The healthcare industry has been focusing on excessive research and development in the last couple of decades to ensure that the need to address issues related to the availability of drugs and treatments for certain chronic diseases is effectively met. Healthcare researchers and scientists at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the Hong Kong University have successfully demonstrated the utilization of human induced pluripotent stem cells or hiPSCs from the skin cells of the patient for testing therapeutic drugs.
The success of this research suggests that scientists have crossed one more hurdle towards using stem cells in precision medicine for the treatment of patients suffering from sporadic hereditary diseases. iPSCs are the new generation approach towards the prevention and treatment of diseases that takes into account patients on an individual basis considering their genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment. Along with the capacity to transform into different body cell types and same genetic composition of the donors, hiPSCs have surfaced as a promising cell source to screen and test drugs.
In the present research, hiPSC was synthesized from patients suffering from a rare form of hereditary cardiomyopathy owing to the mutations in Lamin A/C related cardiomyopathy in their distinct families. The affected individuals suffer from sudden death, stroke, and heart failure at a very young age. As on date, there is no exact treatment available for this condition. This team in Hong Kong tested a drug named PTC124 to suppress specific genetic mutations in other genetic diseases into the iPSC transformed heart muscle cells. While this technology is being considered as a breakthrough in clinical stem cell research, the team at Hong Kong University is collaborating with drug companies regarding its clinical application.
The unique properties of iPS cells provides extensive potential to several biopharmaceutical applications. iPSCs are also used in toxicology testing, high throughput, disease modeling, and target identification. This type of stem cell has the potential to transform drug discovery by offering physiologically relevant cells for tool discovery, compound identification, and target validation. A new report by Persistence Market Research (PMR) states that the global induced pluripotent stem or iPS cell market is expected to witness a strong CAGR of 7.0% from 2018 to 2026. In 2017, the market was worth US$ 1,254.0 Mn and is expected to reach US$ 2,299.5 Mn by the end of the forecast period in 2026.
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Customization to be the Key Focus of Market Players
Due to the evolving needs of the research community, the demand for specialized cell lines have increased to a certain point where most vendors offering these products cannot depend solely on sales from catalog products. The quality of the products and lead time can determine the choices while requesting custom solutions at the same time. Companies usually focus on establishing a strong distribution network for enabling products to reach customers from the manufacturing units in a short time period.
Entry of Multiple Small Players to be Witnessed in the Coming Years
Several leading players have their presence in the global market; however, many specialized products and services are provided by small and regional vendors. By targeting their marketing strategies towards research institutes and small biotechnology companies, these new players have swiftly established their presence in the market.