According to the WHO ICTRP and the NIH ClinicalTrials.gov databases, 27 clinical investigations of MSC-based cell therapy approaches have begun in China since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as a growing number of academic and industry trials elsewhere. Regenerative medicine & stem cell research is one of the major applications of cell expansion. This is a major indicator of market growth as stem cell-based therapies are showing significant potential in COVID-19 study.
In addition to this, various cell expansion products (such as cell culture media) and instruments (such as bioreactors) are being used in COVID-19 research. Hence, the outbreak of COVID-19 has positively impacted the cell expansion.
Cell expansion is used in the R&D of drugs for the treatment of diseases. It is used in the production of vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, and antibiotics. The rising incidence of diseases such as diabetes and cancer has created a need for extensive research to develop new treatment options.
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Growth in this market is driven mainly by the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, government investments for cell-based research, the growing focus on personalized medicine, increasing focus on R&D for cell-based therapies, and growing GMP certifications for cell therapy production facilities.
Research in cell biology necessitates the use of animals and humans, as animal and human cells are used in gene therapy studies that involve the recombination of genes and stem cell research therapies. These cells are also used for in vivo toxicity and pharmacokinetic testing of drugs, which may harm animals and humans. In addition, stem cell research studies use human embryos for clinical applications that often lead to the destruction of human embryos.
The consumables segment is further segmented into reagents, media, sera, and disposables, while instruments are segmented into cell expansion supporting equipment, bioreactors, and automated cell expansion systems. In 2019, consumables accounted for the largest share of the cell expansion products market owing to the increasing production of vaccines and other biologics in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Based on cell type, the cell expansion market is segmented into human cells and animal cells. The human cells segment includes stem cells and differentiated cells. The stem cells segment is further classified into adult stem cells, ESCs, and iPSCs. In 2019, the human cells segment accounted for the larger share of the cell expansion market, majorly due to the increasing investments by public and private organizations for research on human cells, growing application areas of human stem cells, and the growing incidence of diseases such as cancer.
The global cell expansion market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Thermo Fisher Scientific (US), Danaher (US), Becton, Dickinson and Company (US), Lonza (Switzerland), Corning (US). Merck (Germany), Miltenyi Biotec (Germany), STEMCELL Technologies Inc. (Canada), Sartorius Stedim Biotech (France), and Terumo (Japan). Start-up companies include REPROCELL (Japan), iXCells Biotechnologies (US), Neuromics (US), G&G technologies (US), and Celltainer Biotech (Netherlands).