High level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in blood may turn life-threatening, as it deposits in the blood vessels, narrowing the lumen, and leads to coronary heart diseases. This condition is commonly called atherosclerosis. LDL apheresis is a procedure that involves withdrawing blood from the patient’s body, removing LDL cholesterol and pumping the remaining blood back into the patient’s body. The LDL apheresis procedure is recommended to patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a common genetic disorder that leads to a high level of LDL cholesterol. This procedure is also performed for patients who are non-responsive to medications for lowering blood LDL cholesterol levels. The heterozygous type of FH has prevalence of 1 in 500 across all the countries, while the homozygous FH is found in 1 in 10 million population.
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According to the World Health Organization, in 2008, the prevalence of elevated total cholesterol was 54% in Europe, 48% in North America, and 29% in Southeast Asia. It is estimated that one-third of the heart diseases are caused due to elevated level of cholesterol in the blood. Lifestyle-induced diseases, pollution, and other metabolic diseases are further projected to increase the number of patients with atherosclerosis. Other application areas for LDL apheresis therapy are under study such as renal diseases, hematology diseases, and others. This is projected to drive the demand for LDL apheresis machines and disposables in the near future. Moreover, favorable reimbursement scenario in developed markets such as North America and Europe is driving more patients to opt for LDL apheresis therapy. However, the procedure attracts high capital investment in terms of device and set up. It also attract expensive consumables and skilled healthcare professionals to perform the procedure, which in turn makes the procedure expensive.
The global LDL apheresis therapy market is segmented on the basis of product, technology, and end-user. In terms of product, the global LDL apheresis therapy market can be segmented into devices and disposables, the disposable segment include columns, filters, tubing, etc. In terms of technology, the global LDL apheresis therapy market can be segmented into double filtration plasmapheresis or cascade filtration, immunoadsorption, heparin-induced LDL precipitation (HELP), dextran sulphate lipid adsorption, and hemoperfusion. The hemoperfusion is performed by advanced procedures such as direct adsorption of lipoproteins (DALI) and whole blood perfusion (Liposorber D). Dextran sulfate lipid adsorption and HELP are the most widely employed techniques for LDL apheresis in recent years. However, technically advanced hemoperfusion systems are found to be more promising and are anticipated to dominate the market in near future due to their efficiency and simplicity of use. In terms of end-user, the global LDL apheresis therapy market can be segmented into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and blood banks.
In terms of geography, the global LDL apheresis therapy market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. North America is estimated to hold a prominent share of the global LDL apheresis therapy market and is anticipated to expand at a high growth rate due to acceptance of technology, well-established healthcare industry, and high healthcare expenditure from the public and private sector. Europe is projected to follow North America in terms of share of the global LDL apheresis therapy market due to increasing prevalence of elevated cholesterol in blood and developments in healthcare infrastructure. Technical advancements in markets such as Japan and increasing healthcare expenditure in emerging markets such as India and China are likely to propel the LDL apheresis therapy market in Asia Pacific in the near future.
Major players operating in the global LDL apheresis therapy market include Kaneka Pharma Europe N.V, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., Medicap GmbH, Kawasumi Laboratories Inc. Terumo Corporation, and Haemonetics Corporation.
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