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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Market: An Opportunity of US$ 2.3Bn Amidst Serious Public Health Threat

The global Respiratory Syncytial Virus market is broadly affected by the rising prevalence of RSV and other related respiratory tract infections. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated that RSV affects nearly 64 million people and causes 160,000 deaths each year globally. Despite increased awareness of viral infections in developed and stable economies, one of the most significant obstacles in handling RSV-related mortality is the lack of access to healthcare, diagnostic facilities, and other related services. A number of companies are already involved in the development of innovative drugs or therapeutics to treat RSV and emerging pipelines are proliferating at a rapid pace. Also, lack of awareness related to RSV increases the prevalence of RSV in infants and requires hospitalization. Hence, companies and institutions are actively working on spreading awareness by providing educational messages and resources via social media platforms to prevent RSV 

The Global Respiratory Syncytial Virus market generated a revenue of US$ 1,669.5 million in 2020 and is growing at a compound annual growth of 14.9% during the forecast period 2017 to 2027. RSV is transferred through small droplets and contaminated surfaces, just as most other respiratory infections. In the United States, it is the most prevalent cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one year.

The factors like the increasing prevalence of Respiratory Syncytial Virus and the development of targeted therapies are propelling the overall growth of the global RSV market. According to research, the annual RSV burden worldwide was 33.1 million in 2015, resulting in 3.2 million hospitalizations and 59,600 fatalities in children under the age of five, with RSV-related infant mortality happening more frequently in low and middle economies. Targeted therapies like monoclonal antibody-related therapies whose repetitive treatment reduces hospitalization cases to more than half. Conversely, the advanced technologies used in the treatment regimens are responsible for the high cost of treatment. For instance, it was reported that Synagis, a costly RSV antiviral medicine, was exclusively available in North and South America, Europe, Kuwait, and Australia, but not in low-and middle-income countries due to issues related to affordability. In addition, rural communities all around the world confront difficulties in obtaining healthcare. The lack of availability of point-of-care (POC) diagnostic instruments was a major impediment. Other barriers are a lack of diagnostic funding, a shortage of specialists, and a lack of institutional support. Moreover, there is not much awareness regarding this contagious disease. Despite its high incidence and possible severity in infant populations around the world, many parents and families are unaware of RSV. However, this ubiquitous, infectious seasonal disease poses a severe public health risk, infecting babies within two years at a higher rate. RSV is also the major cause of acute lower respiratory tract infection in infants and young children, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, respiratory syncytial virus normally causes mild cold-like symptoms, and most patients recover in weeks. Runny nose, loss of appetite, fever, and wheezing are some of the symptoms. The pathogen poses a higher risk of serious illness in infants and the elderly people. The CDC issued a Health Advisory Network warning to doctors and other health care professionals to be on the lookout for RSV, which can cause pneumonia, especially in very young children and newborns, due to an increase in RSV infections.

The global burden of RSV increased amidst the covid-19 pandemic. For instance, in the United States, there is an out-of-season RSV outbreak, and younger Covid patients are becoming sicker in high numbers and developing more severe diseases. Also, overcrowding induced by the RSV pandemic, as well as an increase in Covid-19 cases, is a new challenge for pediatric hospitals. In young infants and older individuals, RSV has been linked to serious illness. Because of its increased activity, the CDC recommends that patients with acute respiratory disease who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, be tested for RSV.

The market comprises of different drug types available for Respiratory Syncytial Virus including Synagis, Virazole, and others. However, Synagis dominates the market share as it is an FDA-approved prescription that contains virus-fighting antibodies and aids in the prevention of serious respiratory tract infections caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Among dosage forms, the injectable is mostly preferred as it provides the advantage of the immediate onset of action. As per treatment type, immune prophylaxis has more than 60 percent market share in the year 2020 owing to its specific and directed nature. RSV is linked to an increase in the number of hospitalizations. As a result, the hospital dominated the market in 2020, accounting for about 40% of all distribution channels.

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Due to a high number of respiratory infections across North America and Europe are currently dominating the global market. In contrast, the Asia-Pacific RSV market is a developing market, with rising RSV infection rates and increased healthcare awareness. 

In February 2021, GlaxoSmithKline, a key competitor in the RSV industry, will begin a phase 3 study in older people to evaluate its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, the candidate. The vaccine showed encouraging safety and immunogenicity and was well-tolerated. Pfizer, a major competitor of GSK in the Respiratory Syncytial Virus market, has begun investigational research (phase 1/2) in healthy adult volunteers for a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine. The goal of the trial program was to provide vaccination for people who were at a higher risk of infection. AstraZeneca's MedImmune division had been working on MEDI8897, also known as nirsevima, a next-generation RSV treatment (a vaccine in Phase 2 studies). In 2017, AstraZeneca and Sanofi Pasteur agreed to co-develop and co-market nirsevima, and multiple clinical trials are underway.

Other key players doing well in the market are AstraZeneca, AbbVie, Inc., Bausch Health Companies, Inc., SOBI, and others. among others. The Global Respiratory Syncytial Virus Market is segmented as:

  • By Drug Type
    • Synagis
    • Virazole
    • Palivizumab
    • Riba Tab
    • Others
  • By Dosage Form 
    • Oral
    • Injectable
    • Inhaler
    • Others
  • By Treatment Type
    • Immune prophylaxis
    • Supportive Care
    • Antiviral Medications
  • By Distribution Channel
    • Hospital Pharmacies
    • Drug Stores
    • Retail Pharmacies
    • Clinics
  • By Geography
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
      • Mexico
    • Europe
      • The UK
      • Germany
      • France
      • Italy
      • Spain
      • Poland
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific 
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia & New Zealand
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
      • UAE
      • Saudi Arabia
      • South Africa
      • Rest of MEA
    • South America
      • Argentina
      • Brazil
      • Rest of South America

Developing economies offer lucrative opportunities for companies to expand their businesses. Several key players contributing to the market are: 

  • AbbVie, Inc.
  • AstraZeneca PLC
  • Atea Pharmaceuticals
  • Bausch Health Companies Inc.
  • Celltrion Inc.
  • Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC
  • Johnson & Johnson's
  • mAbxience
  • Merck Co., Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Sanofi
  • Other prominent players