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Liquid-Filled Hard Capsules Market

Market Study on Liquid-filled Hard Capsules: Gelatin Preferred Raw Material for Product Manufacturing

Liquid-Filled Hard Capsules Market Segmented By Route of Administration such as Oral, Nasal, Vaginal Distribution Channel in Hospitals Pharmacies, Retail Stores, Drug Stores, Online Pharmacies & Mail order Pharmacies

Liquid-filled Hard Capsules Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)

The global liquid-filled hard capsules market generated US$ 528.2 million in revenue in 2022. According to this detailed study by Persistence Market Research, the market is predicted to reach a value of US$ 1.1 billion by 2033-end, expanding at 7% CAGR along the way.

Hard gelatin capsules have served as a traditional and widely adopted dosage form for both prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, as well as herbal products. They offer a convenient and effective means of delivering drugs that exist in powder or pellet forms. However, as pharmaceutical science progresses and market expectations evolve, certain categories of drugs necessitate innovative and diverse approaches to formulation. Demand for the faster development and launch of new products is another driving force in this pursuit of novel formulations.

  • Liquid in capsules accounted for a market share of 50.1% in 2022.
  • Revenue from liquid-filled hard capsules accounted for 15.3% share of the global hard gelatin capsules market in 2022.

As competition intensifies and the need for cutting-edge medications increases, pharmaceutical companies face mounting pressure to expedite the formulation and introduction of innovative drugs. There is a growing focus on the innovative design of the liquid-filled hard gelatin capsule as a novel drug delivery method. This approach allows for the conversion of liquid medications into a solid dosage form, garnering significant interest in the field of drug delivery.

With advancements in capsule-filling techniques and the application of cutting-edge technology, production of liquid-filled capsules has become more streamlined and consistent. As a result, these capsules are now simpler to manufacture while also being better received by consumers due to their improved taste and ease of consumption.

Evolution of combination capsule products can be attributed to the progress and innovations in capsule-filling technology. This includes the seamless integration of specialized filling stations for specific purposes and more rigorous quality control measures, all of which have contributed to the natural development of these advanced capsule formulations.

Attribute Key Insights

Liquid-filled Hard Capsules Market Size (2022)

US$ 528.2 Million

Projected Market Value (2033)

US$ 1.1 Billion

Global Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033)

7% CAGR

Market Share of Top 5 Countries

54.8%

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How is the Liquid-filled Hard Capsules Market Progressing across the World?

“Growing Emphasis on Advancements and Innovations in Capsule-Filling Technology

As technology continues to evolve, the market is witnessing newer and more advanced capsule-filling techniques. Among these innovations, liquid-filled hard capsule encapsulation stands out as one of the most promising and formidable contenders.

Liquid-filled hard capsules (LFHCs) offer several advantages, such as improved drug solubility, enhanced bioavailability, and precise dosing, making them an attractive alternative to traditional dosage forms.

One notable innovation in LFHC technology is the use of precision liquid filling systems. These systems allow for accurate and consistent dosing of the liquid formulation into hard gelatin capsules.

  • Capsugel, now a part of Lonza, has developed advanced liquid-filling machines that can handle a wide range of formulations, including oils, suspensions, and solutions. The automated nature of these machines ensures high production efficiency and minimizes the risk of errors in dosing.

Advancements in formulation science have led to the development of specialized excipients and surfactants that enhance the stability and bioavailability of liquid-filled capsules. This enables the formulation of challenging compounds, such as poorly soluble drugs and sensitive biologics, into LFHC. Another area of innovation is the improvement in capsule shell materials.

  • Manufacturers like CapsCanada and Qualicaps have developed specialized gelatin and vegetarian (cellulose-based) capsules that provide excellent barrier properties, ensuring the integrity and stability of the liquid contents over time.

Advancements in sealing technologies have led to the development of tamper-evident and child-resistant features for LFHC, enhancing patient safety and compliance. All these technological advances are likely to push the global market for liquid-filled hard capsules forward, providing market players with lucrative growth opportunities.

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What Limitations are Associated with Liquid-filled Hard Capsules?

“Complex Manufacturing Process of LFHCs a Pain Point”

Not all drugs are suitable for formulation as liquids in LFHCs. Drugs with limited solubility in suitable excipients or those that are chemically unstable in liquid form may not be viable candidates for LFHC. Liquid formulations are generally more prone to degradation and have a shorter shelf-life compared to solid dosage forms.

Stability concerns are limiting the use of LFHCs for drugs that require extended storage and shelf life. The manufacturing process for LFHCs is more complex compared to conventional solid dosage forms. Specialized equipment and processes are required for precise liquid filling, which can increase production costs and may not be feasible for all drug products.

LFHCs do not offer the same flexibility in dosing as some other dosage forms. It can be challenging to accurately and consistently adjust dosages for individual patients, which is essential for personalized medicine. The market can face certain challenges due to the factors mentioned above, which are expected to impact the widespread adoption and growth of liquid-filled hard capsules.

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Country-wise Insights

What Factors Contribute to the Attractiveness of the United States Market for Liquid-filled Hard Capsules?

“High Investments in Research and Development in Pharmaceutical Sector”

The United States accounted for a 28.3% share of the global liquid-filled hard capsules market in 2022.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the United States allocate substantial financial resources to research and development activities. These investments are directed toward various areas, including drug discovery, preclinical and clinical trials, process optimization, and post-approval studies.

The United States government also plays a significant role in funding research and development (R&D) through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

The country’s commitment to R&D spending has been instrumental in driving medical innovation, bringing new drugs and therapies to the market, and advancing healthcare globally. As the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries continue to evolve, R&D investments in the United States are expected to remain a critical driver for advancements in healthcare and medical science.

What is the Projected Demand for LFHCs in the Pharmaceutical Sector in Germany?

“Growing Need for Pharmaceuticals Due to Increasing Prevalence of Chronic Diseases”

Germany accounted for 5.7% share of the global market for LFHCs in the year 2022.

The mid- and long-term demand for pharmaceuticals in Germany is expected to be influenced by demographic changes, primarily the progressive aging of the population. As the number of elderly individuals increases, demand for medical treatments, particularly for chronic diseases, is foreseen to rise. This is expected to benefit both producers of specialty products and manufacturers of generic drugs as well as liquid-filled hard capsules.

The German healthcare market operates under stringent regulations, and while there is some pressure on pharmaceutical companies to reduce drug prices for end-consumers, it is not overly excessive. This regulatory environment presents opportunities for companies to maintain a stable market and find a balance between delivering quality pharmaceuticals and managing costs.

How is the Market for LFHCs Evolving in China?

“Government Support for Increased Production of Patented Drugs and Innovation”

China accounted for 8% share of the global market in the year 2022.

In recent years, local pharmaceutical producers in China have predominantly focused on generics, with relatively lower investments in research and development (R&D). However, the government has been pushing for a shift towards higher production of patented drugs and increased innovation.

Chinese producers are anticipated to ramp up their R&D investments and strive for higher product quality in the coming years. This increases the adoption of LFHCs. To facilitate this transformation, authorities are actively working to consolidate the industry and encourage larger businesses to emerge. These developments signal a positive trajectory for the market in China.

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Category-wise Insights

Why is Demand for Liquid in Capsules Growing Rapidly Globally?

“Superior Absorption and Higher Bioavailability of Liquid in Capsules”

Liquid in capsules occupied a leading 50.1% share of the global market in 2022.

LFHCs offer superior absorption compared to tablets. When the outer casing dissolves, the contained liquid is readily absorbed by the body, enhancing its effectiveness. This heightened absorption makes these capsules more dependable than tablets, ensuring a higher degree of predictability in terms of their performance, unlike tablet formulations that might exhibit lower bioavailability.

What is Contributing to High Sales of Gelatin-based Capsules?

“Increasing Utilization of Gelatin as Neutral and Safe Ingredient in Hard Capsules”

Gelatin liquid-filled hard capsules held 77.2% share of the overall market in 2022.

Gelatin, an unadulterated protein, possesses a neutral flavor and is devoid of gluten and GMOs. It presents a gentle and agreeable oral delivery format, enhancing the patient’s overall experience. This versatile ingredient empowers manufacturers to tailor capsules according to specific color, shape, or size preferences, effectively catering to the unique demands of both active ingredients and the intended consumer groups.

Due to its ability to dissolve at typical body temperature, gelatin serves as an optimal ingredient for hard capsules. Not only does it safeguard the valuable active substances within the capsule from oxygen, light, moisture, and particles, but the gelatin in these capsules also ensures comfortable ingestion for consumers.

What is the Primary Application of LFHCs?

“More Pleasant Ingestion Experience Offered by LFHCs Compared to Tablets Driving Their Use as Vitamin & Dietary Supplements”

By application, vitamin & dietary supplements occupied a 42.6% market share in 2022.

Vitamin & dietary supplements are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and contain many nutrients. The cost of the choice of supplement plays an important role.

Liquid-filled capsules offer a more effortless ingestion experience compared to tablets, providing quicker and superior results, all while being visually appealing. Moreover, their unique design enables various release profiles to be combined within a single hard capsule, enhancing their versatility.

Why Do Pharmaceutical Companies Account for High Utilization of LFHCs?

“Advancements in Liquid-filled Hard Capsule Manufacturing Attracting Pharmaceutical Investments”

By end user, pharmaceutical companies accounted for 33.6% share of the global market in 2022.

The process of liquid filling offers the advantage of minimizing dust generation, making it particularly beneficial for formulating drugs with toxic or irritant properties. Substances that remain in a liquid state at room temperature pose challenges when attempting to formulate them as dry powders, often necessitating significant quantities of excipients to mitigate processing issues.

Continuous research and progress in the manufacturing of liquid-filled hard capsules have captured the attention of pharmaceutical enterprises. This has led to a surge in interest and investment from these companies, propelling them to delve into the exploration of this inventive technology associated with liquid-filled hard capsules.

Competition Landscape

The liquid-filled hard capsules market is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation, with numerous competitors operating at both local and global levels. In response to the demands and preferences of patients, these companies are implementing various strategies to enhance their market position and expand their consumer base such as increased research and development activities, product launches, and mergers.

  • In July 2022, Lonza, a well-known global development and manufacturing company, declared that it would begin construction on a sizable commercial pharma product fill and finish unit in Stein. The facility is expected to be functional by the year 2026.
  • In March 2021, CapsCanada, introduced its liquid-filled hard capsule manufacturing service in North America. This service is aimed at providing advanced solutions for pharmaceutical companies seeking to develop liquid formulations encapsulated in hard gelatin capsules.

Similarly, the team at Persistence Market Research has tracked recent developments related to companies manufacturing liquid-filled hard capsules, which are available in the full report.

Liquid-filled Hard Capsules Industry Report Scope

Attribute Details

Forecast Period

2023 to 2033

Historical Data Available for

2015 to 2022

Market Analysis

  • US$ Million for Value
  • Units for Volume

Key Countries Covered

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Benelux
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • GCC Countries
  • Türkiye
  • South Africa
  • Northern Africa

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Product
  • Raw Material
  • Application
  • End User
  • Region

Key Companies Covered

  • Vantage Nutrition
  • INNERCAP Technologies, Inc.
  • Liquidcapsule Manufacturing LLC
  • Lonza
  • SuHeung
  • Altasciences

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & Pricing

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Key Segments of Liquid-filled Hard Capsules Industry Research

Product:

  • Liquid in Capsules
  • Pellets in Liquid-filled Capsules
  • Pellets in Capsule in Liquid-filled Capsules
  • Capsule in Liquid-filled Capsules
  • Tablet in Liquid-filled Capsules

Raw Material:

  • Gelatin
  • Hypromellose Capsules (HPMCs)

Application:

  • Cough & Cold Preparations
  • Cardiovascular Therapy Drugs
  • Health Supplements
  • Vitamin & Dietary Supplements
  • Other Therapeutic Applications

End User:

  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Nutraceutical Companies
  • Cosmeceutical Companies
  • Contract Manufacturing Organizations

Region:

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • South Asia
  • East Asia
  • Oceania
  • Middle East and Africa

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Lonza
  • VANTAGE NUTRITION
  • INNERCAP Technologies, Inc.
  • LIQUIDCAPSULE MANUFACTURING LLC
  • SuHeung
  • Altasciences

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The global liquid-filled hard capsules market was valued at US$ 528.2 million in 2022.

Worldwide sales of liquid-filled hard capsules increased at 4.3% CAGR from 2015 to 2022.

The United States accounted for 28.3% share of the global market in 2022.

The German market for liquid-filled hard capsules amounted to US$ 30.2 million in 2022.

China held 8% share of the global market for liquid-filled hard capsules in 2022.

Liquid in capsules held a leading market share of 50.1% in 2022.

The United States, India, Germany, China, and Japan together held 54.8% market share in 2022.

The market for liquid-filled hard capsules is set to reach a valuation of US$ 1.1 billion by 2033.

Vantage Nutrition, INNERCAP Technologies, and LIQUIDCAPSULE Manufacturing are key players in this market.

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