vegetarian-based capsules, accounting for nearly 71% revenue share of the market in 2016. Type-A (pork skin), the largest segment in terms of raw materials, will grow at a lower rate than non-pork based empty capsules, especially hydroxy propyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) and fish bone gelatin. While type-A (pork skin) revenues will grow by 4.62% in 2016, fish bone gelatin and HPMC revenues will grow by 8.87% and 8.40% respectively.
Size “4” capsules will continue to be the largest revenue segment on the basis of capsule size, with total revenues expected to reach US$ 263.1 Mn in 2016. Size “1” and Size “2” capsules will also account for substantial demand, collectively accounting for over US$ 430 Mn in market revenues in 2016.
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Empty capsules are administered orally, and only a small percentage of these drugs is inhaled – the former accounted for 91.1% revenue share of the global market in 2015. While inhalation-based empty capsules will grow at a higher rate, they will continue to account for a revenue share of less than 10% of the overall market.
Pharmaceutical companies – the largest end-use segment for empty capsules – will continue to post strong gains in 2016. Revenues from this segment are anticipated to increase at 5.79% in 2016 to total US$ 940.8 Mn. Demand will also be healthy in the cosmetics and nutraceutical sector, with this segment collectively accounting for nearly US$ 360 Mn in revenues in 2016.
The U.S. is the largest market for empty capsules, with total revenues expected to reach US$ 500 Mn in 2016. The North America empty capsules market (U.S. and Canada) is the largest globally in terms of revenues, accounting for nearly 43% revenue share of the market. Western Europe will maintain its position as the second largest market for empty capsules, with total revenues expected to reach US$ 279.4 Mn in 2016. Germany and France are the two largest markets in terms of revenues, with the former accounting for the highest revenue share and the latter growing at the highest rate.
Key players in the global empty capsules market included include Capsugel, ACG Worldwide, CapsCanada Corporation, Roxlor LLC, Qualicaps, Inc., Suheung Co., Ltd., Medi-Caps Ltd., Sunil Healthcare Ltd., Snail Pharma Industry Co., Ltd. and Bright Pharma Caps, Inc.
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