Chiral chemistry was discovered in 1884 by a French biologist when he separated two isomers of sodium ammonium tartrate. This phenomenon of chirality was then found to play a key role in plants, animals, as well as in pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors. All the proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleosides, and hormones are chiral compounds. Over 50% of the pharmaceutical drugs consist of chiral chemicals while over 80% of these are marketed as racemates which consist of two enantiomers. These racemates are now being separated using various technologies in order to eliminate the unwanted isomer products from the drug mixture and increase the efficiency of the drug.
Numerous market players have been involved in the R&D process for development of chiral hormone chemicals, anti-infective chemicals, cardiovascular chemicals, central nervous system chemicals, antidepressants, and respiratory chemicals, among others. Chiral chemicals are also being increasingly used for manufacturing of agrochemicals, food ingredients, flavors, and fine chemicals.
The traditional routes for manufacturing of chiral chemicals require extreme environmental conditions like high temperatures & pressure and high acidic or basic conditions. In addition, these also require highly expensive metal-based catalysts which lead to harmful environmental effects. The market has witnessed numerous technological changes over the past years in order to develop environment-friendly technologies and cost effective processes for the industrial production of chiral chemicals.
North America and Europe are the key markets for chiral chemicals on account of the mature pharmaceutical industry in these regions. However, the rapid increase in pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities in Asia Pacific and Latin America is anticipated to fuel the development over the next eight years. In terms of applications, chiral chemicals industry is expected to witness a rapid increase in demand from the agrochemicals & flavor/fragrance industries over the coming years. Rapidly increasing competition among the companies is expected to augment the development of innovative products for upcoming applications like agrochemicals and flavor/fragrances.
BASF SE, Dow Chemical Company, Rhodia Inc., Perkin Elmer and Codexis Inc. are the major manufacturers of chiral chemicals. The companies have been taking severe steps in order to increase their reach in developing economies. Strong distribution channel plays a major role in the chiral chemicals market as major manufacturers are located in North America and Europe. However, companies have now started to look for opportunities in the developing countries which are expected to have a positive impact on the market growth over the next eight years.
In-depth report on global chiral chemicals market by Grand View Research: