Hemolytic anemia is a diseased condition characterized by premature destruction of red blood cells (RBCs) and their removal from the blood circulatory system before their life span is over. Red blood cells also known as erythrocytes are disk like structures that carry oxygen from lungs to body organs and help in removing carbon dioxide from the body. Usually red blood cells (RBCs) have a normal life span of 120 before they are removed from the blood stream by spleen. Red blood cells are produced by bone marrow. In people suffering from acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, bone marrows are unable to produce enough RBCs to meet body’s demand. Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia is non-genetic in nature and usually occurs when the body’s own immune system destroys its healthy tissues against invading organisms such as lymphocytes and antibodies. Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia generally occurs as a result or in conjunction with some other medical conditions. This condition rarely occurs alone. Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia can be classified as warm antibody hemolytic anemia and cold antibody hemolytic anemia. In warm antibody hemolytic anemia, auto-antibodies attach with the red blood cells and kill them at temperature higher than the body temperature; conversely, in cold antibody hemolytic anemia self-generated antibodies kill red blood cells at a temperature below the body temperature.
Diagnosis involves a range of blood tests such as hemoglobin and hematocrit test, bilirubin test, serum haptoglobin test and reticulocyte count. If the ratio is high, there is likeliness of hemolytic anemia. Coombs test is another key diagnostic method for acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia in which the amount of certain antibodies is determined in order to check if it is higher than normal. Treatment is based on three major aims, preventing the destruction of RBCs, increasing the RBCs count and treating the origin of illness. Blood transfusion, medications, plasmapheresis and surgeries are among major treatment options. Prednisone, rituximab, hydroxyurea and cyclosporine are some drugs that are usually prescribed for treating acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia.
There are no exact incidence and prevalence statistics are available regarding the acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia. According to sources from Elsevier, Inc. the incidence rate of all types of acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemias range from one new case per 100,000 general population to 300,000 per year. Though the prevalence is not so high, severity of the condition will play a key role in driving the market growth. The market will also be driven by unmet medical needs as there is no standard medicines available for treating acquired hemolytic anemia. Many companies are conducting clinical trials in order to introduce effective medicines for acquired hemolytic anemia. Some major pharmaceutical companies and research institutions that are engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of drugs for this market include Novartis AG, Sanofi, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Dijon, Institute of Hematology & Blood Diseases Hospital, Hoffmann-La Roche, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Octapharma Pharmazeutika Produktionsges.m.b.H., National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
Geographically, the acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Globally, the market is led by North America, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). High level of awareness, high per capita income and well established reimbursement scenario are among the major factors responsible for North America’s leading position in the acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia market.