SINGAPORE, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Faced with increasing challenges such as costly treatments and treatments that are palliative rather than symptomatic, the global healthcare industry today is gradually transforming itself. With few existing therapies capable of curing or significantly changing the course of a disease, healthcare providers are starting to look towards regenerative medicine as a viable alternative.
Regenerative medicine represents a new paradigm in human health with the potential to resolve unmet medical needs by addressing the underlying causes of diseases.
According to Dr. Jane Andrews, Senior Consultant, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Frost & Sullivan, regenerative medicine has the potential to cure diseases like we have never seen before. Because of this, the market, especially in the area of stem cell therapy, will continue to experience positive growth, boosted by support from other sectors.
"Regenerative Medicine initiatives are now attracting new public and private funding. Although Stem Cell Therapy will continue to be the largest market segment of Regenerative Medicine, cross segment therapies that combine the use of immunology, genetic and stem cell therapy are rapidly advancing," Andrews noted.
Regenerative medicine has also been an area of interest for major pharma companies, many of which have set up their own R & D units or have acquired stakes / invested in regenerative medicine companies. Major pharmaceutical companies which have done so include Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharma.
Why Stem Cell Therapy?
In this space, cell therapy is the fastest growing segment of regenerative medicine and also the largest. Globally, the stem cell therapy market is expected to be worth US $40 billion by 2020 and US $180 billion by 2030.
Cell therapy involves the use of living cells to replace or augment damaged or diseased cells and tissues. It has been used for various conditions. The largest number of marketed cell therapy products is used for the treatment of notably non-healing wounds / skin (46%) and muscular-skeletal injuries (35%). This trend will change as more and stem cell therapy products for cancer and heart disease complete their clinical trials and are approved for market release.
Factors that are driving stem cell manufacturing in the short term include aging populations in need of alternative medicine and in the long term, new evidence that stem cell therapy works. However, an area of concern in the immediate future and long term remains the lack of early stage funding and the inherent variability in 'living cells' culture and manufacturing.
"Despite this, it is expected that investors will increasing support for early and mid-stage clinical trials as this fast moving market continues to develop and show promise," explained Andrews.
Regenerative Medicine – The APAC Overview
The Asia-Pacific stem cell market was valued at US $7.10 billion in 2014 and is projected to increase to US $18.71 billion by 2018 at a CAGR of 27.3% for the period.
Sanjeev Kumar, Consultant, Growth Partnership Services, Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific attributes the positive growth in APAC to strong support from the industry.
"This growth is a result of the increasing regulatory support regarding stem cell research, advancements in regenerative medicine and the opportunities arising from stem cell therapies," Kumar noted.
These opportunities include contract research outsourcing and rising patient population with neurological and other chronic conditions in the region. Japan, Singapore and South Korea are the frontrunners and are set to dominate the APAC stem cell market in the coming years.
Japan is taking the global lead in promoting stem cell research for addressing conditions such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and cardiovascular disorders. In 2013, the Japanese government announced funding of US $1.12 billion for stem cell research on a stem cell type that is free from ethical concerns over embryo harvesting. Through this and other efforts, it hopes to eventually benefit from the cost savings generated by efficacious stem cell therapies.
With some success in commercializing stem cell therapy products for an open market matched by strong government support for R&D, South Korea's Regenerative Market is a prime area for growth, with key opportunities identified in the areas of Cell Therapy, especially in the stem cell therapy for adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. These together with other drivers are on track to make South Korea one of the top three Regenerative Medicine (RM) markets by 2020.
Singapore is considered a haven for stem cell research, owing to its biomedical freedom in terms of favorable laws and strong government funding received, making it one of the most favored destinations in APAC for stem cell research. In addition, Singapore has a well-organized funding system in place for stem cell research which ensures that public and private funding are evenly divided among companies and researchers. The rapidly developing industry has also seen Singapore secure partnerships with FDA, UK Stem Cell Foundation, and corporate venture funds such as Novartis.
While North America remains the frontrunner in the Regenerative Medicine industry, the Asia-Pacific market is predicted to offer significant contributions to the market in the future.
Frost & Sullivan recently held its GIL Webinar – 'The New Age of Regenerative Medicine – Why Stem Cell Therapy?' on 28 July, 2015 in Singapore. If you would like to be notified of any upcoming healthcare-related briefings in APAC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the webinar, please visit https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5565/163681
Please note this complimentary briefing requires a one-time registration on our web conferencing partner's website BrightTalk.
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