The stem cell therapies market faces several obstacles that slow the wider application of stem cells for treatment purposes, according to a report by GBI Research. Despite possessing a large pipeline of 330 products, the commercial feasibility of stem cell therapies remains limited.

Titled ‘Stem Cell Therapies – Global Trends in the Competitive, Technological and R&D Landscape’, the report mentions that the progress in the stem cell space is driven mainly by constant clinical research, as well as growing evidence of product effectiveness.

The therapeutic potential of stem cell therapy is affirmed by increasing research and development (R&D) and increasingly more products headed for clinical development.

The probable success of stem cell therapies arises in cases where both pharmacological and surgical treatment options fail. Stem cells currently find limited application with skin and blood stem cells representing the majority of therapeutic uses.

"It is likely that manufacturing methodologies will use partially or fully automated systems in future approaches in order to improve yield, purity and cost-effectiveness."

The narrow variety of indications where these cells are currently being used is disproportionate with the high number of research programmes being conducted to identify more areas for stem-cell-based therapies.

The most significant challenge facing the stem cell space is translating its possible effectiveness into real therapeutic value. The stem cell industry is focusing on 15 therapy areas by performing 1,000 clinical trials as part of its rigorous R&D efforts.

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According to GBI Research, high cost of research is the primary obstacle in the development of the stem cell market. Certain stem cell manufacturing companies such as Cynata Therapeutics have turned to innovative methods to produce affordable and consistent stem cells.

GBI Research managing analyst Rodrigo Gutierrez Gamboa concludes: “Manufacturers will need to adopt novel strategies to realise their full potential.

"It is likely that manufacturing methodologies will use partially or fully automated systems in future approaches in order to improve yield, purity and cost-effectiveness.”