Stem cells are characterized by their potential to develop into fully functional cells of a specific organ or tissue in the body. Theoretically stem cells can be artificially coaxed into becoming a muscular cell, nerve cell or any other based on the medical requirement. This capability called “Totipotency” is sometimes lost along the development stages and cells then become pluripotent, multi-potent and oligopotent at each level. The stem cells of the body include embryonic stem cells, which are present in a blastocyst, fetal stem cells, cord blood stem cells (isolated from umbilical cord), adipose tissue, hematopoietic stem cells and dental stem cells. Stem cells and progenitor cells help act as a treatment and can perform as a damage repair mechanism of the body. Umbilical stem cells and embryonic stem cells can be stored in cryogenic-refrigeration as a stem cell storage bank for later use.
Stem cells have been applied in several therapies of late, particularly in oncology and brain disorders. The potential areas of stem cell therapy are limitless since the stem cells adapt to various body stimulus to convert into cells of unique function and type. This report covers the market for stem cell therapies, products and anti-bodies among other products in research pipelines of many key industrial players. The most common type of cells therapies commercialized today includes mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs. SCs used in osteo-grafting is one of the fastest growing market segments today. Research & development is carried out by government and private institutions on a very large scale since the success of even one application would mean the quickest means of treating severe and debilitating diseases and conditions. The most common proven treatments are targeted for bone, corneal and skin diseases. AMD in particular is a key target area within corneal treatments. BMT?s have been performed for over a decade successfully in most cases for autoimmune disorders, cancer and blood disorders among others. A rising application area is cosmetics wherein conditions such as alopecia are considered as strong growth factors.
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Ongoing research by SA-BRC estimates suggest the market to be valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2014 and growing at a CAGR of 16.8%. The major drivers of this therapy are the increase in the stem cell banking and cord blood banking market, which has increased the number of stem cell procedures. The stem cell banking market is thus complementing the stem cell therapy market. Another factor driving the growth is the list of potential applications. Several challenges are currently preventing the use of stem cells particularly in western countries, where intense regulatory hurdles have resulted in the slow progress in treatment approvals unlike countries such as China, where stem cell therapies have received a greater acceptance by the government and are practiced on a larger scope of therapies. Reimbursement and cost of treatment is expected to be one of the most significant challenges to this market since ethical issues as well cost incurred to hospital for technology used to complete all stages of stem cell therapies. Since several therapies are not covered for by insurance, out-of-pocket expenses are enormous in most experimental cases.
Stem cell therapy is relatively an old research area in biopharmaceutical and biotechnology. There are an estimated 2 million research projects covering all aspects of stem cell research over the world. There are over 400 clinical trials being conducted across the world for SC therapy products. Thus, there are numerous players involved in stem cell products of which the most notable key players are companies such as Cytori, Cardio3 Bioscience, Bioheart, Aastrom Biosciences, Invitrogen (part of Life Technologies), Osiris Therapeutics, TiGenix and Gamida Cell. The competitive landscape is highly fragmented and is expected to remain so due to high number of emerging players in the market leading to a high level of threat from new entrants.
NOTE: This report is currently under research and will be made available to clients on request.