Recombinant Albumin to Open New Growth Avenues for the Global Albumin Market

Albumin is also called the main defense regulation protein of our body. A well-described carrier protein, albumin has high concentration of plasma (nearly 55% of body’s total plasma content) and is known for its many uses in the field of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
The major functions of albumin market include the transportation of fatty acids to tissues, stabilization of protein, and inducing an antioxidant effect in plasma. The high concentration of plasma and interstitial space makes albumin effective in controlling body fluids, leading to its use as a plasma volume expander for many decades. Along with the therapeutic and diagnostic properties of albumin, it is also a very well known excipient.
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Albumin’s use an excipient, a substance that acts as a binding material to combine with active ingredients and facilitate the transport of drug in the body, has widespread applications in the fields of drug manufacture, drug delivery, medical device coatings, and vaccine manufacture. It is also used widely as a component of media in the production of vaccines.
Traditionally, albumin has been sourced from either bovine or human serum. Obtaining albumin from these sources also results in a number of concerns regarding reliability of supply, blood borne contaminations through mycoplasma, prions, and viruses, and variability in the performance of the product. As a result, there is an increased demand for replacement of albumin obtained from an animal-free source, especially in the biopharmaceutical industry. To benefit from this lucrative growth opportunity, many companies are developing high quality, animal-free strains of recombinant albumin from some plant seeds.
There are many benefits of recombinant albumin over animal-derived albumin, including: 
  • Excellent functionality suited for a huge set of applications
  • Consistent, high-quality, and consistent core ingredient
  • Capability of being produced in a large-scale, animal-free way complaint with regulatory standards
  • Structurally and biochemically similar to animal-derived albumin, but without any side effects associated with human and animal derived albumin
  • Better consistency, regulatory compliance, and safety

Paradigm Shift from Human Serum Albumin to Animal-free Recombinant Albumin

According to a report published by Transparency Market Research, the global market for albumin had a valuation of US$707.9 million in 2013. By developing at a low, albeit positive, 2.3% CAGR between 2014 and 2020, the market will rise to US$828.2 million by 2020. 
While factors such as technological advances in the field of protein purification and improved product stability are creating positive growth prospects for the market, the rising demand for animal-free recombinant albumin is reshaping the market’s structure. The increasing demand for animal-free recombinant albumin has also presented before the market numerous growth opportunities in terms of untapped application areas.
Till 2013, the market segment for human serum albumin remained the leading revenue generator of the global albumin market. However, the rising demand for this market segment could get inhibited in the coming years owing to mounting concern regarding certain impurities in human serum albumin, a factor that has prompted researchers to look for alternatives. Rising concerns regarding cruelty towards bovine fetuses in the process of deriving bovine serum has also prompted researchers and manufacturers to look for effective alternatives. As a result, the market segment of animal-free recombinant albumin is expected to rise grow at the fastest pace amongst the other two albumin types, human serum albumin and bovine albumin.

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