Increasing R&D activities in the pharmaceutical industry expected to boost empty capsules market growth

Empty Capsules Market by Product (Gelatin Capsules and Non-Gelatin Capsules), Functionality (Immediate-Release Capsules, Sustained-Release Capsules, and Delayed-Release Capsules), Applications (Antibiotic & Antibacterial Drugs, Vitamins & Dietary Supplements, Cough & Cold Drugs, Antacid & Antiflatulent Preparations, Antianemic Preparations, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, and Cardiovascular Therapy Drugs), End User (Pharmaceutical Industry, Nutraceutical Industry, Cosmetic Industry, and Research Laboratories) – Global Outlook & Forecast 2021-2031

According to the deep-dive market assessment study conducted by Growth+ Reports, the global empty capsules market was pegged at ~US$ 2.15 billion in 2020. The market is expected to witness a CAGR of ~7.1% from 2021 to 2031. 

Factors attributing to the growth of the empty capsules market include increasing R&D activities in the pharmaceutical industry, a growing aging population with the increasing need for medicines, and advancements in capsule drug delivery technologies. However, ethical concerns and low availability of raw materials (especially gelatin) are some of the factors restraining the market growth to a certain extent.

Players in the empty capsules market are focusing on increasing their production capacities. For instance, in May 2018, Lonza opened a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina (U.S.). This facility added 50,000 sq ft manufacturing space to its existing specialty ingredients production capabilities. This site manufactures empty capsules for the global biopharma, consumer health, and nutrition markets. Growth in capsules manufacturing capacities will, in turn, drive the empty capsules market growth.

Most of the capsules available in the market are manufactured using gelatin as their cost is comparatively low. However, the demand for vegetarian capsules is growing. Vegans/ vegetarian and religious people/ethnic groups have raised concerns regarding the use of gelatin capsules. Owing to this, companies in the market have begun focusing on manufacturing vegetarian capsules. These capsules are made up of cellulose from plants. Factors such as relatively greater stability and better resistance to humidity and heat have led to higher demand for these capsules.

Companies in the market are focused on launching new solutions and technologies that help them to offer high-quality capsules. For instance, in November 2020, Roquette, provider of pharmaceutical excipients, launched pea starch technology – Lycagel system, a pharmaceutical-grade solution for vegetarian softgel capsule formulations. This system offers a plant-based solution that is suitable for nutraceutical as well as pharmaceutical applications that meet the U.S. and the EU pharmacopeia standards. According to the company officials, this system will help in bringing vegetarian alternatives to the market quickly, without significant changes in the existing operations.

Ethical concerns regarding the consumption of animal-derived materials among vegans, vegetarians, and religious people are one of the major factors restraining the growth of the market. Gelatin is commonly derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. This has created a concern among people having religious beliefs as they restrict the consumption of animal-derived products. Moreover, the lower availability of raw materials in the gelatin industry is also hindering market growth to a certain extent.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. Factors attributing to the growth of the empty capsules market in this region include increasing demand for empty capsules in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals industry. Moreover, a large patient pool and increasing health consciousness among the population are other factors propelling the empty capsules market in this region.

Some of the prominent players operating in the global empty capsules market include Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., ACG, Catalent, Inc., Qualicaps, CapsCanada, Suheung, Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients, NecLife, Bright Pharma Caps, and Roxlor LLC, among others.

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