Biliary atresia or extra hepatic ductopenia is an acquired disease of the liver. This disease is characterized by the obliteration of the extra hepatic biliary system which results in obstruction of the bile flow from the liver to gall bladder. This can lead to damage to the liver or liver cirrhosis and can become fatal if not treated at an early stage.

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It occurs because biliary ducts are not normally developed in infants. Currently, there is no known cause of biliary atresia. However, various studies suggest that Reovirus 3 infection, congenital cytomegalovirus infection, and congenital malformation might be responsible for causing biliary atresia in humans.

Some of the symptoms associated with biliary atresia are pale or clay-colored stool, jaundice, dark urine, slow or no weight gain, mild hepatomegaly, and enlarged spleen. The treatment regimen widely used to treat biliary atresia can be medications including bile acids, glucocorticoids and antibiotics, and surgical procedure.

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The most common treatment is a surgical operation called Kasai procedure (connects liver to the intestine for the flow of bile) which is successful if performed before the baby is eight weeks old. However, a liver transplant may or may not be needed depending on the future condition of the baby. The three forms of biliary atresia are: type I or perinatal biliary atresia, type II or biliary atresia splenic malformation, and type III or cystic biliary atresia.

Rise in incidence of biliary atresia is the primary factor contributing to the growth of the biliary atresia treatment market. Moreover, other factors such as high demand for safe and effective pharmacological therapies fuel the growth of the market. Furthermore, increasing patient population and introduction of innovative products are expected to drive the untapped biliary atresia treatment market. However, rise in overall health care expenditure and safety concerns are the major factors likely to hamper the growth of the biliary atresia treatment market in the near future.

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The global biliary atresia treatment market can be segmented based on type of treatment. In terms of type of treatment, the market can be sub-segmented into medication and surgery. Medications can be categorized into bile acids such as ursodiol, glucocorticoids such as methylprednisolone and antibiotics such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Surgical procedure involved in the treatment of biliary atresia is Kasai hepatoportoenterostomy (HPE).

Geographically, the global biliary atresia treatment market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is the largest market for biliary atresia treatment products owing to high incidence and prevalence rates of biliary atresia. Various studies conducted on biliary atresia suggests that the overall incidence rate of biliary atresia in countries in Asia is 1 per 8,000 live births. Moreover, it is more common in infants in China as compared to those in Japan. However, the overall incidence rate of biliary atresia in the U.S. is 1 per 10,000 to 15,000 live births, while it is approximately 1 in 12,000 births in Europe.

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Key companies and research institutes engaged in the development of biliary atresia treatment are AstraZeneca plc, Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd., Eisai Co. Ltd., Johnson & Johnson Services Inc., Novartis International AG, Pfizer, Inc., the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Texas.

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