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PROSPECTS OF WORLD WIDE STEM CELL THERAPY INDUSTRY IN 2027

Stem cell therapy also known as regenerative medicine is considered to transform the healthcare industry in a few years from now. Stem cells can renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiated into a wide range of specialized cell types.

Stem cells are found in all human beings from the early stages of human life though the number decreases with age. Stem cell therapy involves the administration of isolated cells for the treatment of diseases or traumatic damages. The advances in the field of stem cell therapy are considered to transform the healthcare industry within a few years. It is reflected by the fact that the increasing awareness related to stem cell therapy for effective disease management and growing demand for regenerative medicines is driving the stem cell therapy industry.

The Market potential of stem cell therapy industry – An overview

The stem cell therapy market was valued at US$ 1,534 million in 2019. It is estimated to reach US$ 18 billion by the end of 2028. It is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.7% from 2020 to 2027.

With potential treatment procedures undergoing clinical trials and a noticiable number of stem cell therapies, having won FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for clinical usage is expected to fuel the growth of the stem cell therapy market.

Key factors that are driving the growth of the global stem cell therapy industry

Following factors are likely to drive the growth of the stem cell therapy industry at global level-

  • Increasing aging population,
  • Grwoing disease awareness,
  • Grwoing awareness about side-effects of conventional medicines,
  • Increasing incidences of viral and other diseases such as cancer, corona, cardiac abnormalities, organ failures etc
  • Development of banking facilities and resultant enhancement of stem cell production, storage and characterization.

The existence of stem cell based treatments has been established as a clinical standard of care for different conditions such as epithelial stem cell based therapy for burns as well as for corneal disorders and hematopoietic stem cell treatment for leukemia.

The division of global stem cell therapy market based on types-
The global stem cell therapy market is categorized based on the following types-

  • Therapy type,
  • Therapeutic area,
  • Cell type,
  • End-user,
  • Region.

Based on therapy type, the market is divided into autologous and allogenic. By therapeutic type, it is categorized into malignancies, musculoskeletal disorders, autoimmune disorders, dermatology and others.
Adult stem cell therapy held the largest market share of the market in 2020. The induced pluripotent stem cell therapy is estimated to register the highest CAGR in the market.

The region wise share of the stem cell therapy industry-

North America holds the largest share of the stem cell therapy industry. It is expected to continue this trend over the coming years. It is due, in part, to the existence of organized and developed healthcare systems, which uplift the research and development activities in the USA and Canada. Other part is contributed by the growing awareness among the patients about the curative abilities of the stem cell therapies.

The highest CAGR for stem cell therapy is likely to grow in Asia Pacific region due to the wide usage of stem cells in regenerative medicines, especially in the dermatology sector. Overall, the growing numbers of regenerative medicine centers are in turn expected to drive the stem cell therapy industry in the future.

GROUNDBREAKING TREATMENT FOR SEVERE COVID-19 USING STEM CELLS

The corona virus has affected our lives ever since its emergence in late 2019 which was later declared a pandemic in 2020. Every day there is some news of death/affliction from COVID – 19 in almost every part of this planet. With a lot of research focused on developing a vaccine has resulted in a few effective ones already in production in some countries including India, and are actively being used for mass immunization. However, the vaccines are of not much importance to those already suffering from the disease.

Therefore, as needed research is also taking place for developing an effective therapeutic regimen for treating the disease. In an effort in the last few months umbilical cord blood stem cells are being used for treating severe cases of COVID-19 in clinical trials.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers led a unique ground breaking randomized controlled trial showing umbilical cord derived from mesenchymal stem cell infusions to safely reduce the risk of death and in hastening the time to recovery for the severest COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 induces severe inflammation in the afflicted individuals. Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory and healing properties stem cells, immaterial of the source of origin either from umbilical cord blood or the placenta or any other source, are being applied for treating patients infected with COVID-19.

The recovery from COVID – 19 after stem cell treatment

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During the month of March, 2020, umbilical cord stem cells were intravenously administered to seven COVID-19 patients. Symptoms of all patients significantly alleviated within two days of the treatment, and no side effects were recorded. Three of these patients were discharged within 10 days after stem cell treatment. Onward the study has been expanded to treat more than thirty patients, and the results showed significant improvement in their conditions after receiving the therapy.

The rationale of using mesenchymal stem cells for treating COVID – 19

Mesenchymal stem cells, the most often used type of stem cells, are also multipotent adult stem cells present in most human tissues including the umbilical cord. These cells can self-renew while dividing, and can differentiate into multiple types of tissues leading to a robust clinical research agenda in stem cell therapy.

It has been demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells reduce the acute lung injury and inhibit the cell-mediated inflammatory responses induced by SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, because these cells lack the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor that SARS-CoV-2 uses for viral entry into cells, mesenchymal stem cells are resistant to infection.

Study of data on the use of stem cells in COVID-19

Data demonstrate that stem cells are safe and well tolerated in patients. Also, the stem cell treated patients had meaningful improvements in lung function, got off the ventilators faster than those not treated with stem cells. Stem cell treated patients experienced improved rate of survival as well.

The next step would be to study the effectiveness of stem cells in COVID-19 patients who become ill enough close to be intubated in order to determine if stem cell infusions could prevent the disease progression.
It is very likely that hyper-immune and hyper-inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases might hold clue rooted reasons unknown about why some COVID-19 patients develop severe form of the disease while others do not.

In the month of May, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved a phase 1/2a trial for assessing the use of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for treating severe COVID-19 patients.

A NOVEL PROTEIN COULD REVERSE MUSCLE WASTING DURING AGING OR TRAUMA OR EVEN DURING SEVERE DISEASE-SPECIFIC CONDITIONS

Researchers at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute – Monash University in Melbourne were successful in discovering a factor that triggers the muscle stem cells to regenerate that can help in regeneration of muscle, and also in the return of normal movement even after severe muscle trauma.

It is a well-known fact that muscle stem cells are the engines that drive the tissue’s growth and they have the capability of repairing the muscles due to any injury. For instance, people with severe muscle wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy and war veterans who survive catastrophic limb injuries regain their muscle strength with the help of these muscle stem cells.

However, as we age we lose much of our muscle strength as our stem cells do not seem to work as well due to the aging factor. Therefore, growing these cells in the lab and then using them therapeutically to replace damaged muscles is quite difficult if not impossible.

Research on factors that trigger muscle stem cells-

Researchers have now discovered a factor that triggers these muscle stem cells to proliferate and help heal. Through a mouse model of severe muscle damage, injections of this naturally occurring protein have led to the complete regeneration of the muscle and the return of the normal movement after severe muscle trauma.

The scientists/researchers have indeed studied the regeneration of skeletal muscle in zebrafish that has become one of the best animal models for studying stem cell regeneration, as fish are quicker in reproducing, easier to manipulate experimentally and these fish share 70% of its genes with humans. Due to their transparent body, it results in scientists visualize the actual regeneration of living muscle.

The scientists noticed that the cells that migrated to a muscle injury in these fish and were successful in identifying a group of immune cells called the macrophages that have a role in triggering the muscle stem cells to regenerate.

The Role of Macrophages in cuddling the muscle stem cells-

The scientists observed that the macrophages cuddle the muscle stem cells, which then started to divide and proliferate. The starting of this process resulted in the macrophages move on and cuddling the next muscle stem cell that helped in healing the wound.

Macrophages are the cells that flock to sites of any infection or injury in the body, which helps in removing the debris, and promote healing. Two types the macrophages exist in the body – one those move to the injury site rapidly and remove the debris, while the other ones come in slower and stick around doing the long-term cleanup.

The Importance of NAMPT – An Overview

The research team found eight genetically different types of macrophages in the injury site and out of that one type, in particular, was the cuddler. This affectionate macrophage releases a substance called nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). By removing these macrophages from the zebra fish and adding the NAMPT to the aquarium water, the scientists found that they could stimulate the muscle stem cells to grow and heal thereby effectively replacing the need for the macrophages.

Recent experimentation of placing a hydrogel patch containing NAMPT into a mouse model of severe muscle wasting has led to the significant replacement of the damaged muscle. Now, discussions are on to take NAMPT to clinical trials for use of this compound in the treatment of muscle disease and injury.

WHAT ARE 6 HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT MIGHT BE TREATED BY STEM CELLS?

Stem cells are compleletly or partially undifferentiated or unprogrammed cells which are capable of developing into numerous types of cells and serving different functions in different parts of the body. The majority of cells in the human body are differentiated cells which means that they can serve only a specific purpose in a particular organ such as red blood cells that can only carry oxygen or carbon dioxide with the blood.

Stem cells can divide and make an indefinite number of copies of themselves. Stem cells can either remain stem cells or turn into differentiated cells such as red blood cells or muscle cells.

How stem cell could be useful for treating different diseases.

Scientists involved in stem cell research believe that stem cells can be useful for understanding mechanisms of diseases and treating those. Stem cells are being used to:

  • Replace damaged cells of organs or tissues,
  • Resore functions of tissues or organs that do not work properly,
  • Investigate mechanisms of genetic defect caused diseases,
  • Research how diseases develop or why certain cells become cancerous,
  • Test safety and effectiveness of new drugs.

The stem cell field has grown rapidly over the last two decades with stem cell treatments that include technologies to treat or prevent a disease condition. Stem cells have the potential to help treat numerous diseases by generating healthy new cells of almost all tissues.

Stem cell therapy for treating hematopoietic and genetic disorders

Stem cell therapy is being used to treat hematopoietic and genetic disorders. For instance in a cord blood transplant, stem cells are infused into a patient’s blood stream after which they help in healing and repairing of damaged tissues. Upon successful engraftment of the stem cells, the patient’s blood and immune systems are regenerated.

Six Health Problems that might be treated with stem cell therapy-

There are a wide range of diseases that are treatable with stem cells derived from cord blood or from other sources like bone marrow and peripheral blood. The diseases treatable by stem cells include acute and chronic forms of leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders, and many more.

The following six health problems might successfully be treated by stem cell therapy also known as regenerative medicine-

  • Leukaemia

Doctors are replacing cells damaged by chemotherapy or leukemia by performing stem cell transplant. Stem cell therapy is also serving as a way for supporting the patient’s immune system to fight some types of cancer and blood related diseases.

  • Diabetes – type 1

Embryonic stem cells when transplanted into people with type 1 diabetes is showing some very encouraging results towards the management of this disease.

  • Stroke

Stem cells are being used in clinical trials with evidence that when combined with clot busting or mechanical thrombectomy therapy enhances recovery. Stem cells injected into distant arteries or veins travel to the site of stroke in the brain fueling the repairing and recovery processes.

  • Kidney failure

Mesenchymal stem cells when administered independently are known to aid in kidney repair in cases of kidney failures.

  • Liver cirrhosis

The mechanism of mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs for treating liver cirrhosis /diseases has been evaluated from various perspectives. Adult stem cell therapies help induce the rapid production of hepatocytes in patients with liver cirrhosis.

  • Ulcerative colitis

Mesenchymal stem cells have displayed their immense potential for suppression of overactive immune response and for healing inflamed tissues. Therefore, these are emerging as a promising treatment of ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, the diseases suspected to be rooted in localized inflammation in digestive tract.

The stem cell therapy has great potentials for treating and/or managing the six diseases mentioned above.

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