Global Chiral Chemicals Market: Introduction
The chiral technology has made significant growth over the recent years, and the development of chiral chemicals has become faster and cost effective with the development of advanced analytical methods. Chirality is a geometric property of some molecules; the compounds exhibiting chirality are defined as chiral compounds, which are non-superimposable on its mirror image. The existence of an asymmetric carbon center (the carbon atom attached to four different substituents) gives rise to chirality in different compounds. A chiral compound and its mirror image are referred to as enantiomers, which basically differ only in their optical activity. Enantiomers possess relatively same physical properties; difference exists based on the direction in which they rotate the plane polarized light i.e. clockwise or counterclockwise.
The significance of chiral compounds arises in the pharmaceutical industry for drug development, and can also be substantiated by the fact that more than half of the total drugs existing today are chiral molecules/ compounds. Although the chiral drug enantiomers possess same physical properties and are connected by same chemical atoms, they exhibit significant differences in their pharmacology and effects on biological organisms. While synthesizing chiral drugs, rigorous efforts are made in the separation of enantiomers to ensure that only the biologically active one is present in the final drug.
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The primary reason for this precaution is that these enantiomers interact with enzymes or chiral chemical compounds differently. The biological activity of these enantiomers differ due to such differences in their interactions. Moreover, biological systems identify the two enantiomers as two very different constituents. On the commercial scale, the chiral chemicals are separated by traditional, asymmetric, biological, and other methods, which include membrane separation, etc. Due to their high functionality, the use of chiral chemicals in across various end-uses industries such as, pharmaceutical, research, agro-chemicals, etc. is increasing and their demand is anticipated to increase at a high CAGR over the forecast period 2016–2026.
Global Chiral Chemicals Market: Market Dynamics
Though the chiral chemical/ drugs have been in use much before the rise of the modern medical technologies, it is only in recent times that the use of chiral chemicals in the pharmaceutical industry has gained attention. This is primarily due to the growing understanding about enantiomers and difference in their biological activity.
The global pharmaceutical industry is fairing at a rate higher than the average global GDP rate. The use of chiral chemicals within the pharmaceutical industry for cancer therapies, antihistamines, antivirals, anorexics, antibiotics and anti-diabetics is increasing, which in turn, is expected to drive the overall demand growth of chiral chemicals through 2026. Also, use of chiral chemicals as diagnostic and research chemicals is also expected to push their demand in the global market over the coming years.
Manufacturers and key market players are found to have been involved in high research and development to synthesize chiral chemicals with enhanced activity for target end uses. Huge developments are coming into picture related to analytical techniques of chiral chemicals and its enantiomers, both during the development of the drug or while monitoring the effects and result of the drug on the body.
Global Chiral Chemicals Market: Market Segmentation
Out of the many ways by which the global market for chiral chemicals can be segmented is based its application. On the basis of application, the chiral chemicals market is segmented into pharmaceutical, agricultural chemicals, flavors and fragrances, and others. The pharmaceutical segment is estimated to account for significant shares in the global chiral chemicals market throughout the forecast period. With the advancements in enantioselective analytical chemistry for the development of innovative pharmaceutical and drugs, the segment is also expected to increase at a high CAGR over the forecast period.
Global Chiral Chemicals Market Players
Some of the market participants identified across the value chain of global chiral chemicals market include BASF SE, Cambrex Corporation, Agilent Technologies, Daicel Corporation, and Pfizer Inc. among others.
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