One of the key methods by which to evaluate the potential market opportunities in the early stages of an industry such as tissue engineering and cellular therapy is to look at the number of current procedures that could possibly be augmented or replaced by the new technologies. In the sections that follow, we review the major areas of transplantation and estimate the clinical caseloads that reflect potential uses of tissue engineering. It should be kept in mind that it is highly unlikely that tissue engineering will replace 100% of these particular procedures, even after years of clinical usage. There will always be patients for whom certain procedures are inappropriate; other procedures may not be fully covered by insurance and hence will only be used by those patients who can afford them. Transplant of cadaver organs is likely to continue as long as these organs are available and free of disease, and the cost of transplantation is equal to or less than the cost of tissue engineering. The latter, of course, reflects a key pricing strategy for tissue engineering and cellular therapy. The clinical caseloads for the conditions addressed are enormous, hence, even with the caveats, the potential markets for TE and cell therapy are extremely significant. The competition within the infant industry is fierce, with reason.
Below is an outline/map of the range of clinical applications in development or in use for cell therapy and tissue engineering (drawn from MedMarket Diligence report #S520).
Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; "Tissue Engineering, Cell Therapy and Transplantation, 2009-2018." February 2010.