COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Allergy Diagnostics is projected to reach US$6.4 billion by 2025, driven by the rise in allergies across all age groups. Several reasons have been theorized for this rise including global warming. The rise in temperatures is extending the growing season for plants resulting in increased pollen in the air, a chief cause for respiratory allergies. Hygiene hypothesis is presented as another reason where excessive focus on cleanliness and increased use of sanitizers and disinfectants is reducing exposure to bacteria and viruses which in reality is vital in training the immune system to fight infections. The result is the development of an immune system untaught by infections and parasites to recognize real threats. Children and adults therefore tend to develop hyperactive immune systems incapable of differentiating harmless substances from the harmful substances. Food allergies especially in children has doubled and one the reasons is the overuse of antibiotics and other drugs that reduce acid production in the stomach. This alters the behavior and function of the gastrointestinal tract inducing allergic reactions to food. Also, delayed introduction of certain foods in babies is also a key factor for developing food allergies later in life. Studies have revealed that over 25% of toddlers not introduced to peanuts in their diet go on to develop peanut allergy. Few of the common food allergies include eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, fish, among others. Vitamin D hypothesis associates deficiency or hypovitaminosis D with increased asthma and allergic rhinitis prevalence. New studies are revealing insights into the pleiotropic effects of vitamin D. Vitamin D is increasingly being recognized as an immunomodulator and its supplementation is gaining prominence in the treatment of allergic diseases. The most interesting of the reasons put forward for the prevalence of allergies is the hidden Neanderthal DNA present in modern humans. Inter-species breeding between modern humans and ape-like species called the Neanderthals and Denisovans about 50,000 years ago is believed to be responsible for our susceptibility to allergies by influencing the genetic diversity in present-day immunity genes belonging to the human Toll-like-receptor (TLRs) family. All humans today carry trace amounts of Neanderthal DNA in the range of 1% to 6%.
Whatever maybe the reason for the rise in allergies, the scenario is throwing the spotlight on the state of allergy care worldwide, which continues to be chronically under-resourced, under-supplied with high unmet diagnostic and treatment needs. Allergy diagnostics and treatment are therefore expected to witness robust untapped potential for growth with the need of the hour being a holistic integrated approach to allergy management. The robust commercial rewards, in this space, will induce more intensive R&D for the development of non-invasive, painless, needle free allergy testing and screening methods. While the skin prick test remains popular and widespread, companies are developing innovative pain and scar-free alternatives such as single drop blood tests. The mast cell activation test (MAT) which uses blood (serum) is an example in this space. Rising in prominence is "molecular allergology" aimed at more accurately identifying and managing IgE-mediated allergic reactions and disorders like allergic respiratory diseases, food allergies, and anaphylaxis. Growth in the market hinges on the progress made in quantifying and benchmarking specific IgE responsible for the allergy. Specific IgE testing has the benefit of providing valuable diagnostic and prognostic information on serious allergies. AllerGenis LLC has broken new grounds in the long-stagnant allergy diagnostics market with its proprietary Luminex`s bead-based xMAP® technology capable of isolating allergenic proteins into smaller peptides called epitopes for easy identification. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 60.7% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 15% over the analysis period supported by rising rates of skin allergies and high number of misdiagnosis of food allergies due to imprecise tests.