COVID-19 Impact on Cytokines in Healthcare Industry
COVID-19, the pandemic as a whole, ever since the virus started spreading since the end of 2019 has been affecting an increasing number of people around the globe along with patients suffering from diseases that are caused because of unusual functioning of cytokines affecting the global cytokines market. COVID-19 spreads through droplets from the infected person, anyone in close proximity with the infected person is at a high risk of getting infected, increasing the incidences of COVID-19 patients which therefore has resulted in increasing instances of cytokines storms, thus increasing the market size.
Moreover, lack of an effective treatment for COVID-19 as of yet has resulted in various levels of lockdowns around the globe which is impacting the number of open patients for cytokines related disorders along with having a direct impact on the economy and the financial system as a whole.
- COVID-19 infection is growing at an alarming rate. As a result of this, a significant amount of related data, studies and research works are also coming up. From these studies and data, it has been observed that the infection of COVID-19 is accompanied by a very aggressive inflammatory response known as cytokines storm which is the release of a huge amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The excessive inflammatory reaction is a result of host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- It has been suggested that the cytokines storm is correlated with unfavorable prognosis of COVID-19, multi – organ failure and lung injury by a number of studies that has been analyzing cytokines profiles from COVID-19 patients. As a result, the situation has increased the size for cytokines market.
The pandemic does not have significant impact on prices if cytokines market products. Some of the instances include:
- Common drugs used for treating cytokines storms that are being used for two decades by millions of people cost USD 25 on an average for treatment for a month before COVID-19. Because the prices were affordable for a major portion of the population, there has not been a significant impact of COVID-19 on price. The companies in medication sector, however, are trying to keep the prices more affordable to gain profit as compared to their competitors.
- Moreover, one of the major emerging applications of cytokines is immunotherapy cancer treatment. Its approximate price in 2018 (before coronavirus pandemic) was USD 100,000 per patient for the treatment for one year. In 2020 (during coronavirus pandemic) as well, the price for the treatment was an approximate of USD 100,100 per patient for treatment for a year, suggesting that the price for cytokines related treatments has not been severely impacted by COVID-19.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
The demand in cytokines market has increased during the pandemic in various ways either because of the lockdowns and stringent guidelines or because of the COVID-19 virus itself in some cases such as:
- On the basis of therapeutic applications, cytokines treatments may be used for diseases such as arthritis, cancer, asthma and airway inflammation. As a result of the pandemic, instances of respiratory problems (specifically in COVID-19 patients) and arthritis (as a result of lifestyle changes) has increased resulting in growth of the market.
- For cosmetic industry, the cytokines market has increased rapidly as a result of increasing influence from social media and the lockdowns during the pandemic which has increased the demand for self-care products.
- The excessive inflammatory reaction in cases of cytokines storms is a result of host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has been suggested that the cytokines storm is correlated directly with unfavorable prognosis of COVID-19, multi – organ failure and lung injury by a number of studies that has been analyzing cytokines profiles from COVID-19 patients. As a result, the situation has increased the size for cytokines market.
- According to a study, in cases of cytokines storms, specifically in patients infected with COVID-19, the probability of death increases by 8.2% for every yearly increase in age on an average in general scenario, however, this is not the case with male gender, resulting in probability of having a comparatively smaller market size for males when compared to demand and market size for females.
- Moreover, because of increasing instances of related patients, the demand for immunoassay apparatus has increased during the pandemic.
- AYUSH had reported a three-fold increase in demand during the pandemic owing to an increased demand for immunity boosting and natural products.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN
Because of the various lockdown guidelines imposed in various regions during the COVID-19 outbreak, even if most of the companies and hospitals have shifted to the usage of significant automation techniques for the production, either individually or in collaboration with other companies, a huge impact on the process flow because of lack of man-force requirement cannot be neglected as an impact of COVID-19. Moreover, the whole process needs to be re-planned and executed in consideration with the restrictions starting from initial stage of production, for instance, improved hygiene standards. This has led to an increase in production costs and time as compared to before.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain for medical products as the organization expects that it may have been impacted as a result of various new regulations during the spread of the virus leading to disruptions in supply or shortage of the products. Moreover, FDA has been taking initiatives to help alleviate and prevent the shortage and disruptions in the production and distribution processes for both drugs and medical devices.
Supply chain of more companies in cytokines market also have been significantly impacted during the pandemic, however, there are also such companies in the market which have not been negatively impacted during the time.
- Pfizer Inc. has reported challenges in supply chain for raw material supplies for their products as a result of COVID-19.
- AbbVie Inc. has reported challenges in transportations as a result of changing guidelines across regions and governments, changing safety standards in manufacturing sites and labs, standardization of new practices along with redundancy of network for appropriate and timely functioning of various processes.
- Novartis AG, however, continues to operate and deliver its products to healthcare providers and patients without much anticipated impact on its supply chain around the world as a result of strong inventory and mitigation measures.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS BY MANUFACTURERS
The companies and governments are implementing certain strategic initiatives for improvement in processes, distribution and revenue during COVID-19 including new partnerships, acquisitions, product launches and mergers. Some of the instances for the same from players in cytokines market include:
- Pfizer Inc. has outlined a five-point plan as a response to the global health crisis. This plan involves sharing tools and insights, marshalling the people, applying drug development expertise, offering manufacturing capabilities and improving future rapid response.
- Johnson and Johnson Services, Inc. efforts to identify therapies and develop a vaccine for the infection, supporting frontline workers and communities, providing easy access to products, solutions, medicines and devices at the time of lockdown.
- Agreement between Lonza and AstraZeneca for manufacturing AZD7442, a potential prevention for COVID-19 updated policies for the use of disinfectants as a result of the pandemic by Lonza group.
- Companies as GlaxoSmithKline plc and Sanofi are directing a huge portion of their research and development activities towards COVID-19 and therefore, cytokines storms as they are a major immune response in COVID-19 patients.
- AbbVie Inc. has been collaborating with major health institutions and authorities to identify potential treatments for the virus and providing free home delivery for major test kits in the U.S.
- Novartis AG committed to maintain strong support to healthcare systems and patients and price stability for essential medicines.
As any other market and the financial system globally, COVID-19 has significantly impacted global cytokines market in various ways. However, not all the aspects of global cytokines market have been impacted negatively. To summarize, price for products in the market has not been affected much and the demand has increased in various segments of the cytokines market. The supply chain of the market players, however, has been impacted in a negative way but manufacturers are taking required measures to respond to the situation in effective ways. Moreover, the manufacturers have been taking significant strategic decisions to improve their services during the pandemic.