With the increasing global population, the incidence rates of several chronic disease indications, such as diabetes, anaphylaxis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, are on the rise. This has led to a rise in the demand for effective treatment options for patients suffering from these diseases. Further, in order to improve the quality of life in these patients, companies have developed novel devices capable of delivering a variety of formulations of different drugs / therapies, in an efficient and relatively simple manner.
The emerging trend of self-injection has been dubbed as a win-win scenario for both patients and healthcare professionals. In addition to being user-friendly and convenient for patients, it saves on healthcare resources and costs by facilitating a lower-cost method to administer medicines, making self-injection system much more cost effective.
Additionally, it lowers costs associated with needlestick injuries by minimizing the risk to a great extent. The US healthcare industry is reported to endure the cost burden of more than USD 1 billion every year due to these injuries.
Autoinjector As Emerging Drug Delivery Device
Given the inherent benefits of autoinjectors, a number of players have launched their proprietary products in combination with autoinjectors for use across a wide array of disease indications. One of the most widely recognized autoinjector in the market is EpiPen® (Mylan), which is a prefilled epinephrine autoinjector. The generic version of EpiPen received the FDA approval in 2018. Notable examples of other autoinjector-based combination products include Fasenra® Pen (AstraZeneca), Gvoke® Hypopen (Xeris Pharmaceuticals), NUCALA Autoinjector (GlaxoSmithKline), and Vyleesi™Autoinjector (AMAG Pharmaceuticals® / Palatin Technologies). Apart from being a patient-friendly alternative to conventional drug delivery methods, autoinjectors also serve as potential life cycle management tools; several pharmaceutical players have reformulated their proprietary drugs as autoinjector combination products to expand market exclusivity period. For instance, Amgen reformulated lyophilized Enbrel® for delivery via the SureClick® autoinjector to extend the patent protection of the drug by almost 11 years. Further, it is worth mentioning that several autoinjector developers have made significant efforts in developing novel autoinjector technologies, paving the way for new generation of autoinjector devices. The field is presently witnessing several innovations, such as LED / LCD-based visualization, Bluetooth connectivity, dosage recording, safety lock, visual / audible drug delivery confirmation notifications, and automatic drug reconstitution.
We identified 95 unique autoinjector devices, which are available / being developed by over 25 players, for the rapid administration of therapeutic products with varying viscosities and according to the nature of the drug molecule.
The market landscape is predominantly characterized by the presence of several small and mid-sized companies with a few established players.
Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of approved autoinjector combination products for the treatment of a wide array of disease indications. Majority of the combination products were approved in 2018; of these, most were used for the treatment of chronic clinical conditions, such as migraine, rheumatoid arthritis / psoriasis, anaphylaxis, organophosphate poisoning status epilepticus, deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone, and preterm birth.
Although, efforts for developing autoinjectors combination products have been undertaken by players all across the globe, majority of the players (89%) are located in the developed regions (North America and Europe). On the other hand, only 21% companies are based in Asia-Pacific and Middle East and North Africa region.
The market landscape is predominantly characterized by the presence of several small, mid-sized, and large players. It is worth highlighting that majority of the autoinjector combination products are being developed by large and very large companies. Notable examples of such players, include Amgen (US), GlaxoSmithKline (UK), and Novartis (UK).
Partnership Activity Focused on a Diverse Range of Autoinjector Combination Products
During our research, we came across several partnerships and collaborations that have been established in the field of autoinjectors. A significant proportion of the breakthrough research in this domain can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of various industry stakeholders. We observed that many companies have entered this field by in-licensing technologies from other players to establish the necessary expertise required to develop / manufacture autoinjectors. Further, given the multidisciplinary requirements of this class of drug delivery devices, several companies have entered into product co-development and co-commercialization agreements as well.
The various partnership instances were analyzed on the basis of several relevant parameters, such as year of partnership, type of partnership, type of product, key players, and regional distribution of partnership activity.
The number of partnerships signed for autoinjectors have increased steadily between 2016 and 2021, at a CAGR of 32%. Majority of the deals were inked in 2019, followed by deals inked in 2016. It is important to highlight that 75% of the total deals signed in 2021 (till August) are licensing agreements.
Device developers are actively making efforts to introduce safety mechanisms in self-injecting devices to make them safe for use and disposal. In all injector devices, such as autoinjectors, the syringe and needle are usually hidden from view. The needle can be released at the time of administration at the press of a button. In compliance with laws and legislations for the prevention of needlestick injuries, most autoinjectors have an integrated safety device. Further, the device developers are collaborating with digital health companies for integration of drug delivery devices with mobile applications. The primary goal behind this is include patient focus design elements with the disease related information (dose calculation, history of uptake and others) to optimize therapeutic outcomes and to improve medication adherence.
The industry is constantly evolving in the space of drug delivery with emergence of more convenient and patient compliant systems. As the number of commercially available biologics increase, the need for novel delivery devices is also expected to elevate. The historical trends of the existing delivery devices, such as prefilled syringes and insulin pumps, suggest a strong demand in the market. The autoinjectors market is expected to follow a similar growth trend as more patients shift from conventional to user-friendly drug delivery alternatives.
For more details on this emerging domain, check out the following report: