Interferons are a class of proteins generated and released by the host cells in response to the presence of pathogenic microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and tumor cells. Interferons belong to a class of glycoproteins called cytokines and are referred to as first line defenders against microbial infections. Owing to presence of the ability to ‘interfere in viral cell replication’, these proteins fight against an infection by triggering an immune response, that results in the generation of immunologic cells, such as T-cells, natural killer cells and macrophages. Usage of interferon is identified as one of the most advanced and effective clinical methods for treatment of numerous diseases such as hepatitis, sclerosis and cancer.
The market for interferon is projected to show a promising and lucrative growth in the next few years due to continued research and development activities in this field. At present, there are more than 15 human interferons available in the market and this number is expected to grow rapidly in the near future. Increasing global awareness for interferon therapy, rising demand for specialized medicines for diseases such as hepatitis-B, hepatitis-C and cancer and technological advancements in the R&D are some of the factors estimated as the major drivers for interferon market. However, patent expiration, high cost of treatment and R&D are some of the factors expected to hinder the growth of this market.
The global interferon market is segmented on the basis of applications of interferons, such as hepatitis-B, hepatitis C, melanoma, leukemia (interferon alpha), multiple sclerosis (interferon beta), renal cell carcinoma, leukemia (interferon gamma) and others. Moreover, the market can also be segmented on the basis of geographical regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and RoW. North America is identified as the key market owing to technological advancement, growing demand for sophisticated treatment of chronic diseases and strong financial ability to invest in R&D. However, Asia Pacific region is expected to show a rapid and promising growth in the upcoming year, owing to rise in awareness about interferon therapy, an increase in financial ability for R&D and others.
Some of the market players in the interferon market include Roche Inc., Merck & Co.,Inc. Biogen Inc. and others.
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