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Asia-Pacific Rapidly Becoming a “Growth Engine” for Stem Cell Research

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 09 Jan 2013
The stem cell therapy market in Asia-Pacific is positioned to provide considerable contributions in the future, due to renewed interest by the respective governments of India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore in providing cures for a range of diseases, according to new market research.

Stem cells are distinctive body cells that can divide and differentiate into varied cell types, and can be used to generate additional stem cells. Adult stem cells have been effectively employed to treat bone and blood-related illnesses such as leukemia by the use of bone marrow transplants. Stem cell therapy is used to repair and regenerate the damaged tissue, although the actual process of action is largely undetermined.

The growth in the stem cell therapy market will not only provide treatment options but will also contribute considerably to the countries’ gross domestic product (GDP), with the president of South Korea only in 2012 referring to stem cell research as a “new growth engine” for the nation’s economy. In order to support the stem cell industry, regulatory guidelines in Asia-Pacific countries allow stem cell research, and this has led to its commercialization. India and South Korea are the leaders in the commercialization of stem cell therapy, with approved products for osteoarthritis, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and anal fistula in Crohn’s disease, among others. The countries allow the use of human embryonic stem cells and provide adequate funding support for the research.

Stem cell therapy is a new field, and a large amount of research is currently being performed by institutions such as universities, hospitals, and medical colleges. According to healthcare specialists GBI Research (New York, NY, USA), analysis of the stem cell therapy research in Asia-Pacific, 63% of pipeline molecules were being studied by academia. The emergence of institutional research has advanced stem cell discoveries, as companies can be put off conducting research due to uncertain therapeutic outcomes. Japan and China experienced only a slight industry presence in stem cell research, as academic institutions dominate--however, in contrast, India has the presence of both industry and academia. The major institutions engaged in stem cell research in India are LV Prasad Eye Institute (LYPEI; Hyderabad) for Limbal Stem Cell Technology (LSCT), and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER; Chandigarh) for stem cell therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The market is set for considerable future growth, due to the anticipated launch of JCR Pharmaceuticals’ JR-031 in Japan in 2014, and FCB Pharmicell’s Cerecellgram (CCG) in South Korea in 2015. GBI Research analysts therefore forecasts that the stem cell therapy market will grow in value from USD 545 million in 2012 to USD 972 million in 2018, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%.

GBI Research is a provider of business intelligence reports, providing data and forecasts based on the insights of key industry leaders to ensure up-to-date awareness of the latest emerging trends.

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GBI Research



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