Stem cells are primitive cells found in all multi-cellular organisms that are characterized by self-renewal and the capacity to differentiate into mature cell types.
There are now hundreds of companies developing stem cell research products — many of which are serving companies involved in the management of the largest pandemic in modern history.
Globally, the healthcare industry is trying to use every weapon in its armory to suppress the threat from the COVID-19 virus, including cord tissue-derived MSCs, iPS cells, amniotic fluid and placental derived components, exosomes, and more.
Stem cell research has been in process for well over five decades, as stem cells have the unique ability to divide and replicate repeatedly. In addition, their “unspecialized” nature allows them to differentiate into a wide variety of specialized cell types. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all of the specialized embryonic tissues. In adult organisms, stem and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing specialized cells.
The possibilities arising from stem cells have resulted in great commercial interest, with potential applications ranging from their use in the reversal and treatment of disease, to cell therapy, tissue regeneration, bioprinting, drug discovery, toxicology testing, and more.
Traditionally, scientists have worked with both embryonic and adult stem cells as research tools. While the appeal of embryonic cells has been their ability to differentiate into any type of cell, there has been significant ethical, moral, and spiritual controversy surrounding their use for research purposes. Although some adult stem cells do have differentiation capacity, it is often limited in nature, which results in fewer options for use. Thus, when induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) were discovered in 2006 by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan, they represented a promising combination of adult and embryonic stem cell characteristics.
Today, scientists leverage stem cell research products for a wide range of basic and applied applications. Clinical researchers are integrating stem cells into a diverse range of regenerative medicine applications. The pharmaceutical industry is leveraging stem cell products to conduct pharmacological testing on cell-specific tissues. The tissue engineering community is combining stem cell products with engineering methods to replace or regenerate biological tissues. Cell therapy CDMOs require a complex range of stem cell products to support their manufacturing processes.
There is also accelerating demand for extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from stem cells, because they can act as intercellular messengers and may be able to exert therapeutic effects.
To facilitate research resulting from interest in these far-ranging applications, a large and rapidly growing market for stem cells research products has emerged.
Furthermore there are many specialty vendors of stem cell research products. Examples of this include FUJIFILM CDI, ReproCELL and Ncardia (who specialize in iPSC-related products), RoosterBio (who specializes in human MSC-specific products), and Corning (who specializes in Matrigel® products to support pluripotent stem cell culture and cultureware).
Furthermore, hundreds of companies that produce products to support the activities of stem cell scientists worldwide. The tools commercialized by these companies include those to isolate, expand, culture, differentiate, and characterize stem cells, as well as technologies to enable their production at any scale.
This global strategic report was produced by BioInformant, a U.S. based market research firm with 14+ years of industry experience. As the first and only market research firm to specialize in the stem cell industry, BioInformant research has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, Xconomy, and Vogue Magazine. Headquartered in Washington, DC, BioInformant is strategically positioned near industry lawmakers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. FDA, and the Maryland Biotech Corridor.
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