Human Albumin Market: Size, Trends And Health Benefits

Human blood consists of 55 percent plasma, out of which albumin is the single largest protein, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total protein content of plasma. Also known as human serum albumin, it is synthesized by the liver and plays an essential role in the healthy functioning of a body, by transporting hormones, fatty acids, medicine, and other materials through the blood and maintaining osmotic blood pressure.

There are a variety of uses for human albumin that have driven the demand for it in the market. Although the serum albumin is produced by all vertebrae, only human albumin is used for medicinal purposes. Bovine serum albumin, or serum albumin that is extracted from cows, is used primarily in lab experiments. Larger animals tend to produce more albumin as compared to smaller vertebrae.

Human Albumin Market Size

The global human albumin market is expected to reach a size of 1,260 Metric Tons (MT) by 2020. The top three manufacturers in the global human albumin market, CSL currently ranked at number 1, Grifols at rank 2 and Shire, account for more than 50 percent of the market.  The growth rate for the human albumin market differs between developing and developed countries, with the growth rate in developing countries estimated to be 8 percent, as compared to a 3 percent growth in North America and Europe. At a global level, Italy is a major consumer of albumin, followed by the U.S. and China. The consumption of albumin is significantly lower in countries like India, due to lack of access to suitable healthcare facilities, affordability of products and lack of infrastructure for production.

Human Albumin Market Trends

There are several trends in the human albumin market that are expected to further expand the market. Apart from medical therapeutic use, albumin is also being increasingly used in drug formulations and in vaccines. Since albumin acts as a pharmaceutical stabilizer during the formulation and reconstitution stages of a pharmaceutical composition, it reduces denaturation of the active ingredients, preventing their loss and making the composition more effective. The insignificant immunogenicity of human albumin, when injected into patients, makes it suitable for use in vaccine formulations. Other uses that are expected to drive the market for human albumin include as a sealant in surgeries and as a coating for medical equipment and devices. Research is also underway for finding improved molecular separation technology and purification methods for the human albumin proteins so that a purer version of human albumin can be produced.

Human Albumin Health Benefits

Human albumin offers immense health benefits as it aids in the transportation of any medication or hormones that enter the body or are produced in the body which aids in the treatment of any health condition. It is used to replace lost blood volume and lost fluid, whether it’s due to injury, wounds, infections, burns, shock, or surgery. In addition, human albumin is used in the treatment of respiratory distress, kidney diseases, liver failure, and renal dialysis treatment.

Human albumin is responsible for maintaining 70-80 percent of the colloid pressure of blood plasma which makes it useful to regulate the volume of blood in the body. Human albumin is available in 5 percent and 20 percent concentrations and is injected intravenously, especially in cases of blood loss. The degree of volume expansion of blood loss and the duration for recovery depends upon the blood volume lost initially.

Low albumin levels or Hypoalbuminemia can be a result of inflammation, malnutrition, shock, liver disease, heart disease or kidney disease. Common symptoms include fluid retention, signs of jaundice, weakness, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, nausea, hair thinning, and dry/itchy skin. Hypoalbuminemia is treated with administration of human albumin, along with treatment for the underlying cause. Apart from prescribed human albumin, the general level of albumin in the body can be increased by consuming high protein food items such as meat, peanut butter, and eggs.

Human Albumin Market Challenges

Although there are clearly plenty of benefits of human albumin and accordingly the demand is also growing not only for therapeutic applications but pharmaceuticals and vaccines as well, there are certain challenges to the market. Human plasma donations are limited in supply and the manufacturing process is costly and time-consuming. Products made from human plasma also risk containing infectious agents, for example, viruses, that can cause diseases, therefore extensive screening, testing and treating is required.

Human albumin offers immense health benefits, helping in the prevention and treatment of deadly medical conditions, especially in treating blood loss. The market size for human albumin is growing at a steady pace, with the growth higher in developing nations as compared to the developed nations. Efforts to further refine and purify human albumin are underway and more applications of the plasma material are gaining in popularity. Despite the varied benefits, the production process is expensive and time-consuming, posing a challenge to the growth of the human albumin market.