High strength glues for medical and surgical applications remain an excellent opportunity, driving development by well established medtech competitors.
Cyanoacrylate products are the main form of high-strength surgical glue that is approved for human clinical use in the worldwide market. A number of new materials are under development for internal use in particular, but these represent new chemical entities and their commercialization is likely to be delayed by regulatory requirements.
Efforts are progressing to develop new biomaterials capable of gluing tissues with high strength, low toxicity, and sufficient flexibility to avoid breakage of the bond. In addition, cyanoacrylate manufacturers are examining the possibility of improving cyanoacrylate technology to overcome the existing challenges of toxicity and brittleness. Despite this huge challenge, one or both of these two approaches are likely to establish new products in the next decade. In addition, the evidence of research work suggests it should be possible to create a glue technology that incorporates hemostatic properties to enhance the role of this technology even further.
Sutures will be replaced by cyanoacrylate glues in many procedures over the next 10 years but these adhesives do not represent the ideal alternative to suturing. Despite the popular idea of “super glues”, cyanoacrylate glues used for external skin closure are approximately five times less strong than sutures, and cyanoacrylates produce cytotoxic compounds as part of the curing process when used for securing torn or excised tissue. This has delayed the development and clinical evaluation of these potentially useful materials for internal surgical procedures. However, cyanoacrylate glues are marketed actively by a number of companies for topical wound closure in accident/emergency situations and in surgical closure.
According to the MedMarket Diligence report #S180 (October 2010), the key companies developing high strength medical and surgical glues includeÂ Adhezion Biomedical, Advanced Medical Solutions/ Medlogic Global, B. Braun/Aesculap, Berlin Heart, Biocoral, Chemence Medical, Cohera Medical, Covidien, GEM, GluStitch, Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), Kimberly-Clark Health Care, Meyer-Haake, and Protein Polymer Technologies.