Growing demand for pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals is set to increase demand for excipients — natural or synthetic ingredients used along with the active ingredient in a drug formulation.

A new report from BCC Research analyzes this market and says that coprocessed excipients represent a significant opportunity for producers.

With new drug molecules being developed, including both small molecule and biologic drugs, pharmaceutical manufacturers need new excipients to increase options for the formulation and delivery. However, high development costs and stringent regulatory requirements mean that few new excipients have reached the market in recent years.

Taking a different approach, some producers are focusing on coprocessing existing approved excipients. According to the report, innovative coprocessed excipients, or excipient composites, are being engineered to achieve the properties of key components of the tableting blend in a single, highly flowable and compressible granular material.

“With the increasing development of new chemical entities, there is a huge opportunity for the development of coprocessed excipients, and development of such innovative coprocessed excipients with multi-functionality is beneficial for the market,” said BCC Research analyst Shalini S. Dewan. “Yet coprocessed excipients have yet to find their way into official monographs, which is one of the major obstacles to their success in the marketplace.”

BCC Research expects the global excipients market to reach almost $6.9 billion by 2020 from approximately $6.3 billion in 2015, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.9 percent. Organic excipients account for most of the market and are projected to reach $6.3 billion by 2020, growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent from nearly $5.8 billion in 2015. The inorganic excipients market is projected to grow by 4.3 percent, from $351.9 million in 2015 to $433.7 million in 2020.