In today’s blog I am going to talk about a market I have noticed is taking off, and about how we can help you stay on top of market trends through using our data insights.
I’ve noted recently a number of reports of growth and development in the cell and gene therapy market, with new companies emerging, new investments being made by established companies, and a number of acquisitions and mergers helping companies stay up to speed. As an introduction to this space, today I want to give a bit of an overview of some of these deals and why you should care about them as a life science or investment company.
The development of the cell and gene therapy market has been fuelled by increasing demand for precision medicine, with both therapies being aimed at modifying genetic material to treat disease. Markets Insider reported that the global cell and gene therapy market could see remarkable growth from just over $1bn in 2018 to around $12bn by 2025.
However, currently, both the therapeutic application of cell and gene therapy and research carried out in this field, is challenged by high costs, high demand and limited manufacturing capacity. Both therapies require GMP grade components which adds a level of complexity, and historically most companies providing these products had very low manufacturing capacity. Growth of the cell and gene therapy market will also result in growth in demand for viral vectors and plasmid DNA.
Accessing cell and gene therapy can be financially impossible. Many will be aware that the gene therapy treatment Glybera, the first to gain approval in Europe, was withdrawn from the market in 2017 just five years after it became available. This was not to do with its efficacy or any safety issues but simply because at $1m per treatment it was too expensive.
Investment in the market
A significant number of existing companies within the life science reagent market are investing in the development of cell and gene therapy products.
Over the last year alone I have noted multi-billion dollar deals, investments and acquisitions by companies around the world, really demonstrating the appetite and demand for these products, and the faith that these companies have in the growth potential of this market.
Some of the most notable investments include those by PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) in November 2020, Roche (SWX: RO) in December 2019 and Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) in May 2019.
In May 2019, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that it was acquiring Brammer Bio, a leader in viral vector manufacturing for gene and cell therapies, for $1.7bn. Following this, the company announced that it would be constructing a new cGMP plasmid DNA manufacturing facility to expand its production capacity of raw materials used in cell and gene therapies, and then invested $90m in a facility for viral vector manufacturing in December 2019.
Roche then also announced that it was making an acquisition that would see it step up in this market, when in December 2019 it bought Spark Therapeutics, a gene therapy company focused on discovering, developing and delivering gene therapies for genetic diseases, for $4.8bn.
In November 2020 PerkinElmer acquired Horizon Discovery for $383m. With this investment, PerkinElmer expanded its portfolio of automated life sciences discovery and applied genomics solutions to include gene editing and gene modulation tools, with the aim of providing researchers with tools for exploring next-generation cell engineering and customised cell lines for biological models for the future of precision medicine.
This is just a small taste of the many acquisitions and investments I have noted in the past few years in this fast-paced market. If you’d like to receive a list of all of them, sign up below and I’ll send it directly to your inbox.
And why should life science reagent companies be aware of the changes happening in this market? Well, cell and gene therapy research can include the use of a wide range of reagents – so being aware of where future demand might increase or decrease can help in planning your catalogues. Here at CiteAb our search function covers antibodies, proteins, kits and assays, biochemicals and experimental models. We have plans for what else we need to add to ensure researchers doing cell and gene therapy work can find well-cited products through CiteAb, but we’d also love to hear your ideas. Drop me an email if you’d like to have a chat about this.
I’m planning to continue to keep a close eye on this market, in which the key players are changing at a pace and, through our data, we can see growth happening in geographical markets around the world. This is a fascinating area – investment from life science companies, combined with the growing use of machine learning and expanding bioinformatics, creates the potential to build upon existing research and therapies and usher in a new era of modern medicine.
– Rhys and the CiteAb team
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