Adult stem cells show promise, says market analyst
Progress in using them in manufacturing process
Research in adult and embryonic stem cells is progressing at breakneck speed despite formidable challenges, according to the US market analysis constancy Frost & Sullivan.
"New research into stem cell therapies has resulted in several technological innovations that have improved the manufacturing and design of these products," notes analyst Katheryn Symank. "For example, improvements in cell sorting and cell culture have allowed for improved survival and growth of adult stem cells. This allows for the rapid production of a high-quality adult stem cell product with increased bio-availability that may be produced on a large scale."
Adult stem cell therapies have often been criticised because they could only be produced in limited quantities or as needed. However, now adult stem cells have the potential to become mass-produced therapies.
"Both embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells have their own challenges that must be overcome," explains Symank. "The controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells has resulted in severe limitations in federal funding for their research, while adult stem cells are often viewed as having less therapeutic potential because they can differentiate into a limited number of cells."
New evidence suggests that adult stem cells may actually have more plasticity than once thought, and may actually derive more tissue types. In addition, new technical innovations allow for adult stem cells to be cultured in large quantities without the loss of potency. Research on embryonic stem cells, despite severe restrictions on federal funding, has been supported by foundations, companies and some state governments and there has been rapid progress. However, there have been concerns over the safety of the use of embryonic stem cells in humans because of potential adverse consequences from undifferentiated cells.
"In order to ensure the safety of embryonic stem cell products in humans, strict manufacturing regulations may need to be imposed by the FDA," advises Symank. "In addition, there could be strict product safety testing in place to guarantee their safety." ~ Frost & Sullivan press release, Oct 21
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