UPDATE : Monday, December 10, 2018
Smaller firms lead domestic stem cell market
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.07.05 13:49
  • Updated 2017.07.05 18:17
  • comments 0

Big businesses and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 17 percent and 83 percent of Korea’s stem cell biological drug market, respectively, a state think tank said Wednesday.

By corporate size, SMEs accounted for 37 percent of the market, followed by small firms’ 26.2 percent, midsize companies’ 19.2 percent, and large businesses’ 17.6 percent, as of 2015, according to Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI)한국과학기술정보연구원.

"The U.S. has recently taken the lead in innovation related to the artificial-biomimetic pancreas and stem cell therapies to treat diabetes and other diseases,” the institute said. “The biotechnological trend, including the stem cell therapy, has resulted from the appearance of personalized biomarkers."

It went on to say, “The stem cell treatment will become increasingly important because of global population aging.”

Frost & Sullivan, a market survey agency, estimated the stem cell market would grow 24.1 percent a year on average, from $40 billion in 2013 to $117.6 billion in 2018.

Korea’s stem cell market is estimated to grow about 9 percent annually to 596.6 billion won ($518million) next year.

"In Korea, many companies have been focusing on and developing stem cells from adults, which are rapidly moving from laboratories to clinical applications,” the institute said. “Most of the businesses seeking stem cell therapies are focusing on the development of adult stem cells coming from sources such bone marrow, nerve tissues, fat tissues, and placenta."

KISTI said the Korean government’s support to the stem cell industry is not insignificant when compared with even advanced countries.

"The regulatory environment that could pose stumbling blocks to stem cell industry has changed much recently,” it said. “Some Asian countries have revised regulations concerning stem cell research to attract greater investment.”

"Korea, India, and Singapore are likely to dominate the stem cell market as frontrunners,” the institute went on to say. “The government’s favorable regulatory change and financial support would facilitate the industry’s commercialization.”


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