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  • Published In : Feb 2024
  • Code : CMI6672
  • Pages :250
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Pharmaceutical

The Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market size was valued at US$ 691.3 Mn in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 1,604.4 Mn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1% from 2024 to 2031.

The growing demand for nuclear medicine diagnostics and treatment across healthcare facilities in the Middle East region is driving significant spending on radioisotopes. The widespread adoption of precision oncology has also increased the demand for specialized radioisotopes in cancer therapy.

The Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market is witnessing positive trends. Increasing healthcare investments by regional governments are promoting the development of the nuclear medicine infrastructure and services. Moreover, the growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases coupled with an expanding aging population requiring healthcare are fueling the need for diversifying treatment options such as theragnostics using radioisotopes. However, the market still faces challenges associated with limited local production and reliance on imports to meet most of the regional demand.

Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Country Insights:

  • Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia has emerged as the dominant leader in the Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. The country accounts for over half of the total market share in the region due to strong government support for the development of the healthcare sector. Saudi Arabia has seen huge investments from both public and private players to boost manufacturing infrastructure and facilitate easy access to advanced medical facilities. This has contributed to growth in the demand for medical radioisotopes for diagnostic imaging and treatment procedures. The country also has a large pool of skilled healthcare professionals and low-cost facilities compared to other nations, attracting medical tourism from neighboring markets. Another major factor for Saudi Arabia's dominance is its strategic geographical location. It shares borders with many Middle Eastern countries and also has good trade relations with African and Asian nations. This provides local isotope manufacturers an advantage in catering to the needs of nearby international markets in a time-efficient manner. Export of isotopes has emerged as a key source of revenue for companies based in Saudi Arabia. Free trade agreements with different countries have further opened up opportunities for exporters.
  • U.A.E is emerging as the fastest growing regional market for radioisotopes. Significant economic growth and healthcare sector reforms have boosted demand. U.A.E has a high per capita GDP and spends extensively on the latest medical technologies and facilities. This modern infrastructure equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment centers requires a continuous supply of specialized isotopes. Local production still remains relatively low to meet the domestic needs. However, the U.A.E government is introducing initiatives to encourage investments in this sector to reduce import dependence over the long run.

Figure 1. Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Share (%), by Country, 2024


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  • Analyst View: The Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market, especially in Saudi Arabia, is poised for strong growth in the coming years. The market is currently dominated by technetium-99m, which accounts for over 50% of diagnostic procedures. However, drivers such as increasing public healthcare expenditure and focus on expanding radiopharmaceutical capabilities are expected to boost the overall demand for radioisotopes. The strong pipeline of new radiotracers and radiopharmaceuticals will provide further impetus to market expansion. The growing geriatric population prone to chronic diseases like cancer will augment the need for advanced diagnostic and therapeutic solutions. Collaboration between international players and local facilities is further enhancing radiotracer production capacities. Investment in nuclear medicine infrastructure by governments aims to reduce dependency on imports and better serve patients. Restraints pertaining to regulatory approvals for new applications and high capital requirements for production could marginally slow the growth pace. Limited skilled workforce remains a challenge but ongoing training programs are positively addressing this. Opportunities lie in therapeutic segments like Iodine-131 and Yttrium-90 driven by the rising cancer burden. Leveraging the increasing healthcare reforms, private hospitals are expected to drive higher radiotracer demand over public centers. If regulatory frameworks are harmonized, medical tourism could emerge as a key growth lever for the region.

Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Drivers:

  • The rising prevalence of cancer:  The rising prevalence of cancer is indeed a significant factor driving Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. Radioisotopes are commonly used in diagnostic procedures such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). The increasing incidence of cancer in Saudi Arabia could boost the demand for these imaging modalities as they are essential tools in the early detection, staging, and monitoring of cancer. Certain radioisotopes are used in the treatment of cancer (radiotherapy), especially in conditions where traditional therapy is less effective. For instance, radioactive iodine (I-131) is widely used for treating thyroid cancer, which has demonstrated success in improving patient outcomes. The Saudi Arabia government's investment in healthcare infrastructure, including advanced diagnostic imaging centers and cancer treatment facilities, aligns with the growing need for radioisotopes. This would provide a conducive environment for market growth. Initiatives and national programs aimed at cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are part of the Saudi Vision 2030. The heightened focus on healthcare could contribute to increasing the availability and use of radioisotopes. International collaborations for the supply or production of radioisotopes, as well as partnerships with healthcare providers and entities specializing in nuclear medicine, may increase as demand rises. These activities can fuel market growth and ensure a steady supply of radioisotopes to meet local needs. For instance, in January 2022, according to data provided by the National Library of Medicine, in Saudi Arabia, the incidence of thyroid cancer (TC) accounted for 11% of the total cancer incidence, making it the second most common cancer in the country. The incidence of thyroid cancer is greater in females, 77.7%, compared to 22.3% in males and for males alone it was the eight most common cancer in 2019.
  • The growing medical applications of radioisotopes: The growing medical applications of radioisotopes are indeed poised to drive Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. Radioisotopes are essential in oncology for both diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy. Non-invasive imaging techniques like PET and SPECT scans rely on radioisotopes to detect cancer early and monitor the effectiveness of treatments, while radioisotopes used in brachytherapy can treat cancer by being placed inside or next to the tumor. The use of radioisotopes in nuclear cardiology provides vital information about the functioning of the heart, particularly in diagnosing and managing conditions like coronary artery disease. Procedures, such as myocardial perfusion imaging, are widely adopted as they can help evaluate the heart's condition without invasive surgery. Radioisotopes are also employed in the diagnosis of neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy, by allowing physicians to observe metabolic processes and blood flow within the brain. Iodine-131 is used for both diagnostics and treatment in thyroid-related conditions, including hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. It continues to be a principal tool in endocrinology. Bone scans using radioisotopes can detect abnormalities in bone metabolism and structure, aiding the diagnosis of fractures, cancer, infections, and other conditions. The ongoing research into new medical isotopes and targeted radiopharmaceuticals for various diseases opens up potential new applications and markets for radioisotopes. Growing investment in nuclear medicine infrastructure, including cyclotrons and nuclear reactors, is expected to enhance local production capacities for radioisotopes, thus fuelling the market growth.
  • The availability of government and private funding: The availability of government and private funding is indeed a key driver for the growth of Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. Significant investments are required to establish and maintain state-of-the-art nuclear medicine facilities where radioisotopes are used. Funding from the government and private sector can accelerate the development of these facilities, thereby increasing the accessibility and use of radioisotopes in diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Government grants and private investments can fuel research and development activities, leading to the advancement of radioisotopic techniques and the discovery of new radioisotopes with medical applications. Educational initiatives to train healthcare professionals in the field of nuclear medicine are essential for the safe and effective use of radioisotopes. Funding supports the establishment of specialized training programs, workshops, and continuous medical education. Financial support is important for creating robust regulatory frameworks that ensure the safe handling, storage, distribution, and disposal of radioisotopes, along with streamlining approval processes for radioisotopic products. Funding aids in the procurement of high-tech imaging and therapeutic equipment essential to the application of radioisotopes in healthcare. It also supports ongoing maintenance and updates of this equipment. Opening new imaging centers with the latest technologies provides patients with more options for diagnostic services, potentially increasing the demand for radioisotopes. Funding can enable partnerships with leading international medical institutions and corporations, leading to the transfer of knowledge, technologies, and best practices in the field of nuclear medicine.
  • Growing awareness about early diagnosis: Early diagnosis is crucial for successful treatment outcomes, and radioisotopes play an integral role in early detection. Increased awareness is leading to higher demand for diagnostic imaging procedures using radioisotopes, such as PET and SPECT scans. These scans are vital tools for the early detection of cancer and other conditions, often revealing diseases before symptoms appear.  The Saudi Arabian government's initiatives to promote public health screenings and preventative care can drive the utilization of diagnostic procedures that involve radioisotopes. As awareness grows, the development and modernization of healthcare infrastructure, including specialized diagnostic centers equipped with nuclear medicine technology, are likely to increase. Educational campaigns by healthcare providers and authorities on the importance of early disease detection can lead to increased use of diagnostic tests involving radioisotopes. Health insurance policies that cover more diagnostic procedures can lead to a higher rate of usage of nuclear medicine services, as out-of-pocket costs are less of a barrier to seeking early diagnosis. Private healthcare organizations may see this growing awareness as an opportunity to invest in nuclear medicine facilities, further driving the demand for radioisotopes.

Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Opportunities:

  • Advancements in radioisotope delivery methods in the healthcare sector: Advancements in radioisotope delivery methods in the healthcare sector offer significant opportunities for Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. These advancements could potentially lead to more effective treatment options, improved patient outcomes, and a wider range of applications for radioisotopes. Innovations that allow radioisotopes to be delivered more precisely to diseased cells can improve treatment efficacy and reduce damage to healthy tissues, making treatments safer and more attractive to patients and healthcare providers. New delivery methods that are less invasive are likely to be more readily adopted by both physicians and patients. For example, radioisotopes that can be administered orally or in an outpatient setting may lead to an increase in their use and acceptance. As delivery methods become more refined, the side effects associated with radioisotope treatments can decrease, leading to improved patient quality of life and a higher likelihood of choosing these treatment methods. The development of advanced radiopharmaceuticals that offer targeted therapy options for various cancers and other illnesses can expand the therapeutic applications of radioisotopes, driving demand for radioisotopes
  • Untapped growth potential in emerging economies: The untapped growth potential in emerging economies presents significant opportunities for Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. Emerging markets, with their growing healthcare needs and infrastructure, increasing income levels, and expanding medical capabilities, can be a lucrative target for the expansion of radioisotope technologies and services. Emerging economies are investing in building their healthcare infrastructure, including the establishment of diagnostic imaging centers and cancer treatment facilities that utilize radioisotopes. As access to healthcare improves in these regions, the demand for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including those involving radioisotopes, is likely to increase. The increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases in emerging economies, necessitates advanced diagnostic and treatment methods, where radioisotopes play a key role. Saudi Arabia can seek partnerships with stakeholders in emerging economies to transfer technology, expertise, and products to meet the rising demand for radioisotope procedures.

Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2023: US$ 691.3 Mn
Historical Data for: 2019 to 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 - 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 11.1% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 1,604.4 Mn
Geographies covered:
  • By Country: U.A.E, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Sudan, Algeria, Cyprus, and Turkey
Segments covered:
  • By Radioisotopes: Molebdennum 99/Technetium-99, Iodine-131, Iodine-125, Yttrium-90, Strontium-89, Cesium-137, Cobalt-60, Iridium-192, Selenium-75, Lutetium 177, Germanium-68/gallium-68, Nickel-63, Copper-67, Scandium 47, Phosphorus-32, Holmium 166, Chromium 51, Samarium 153, Rhenium-188, Terbium-161, Radium -226, Rhenium-186, Actinium-225, and Others  
  • By Application: Medical Application [Medical Imaging, Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET)], Radiation Therapy [Gamma radiotherapy, Brachytherapy, Targeted-Alpha-Therapy (TAT)], Clinical Research (Cell Biology, Drug Development, Metabolic Pathway Study, and Industrial Application (Inspection/Monitoring, Measuring, Quality Control and Testing, Sterilization, Food Preservation)
  • By End User: Hospitals, Imaging Centers, Research Centers, Biopharmaceutical Companies, Food Industry, Chemical Industry, and Others
Companies covered:

GE Healthcare, IBA, Sumitomo Corporation, BWX Technologies, Inc., Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Inc., Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., BEST Cyclotron Systems Inc., NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, Siemens Healthineers, Novartis, Moravek Biomedicals Inc., Nordion, Research Products International Corp., Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy, American Radiolabeled Chem. Inc., Perkin-Elmer (NEN), IRE, Eckert & Ziegler., Curium, ANSTO, HTA Co., Ltd,  Isotope JSC., SAMIRA, OECD-NEA, Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited., The State Atomic Energy Corporation, ROSATOM, ISOTOPIA, NTP Radioisotopes, KFSH&RC, Jordan Research and Training Reactor, Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center, ETRR-2, and SRR-1

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising prevalence of cancer
  • Increasing medical applications of radioisotopes 
  • Availability of government and private funding 
  • Growing awareness about early diagnosis
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High costs associated with radioisotope therapies
  • Risks associated with radiation exposure

 Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Trends:

  • Focus on the production of therapeutic radioisotopes: The focus on the production of therapeutic radioisotopes is indeed an important market trend in Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. Therapeutic radioisotopes are used in nuclear medicine for the treatment of various conditions, most notably cancer. The increasing incidence of cancer in Saudi Arabia and the broader region creates a growing demand for targeted radiotherapy, which relies on therapeutic radioisotopes, such as Iodine-131, Lutetium-177, and Yttrium-90. Novel radio therapeutic agents provide more effective and less invasive treatment options. Advances such as peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) and selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) are examples of therapies that have shown promising results, especially in the treatment of tumors that are difficult to manage with conventional therapies. There is an increasing emphasis on personalized medical treatments that leverage therapeutic radioisotopes for precision medicine initiatives, where treatments are tailored to the individual characteristics of each patient's disease. The Saudi Arabia government is likely to support activities that contribute to achieving the healthcare goals outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030, which includes improving healthcare quality and expanding the medical services available in the country. Investments in healthcare infrastructure, including nuclear medicine capabilities, are expected to support the development of the local production of therapeutic radioisotopes.
  • Increasing adoption of personalized medicine: The increasing adoption of personalized medicine is a significant trend in the global healthcare industry that extends to Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. In the context of nuclear medicine and radioisotope applications, personalized medicine involves tailoring diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to individual patient characteristics, thereby optimizing outcomes. Personalized medicine relies on precise diagnostics to identify the unique aspects of a patient's condition. Radioisotopes used in PET and SPECT imaging provide critical insights into the metabolic and molecular processes of diseases, enabling more personalized treatment plans. Therapeutic radioisotopes can be used to develop customized treatment regimens based on the specific biological markers of a patient's illness, particularly in oncology. This approach enhances the efficacy and minimizes the adverse effects of treatment. The study of how genes affect a person's response to drugs, known as pharmacogenomics, is becoming an important part of personalized medicine. The use of radioisotopes in pharmacokinetic studies aids in the determination of optimal dosing and drug selection. Increased investment in research and development is needed to further explore and understand how radioisotopes can be integrated into personalized medicine protocols effectively. Healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia can differentiate their services by offering advanced personalized medicine approaches that incorporate radioisotopes, thereby attracting patients looking for such cutting-edge treatments.

Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Restraints:

  • High costs associated with radioisotope therapies: The high costs associated with radioisotope therapies do represent a potential barrier to the growth Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. These costs stem from the complexity of producing radioisotopes, the sophisticated equipment needed for their administration, and the specialized training required for healthcare providers. High costs may limit access to radioisotope therapies for certain segments of the population. While Saudi Arabia has a public healthcare system that covers many treatments, the cost still could be a factor in determining how widely such therapies are used. In cases where treatments are not fully covered by public health insurance, patients would have to rely on private health insurance or out-of-pocket payments, potentially limiting the adoption of radioisotope therapies based on individual financial means. The establishment and maintenance of nuclear medicine facilities represent significant investments. High operational costs could slow down the expansion of these facilities, although government funding and subsidies may alleviate some of the financial burden. Research and development in radioisotopes and their clinical applications are costly. The high price of innovation can trickle down to patient treatment costs. If radioisotopes or the raw materials needed for their production are imported, costs might be influenced by fluctuating exchange rates, international market conditions, and supply chain issues. The Saudi Arabia government could offer subsidies, reduce taxes, or provide funding for research and infrastructure development to lower the costs associated with radioisotope therapies.
  • Concerns associated with radiation exposure: The concerns associated with radiation exposure indeed represent a challenge that can hamper the growth of Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market. A primary factor that may affect the market is public concern over the safety of radiation-based medical procedures. Educational campaigns may be needed to inform the public about the benefits and safety measures related to radioisotope therapies. Strict regulations governing the use of radioactive materials can impact the speed and ease with which new radioisotope therapies are approved and adopted. Ensuring compliance with all safety standards is critical. Medical facilities must invest in safety protocols to protect patients and healthcare workers from unwanted radiation exposure. This includes proper training for medical personnel in handling and administering radioisotopes. The safe disposal of radioactive waste generated from radioisotope therapies is a public and environmental health concern that needs to be addressed through effective waste management strategies. Investment in advanced shielding technology and protective equipment can mitigate the risks associated with radiation exposure. The development of non-radioactive diagnostic and therapeutic alternatives could potentially divert some demand away from radioisotope products.

Recent Developments:

Acquisition, Collaboration, and Partnerships:

  • In April 2023, Abdulla Fouad Group, a business group, and ORYX Isotopes, a provider of latest radiopharmaceuticals, and AlMoosa Specialized Hospital, a specialty hospital, announced a collaboration to establish a private pharmaceuticals production facility equipped with a Cyclotron, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Cyclotrons play a crucial role in preparing a diverse range of radionuclides, which find applications in single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). The demand for radiopharmaceutical production using cyclotron-produced radioisotopes is on the rise in Saudi Arabia.

Figure 2. Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market Share (%), by Application, 2024


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Top Companies in the Saudi Arabia and Middle East Radioisotope Market:

  • GE Healthcare
  • IBA, Sumitomo Corporation
  • BWX Technologies, Inc.
  • Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Inc.
  • Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • BEST Cyclotron Systems Inc.
  • NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Novartis
  • Moravek Biomedicals Inc.
  • Nordion
  • Research Products International Corp.
  • Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy
  • American Radiolabeled Chem. Inc.
  • Perkin-Elmer (NEN)
  • IRE
  • Eckert & Ziegler.
  • Curium
  • HTA Co., Ltd
  • Isotope JSC.
  • Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited.
  • The State Atomic Energy Corporation
  • NTP Radioisotopes
  • Jordan Research and Training Reactor
  • Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center
  • ETRR-2
  • SRR-1

Definition: A radioisotope, also known as a radionuclide, is an isotope of an element that exhibits radioactivity. Radioisotopes are atoms with unstable nuclei that undergo radioactive decay, emitting radiation in the form of alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma rays. During this process, the radioisotope transforms into a more stable isotope or a different element. There are natural radioisotopes, which are present in the environment as part of the natural radioactive decay chains, and artificial radioisotopes, which are produced synthetically through nuclear reactions, often in nuclear reactors or particle accelerators. Radioisotopes have a wide range of applications across various fields such as medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

The high costs associated with radioisotope therapies and risks associated with radiation exposure are some factors that can hamper the growth of the market.

The rising prevalence of cancer, increasing medical applications of radioisotopes, availability of government and private funding, and growing awareness about early diagnosis are some factors driving the market growth.

The medical application segment accounted for the largest share of the Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market over the forecast period.

GE Healthcare, IBA, Sumitomo Corporation, BWX Technologies, Inc., Advanced Cyclotron Systems, Inc., Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., BEST Cyclotron Systems Inc., NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, Siemens Healthineers, Novartis, Moravek Biomedicals Inc., Nordion, Research Products International Corp., Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy, American Radiolabeled Chem. Inc., Perkin-Elmer (NEN), IRE, Eckert & Ziegler., Curium, ANSTO, HTA Co., Ltd,  Isotope JSC. are the major players operating in the market.

Saudi Arabia is expected to account for the largest share of the Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market.

The Saudi Arabia and Middle East radioisotope market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.1% from 2024 to 2031.

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