According to a February 2015 market research report from Bio-Tech Systems Inc, advances in neurological and cardiac imaging are predicted to fuel United States growth for SPECT and PET radiopharmaceutical markets in the second half of the decade. Bio-Tech predicts that as the relationship between imaging and therapy develops, emerging SPECT/PET products that leverage this relationship, such as newly approved PET neurology products for Alzheimer’s, will create good growth opportunities. Bio-Tech reports that 3 products in this area have now received FDA approval for implementation.

Several other new products for PET imaging now in development are predicted to fuel growth, says Bio-Tech, including a PET cardiology technology for myocardial imaging, and the introduction of a new rubidium generator. Some new PET products are being developed based on genetic markers, and are expected to create additional opportunities. Further, new SPECT imaging agents are also being developed for important applications that are predicted to have broad appeal. Bio-Tech forecasts that, ultimately, PET will be used to augment SPECT while exploring the underlying causes of disease, permitting more effective treatment.

The Bio-Tech report names several new SPECT products, approved in 2012 and 2013, that are expected to drive market growth. One product, Lymphoseek, is designed to identify sentinel lymph nodes in draining tumors, allowing their removal without disturbing other lymph nodes. Another product, RIGScan, is reportedly used to identify malignant tissue during surgery, helping to assure that all affected tissue is removed. AndreView, a third product named in the Bio-Tech report, has been approved for several uses, including the imaging of adrenal cancer to allow more effective diagnosis and treatment, improving patient survival.

Bio-Tech reports that new products are being developed across a broad spectrum in cardiology and oncology for both PET and SPECT that are more sensitive and specific than existing agents. Some of the PET cardiology products emerging are expected to image flow abnormalities and perfusion defects more precisely than SPECT. FluoroPharma is also developing 3 new cardiology PET agents for cardiac blood flow imaging, cardiac viability assessment, and imaging inflamed atherosclerotic plaque. The prediction is that these agents will improve sensitivity in diagnosis and facilitate more effective treatment.

In oncology several new imaging biomarkers are being developed that are anticipated to be applicable to a broad class of tumors. These products will likely broaden the base of PET and increase its presence in many important areas. Most of these new products are expected to enter the market around 2017-2018.

Developments are seen with another oncology platform that involves imaging hypoxia in tumors, allowing the radiotherapy dose to be adjusted to fit the oxygen level. New radiopharmaceutical agents used in this platform are expected to find a place in PET imaging because of their ability to measure biochemical processes that show patient response to therapy. According to Bio-Tech, these developments will expand the use of PET and increase its effectiveness with a broader range of patients. These developments may also provide more options for referring physicians in applying PET effectively, helping to increase PET utility and create a good foundation for continued growth.

Also included in the Bio-Tech report was reference to some positive policy shifts at the FDA that allow for a reduction in the time required to demonstrate performance and get approval of new products and technologies. An example cited in the report was the SPA (Special Protocol Assessment), an agreement between the developer of the product and the FDA with respect to the performance goals and the clinical end-points that will meet the FDA’s requirements for approval.

For more details from the February 3 report by Marvin Burns on healthcare market predictions, visit the Bio-Tech Systems website.