In past posts, we have reported on multiple naturally-occurring substances or methods for strong adhesion that are being investigated for their potential to be exploited for medical or surgical adhesion. These include adhesives from remora, mussels, geckos, crab shells, barnacles, Australian burrowing frogs, spider webs, porcupine quills, sandcastle worms, etc.
Researchers from MedUni Vienna and Vienna University of Technology are now investigating 300 different ticks for the “cement” used by the parasites to attach to hosts. The goal is to study the composition of the natural tick “dowel” used by the mouthparts of ticks and determine how it might serve as a template for new tissue adhesives.
The Vienna research also notes other natural adhesives are similarly being investigated for medical and surgical use:
Other potential “adhesive donors” are sea cucumbers, which shoot sticky threads out of their sac; species of salamander, which secrete extremely fast-drying adhesive out of skin glands, if attacked; or insect larvae, which produce tentacles or crabs, which can remain firmly “stuck,” even under water.
The incentive for studying natural adhesives is that they have been driven by evolution to provide strong adhesion without toxicity in various wet or dry conditions that are challenging for existing synthetic or existing natural glues (e.g., fibrin glues, cyanoacrylates, etc.). Surgical glues currently in use have some limitation arising from lesser strength, ease of use, toxicity, and other shortcomings. New glues will gain wider adoption, capturing procedure volume used with sutures, clips and other closure methods, particularly in internal use, if they are stronger and/or provide tighter seals (without needing to be combined with sutures on the same incision/wound) and do not cause the toxicity that some high strength medical glues do (e.g., synthetics like cyanoacrylates; “super glues”). The biologically-derived glues (or the surfaces structures of gecko feet) avoid the toxicities of synthetics and have often proven to have very high tensile strength. (The fast-curing cement used by barnacles has been shown to have a remarkable tensile strength of 5,000 pounds per square inch.)
MedMarket Diligence tracks the technologies, clinical practices, companies, and markets associated with medical and surgical sealants and glues, with the most recent coverage in, “Worldwide Markets for Medical and Surgical Sealants, Glues, and Hemostats, 2015-2022,” (report #S290).
The fastest growth in the sales of surgical sealants over the next decade will be in the Asia-Pacific region, driven primarily by very strong healthcare market growth in China, and reaching a CAGR (2016-2022) of at least 13.97%. The growth rate in China would be even higher, but will be dampened for the time being by the lack of surgeons trained in the proper use of these products, as well as the limitations of reaching a dispersed patient population. Nonetheless, the A/P share of the global sealants market will double in the next seven years!
Below illustrates the geographic distribution of surgical sealants (fibrin and others) in 2015.
Regional Markets for Sealants, Fibrin and Other Sealant Products, 2015 & 2022, USD Millions
Natural tissue healing is a highly complex dance of processes that need to be working properly in order for the body to heal. Mammals have developed the ability to heal wounds rapidly through a cascade of processes that starts with hemostasis (blood clotting) to slow or stop the loss of blood. From the moment of injury, platelets start to aggregate, as well as starting to release cytokines, chemokines and hormones. Vasoconstriction takes place as the body tries to limit the loss of blood, and several vasoactive mediators come into play, including, norepinephrine, epinephrine, prostaglandins, serotonin, and thromboxane. Activated platelets lead to formation of a clot. Next, the inflammatory steps kick in, targeting and killing microbes and launching a natural internal debridement process, which serves to clean up any damaged tissue so that reconstruction may occur. Last in the cascade are the proliferative and maturation phases. These involve the deposition of new tissue matrix materials, and are intended to lead to reconstruction of tissue organelles and cellular structure. These healing steps actually overlap one another, and do not have strict times when each process begins or ends.
A delicate physiological balance must be maintained during the healing process to ensure timely repair or regeneration of damaged tissue. Wounds may fail to heal or have a greatly increased healing time when unfavorable conditions are allowed to persist. An optimal environment must be provided to support the essential biochemical and cellular activities required for efficient wound healing and to remove or protect the wound from factors that impede the healing process.
Factors affecting wound healing may be considered in one of two categories depending on their source. Extrinsic factors impinge on the patient from the external environment, whereas intrinsic factors directly affect the performance of bodily functions through the patient’s own physiology or condition. Factors which strongly affect wound healing include smoking, diabetes, age, oxygenation, stress, obesity, certain medications, alcoholism and nutrition.
Timescales for Development of Sealants, Glues and Hemostat Products
While product development continues apace, and companies are launching their products in new countries, launches of actual new products has been relatively slow. This is due most likely to the highly technical (read: expensive) nature of the product development, as well as the cost and time involved in running clinical trials, and the strong patent protection which has been erected, especially by the leading companies. The need for the products is there, but the required clinical testing is putting a brake on the markets.
In July 2015, HyperBranch announced the product launch of Adherus® AutoSpray Dural Sealant in the US. FDA clearance to market the product was obtained in March 2015. The absorbable sealant is intended for use in brain surgery and is applied over the sutures for dura repair to prevent cerebrospinal fluid from leaking out of the incision site. The Adherus® AutoSpray Dural Sealant is made of two solutions: a PEG ester solution and a polyethylenimine (PEI) solution. When mixed together, the solutions combine to form a sealant gel that is applied to the incision site. According to the company, the sealant is fully absorbed in about 90 days.
Cohera Medical launched its TissuGlu® in select US cities in November 2015. At this point, TissuGlu® is available in ten cities in the USA, while B. Braun is the distributor for the product in Germany, Spain and Portugal.
Sanyo Chemical launched its first medical device, Hydrofit, in February 2014. The company obtained the approval of the medical device under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law in December 2011, filing it as a novel surgical hemostatic agent intended for anastomosing the arterial blood and artificial blood vessel in surgical procedures. According to the company, the product will be produced by Sanyo and marketed by Terumo.
In 2014, Cohera Medical, Inc. launched Sylys Surgical Sealant, which can be used in gastrointestinal surgery to decrease anastomotic leak. In the same year, Baxter also gained the FDA permission for Tisseel® fibrin sealant, which, according to the company, is used in almost all types of surgical procedures.
Mallinckrodt will invest in the commercial launch and ongoing market development of both PreveLeak and Raplixa in FY 2016. According to the company, both products are faster to prepare and easier to use and store than competing products. PreveLeak, a surgical sealant, is allegedly more flexible than hemostasis glue products. It is indicated for use in vascular reconstructions to achieve adjunctive hemostasis by sealing areas of leakage. PreveLeak is currently marketed in Europe through distributors.
In an example of a delayed launch, CryoLife has been working towards launch of PerClot in the US, but ran into litigation trouble with Medafor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CR Bard. In November 2015, CryoLife announced that it had entered into a resolution with Medafor to end the patent dispute in the US District Court for the District of Delaware between the companies regarding PerClot. Under terms of the resolution, all parties agreed to end the litigation, jointly dismissing all claims and counterclaims with prejudice and waiving all appeal rights in this case. Each party is to pay its own attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the litigation. However, the court’s preliminary injunction entered March 31, 2015 with respect to CryoLife’s marketing and sale of PerClot in the US will remain in effect until the expiration of Medafor’s US Patent No. 6,060,461 (the “‘461 Patent”) on February 8, 2019. CryoLife management says that this will not upset their plans, as CryoLife does not expect to receive FDA market approval for PerClot before 2018, if then.
From “Sealants, Glues, Hemostats to 2022” (#S290).
Fibrin is the result of the combination of solutions of thrombin and fibrinogen. This forms a clot just as in the body during the coagulation cascade. The thrombin then breaks the fibrinogen molecules into smaller bits of another blood protein, called fibrin. Fibrin molecules arrange themselves into a lattice with strands cross-linked by the blood component, Factor XIII. This resulting cross-linked net helps to stabilize the clot.
Numerous variants of fibrin sealant exist, including autologous products. Other, non-fibrin sealant types are thrombin, collagen & gelatin-based sealants.
Fibrin sealants are used in the US in a wide array of applications; they are used the most in orthopedic surgeries, where the penetration rate is thought to be 25-30%. Fibrin sealants can, however, be ineffective under wet surgical conditions. The penetration rate in other surgeries is estimated to be about 10-15%.
Fibrin-based sealants were originally made with bovine components. These components were judged to increase the risk of developing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), so second-generation commercial fibrin sealants (CSF) avoided bovine-derived materials. The antifibrinolytic tranexamic acid (TXA) was used instead of bovine aprotinin. Later, the TXA was removed, again due to safety issues. Today, Ethicon’s (JNJ) Evicel is an example of this product, which Ethicon says is the only all human, aprotinin free, fibrin sealant indicated for general hemostasis. Market growth in the sealants sector is driven by the need for improved biocompatibility and stronger sealing ability—in other words, meeting the still-unsatisfied needs of physician end-users.
The current market penetration of sealant products in the US stands at about 25% of eligible surgeries, with their largest volume of use in orthopedics.
The following is drawn from “Worldwide Markets for Medical and Surgical Sealants, Glues, and Hemostats, 2015-2022.” Report #S290.
The need for surgical sealants, glues and hemostats is directly related to the clinical caseload and procedure volumes, as well as to the adoption of these products for multiple uses, such as the use of one product for sealing, hemostasis and anti-adhesion. It is fair to say that use of these products has become routine in the surgical suite and in other clinical locations. Procedure volumes are in turn driven by demographic forces, including global aging populations, while regulatory changes will continue to influence uptake of these products.
Fibrin sealants are made of a combination of thrombin and fibrinogen. These sealants may be sprayed on the bleeding surface, or applied using a patch. Surgical sealants might be made of glutaraldehyde and bovine serum albumin, polyethylene glycol polymers, and cyanoacrylates.
Sealants are most often used to stop bleeding over a large area. If the surgeon wishes to fasten down a flap without using sutures, or in addition to using sutures, then the product used is usually a medical glue.
The surgeon and the perioperative nurse have a variety of hemostats from which to choose, as they are not all alike in their applications and efficacy. Selection of the most appropriate hemostat requires training and experience, and can affect the clinical outcome, as well as decrease treatment costs. Some of the factors that enter into the decision-making process include the size of the wound, the amount of hemorrhaging, potential adverse effects, whether the procedure is MIS or open surgery, and others.
Active hemostats contain thrombin products which may be derived from several sources, such as bovine pooled plasma purification, human pooled plasma purification, or through human recombinant manufacturing processes. Flowable-type hemostats are made of a granular bovine or porcine gelatin that is combined with saline or reconstituted thrombin, forming a flowable putty that may be applied to the bleeding area.
Sealants and glues are terms which are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing. In this report, a medical glue is defined as a product used to bond two surfaces together securely. Surgeons are increasingly reaching for medical glues to either help secure a suture line, or to replace sutures entirely in the repair of soft tissues. Medical glues are also utilized in repairing bone fractures, especially for highly comminuted fractures that often involve many small fragments. This helps to spread out the force-bearing surface, rather than focusing weight-bearing on spots where a pin has been inserted.
Thus, the surgeon has a fairly wide array of products from which to choose. The choice of which surgical hemostat or sealant to use depends on several factors, including the procedure being conducted, the type of bleeding, severity of the hemorrhage, the surgeon’s experience with the products, the surgeon’s preference, the price of the product and availability at the time of surgery. For example, a product which has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration or other special storage, and which requires no special preparation, usually holds advantages over a product which must be mixed before use, or held in a refrigerator during storage, then allowed to warm up to room temperature before use.
MedMarket Diligence (MMD) has published its 2010 report on the worldwide market for surgical sealants and related products in surgical and traumatic wound management.
The analysis by MMD reveals the size of the evolving opportunity for a diverse set of products in global markets. Based on extensive primary and secondary research, and leveraging MMD’s position as the leading source for the medtech industry on the subject, the report provides industry participants and hopefuls with invaluable data and insights.
This report details the complete range of sealants & glues technologies used in traumatic, surgical and other wound closure, from tapes, sutures and staples to hemostats, fibrin sealants/glues and medical adhesives. The report details current clinical and technology developments in this huge and rapidly growing worldwide market, with data on products in development and on the market; market size and forecast; competitor market shares; competitor profiles; and market opportunity.
This report is a market and technology assessment and forecast of surgical sealants, glues, hemostasis, other wound closure and anti-adhesion. The report details the current and emerging products, technologies and markets involved in wound closure and sealing using sutures and staples, tapes, hemostats, fibrin and sealant products, medical adhesives and products to prevent surgical adhesions. The report provides a worldwide historic (from 2008), current and annual forecast to 2015 of the markets for these technologies, with particular emphasis on the market impact of new technologies through the coming decade. The report provides specific forecasts and shares of the worldwide market by segment for the U.S., Europe (United Kingdom, German, France, Italy, BeNeLux), Latin America, Japan, Korea and Rest of World.
The report provides background data on the surgical, disease and traumatic wound patient populations targeted by current technologies and those under development, and the current clinical practices in the management of these patients, including the dynamics among the various clinical specialties or subspecialties vying for patient population and facilitating or limiting the growth of technologies.
The report establishes the current worldwide market size for major technology segments as a baseline for and projecting growth in the market over a five-year forecast. The report also assesses and projects the composition of the market as technologies gain or lose relative market performance over this period.
See link for complete table of contents and list of exhibits. The report may be ordered for immediate download from link.
Diverse technologies have a surprising number of common threads, whether in the technologies themselves or in the clinical applications. For this reason, manufacturers need to consider that:
1. A technology platform can be the launchpad for products in clinically diverse areas. Case in point, cell therapy, which as a fundamental scientific discipline can have uses as far afield as wound management, bone repair, treatment of myocardial ischemia and others.
2. A disease state can sometimes be targeted by many very different technologies. Examples include that wound management can be accomplished by tissue engineering, sutures, fibrin-based surgical glues, cyanoacrylate-based surgical glues, dressings and others.
The driver behind technologies having multiple clinical applications is, of course, that companies wish to maximize their ROI.
The driver behind single disease states being the target of multiple alternative technologies is cost — healthcare systems (in principle, anyway) seek the most competitive options for treating specific patient populations, and this driver has been gaining momentum over the past ten years due to “managed care” efforts as well as aggressive, cost-focus innovators creating technologies that displace market share with convincingly better patient outcomes compared to alternative technologies.
MedMarket Diligence publishes medical technology market reports on a wide range of clinical and technology subjects (of course, sometimes overlapping). See list.(This post was done via the Palm Pre WebOS app Po’ster by Gabriele Nizzoli.)
During the 19th century, surgeons began to experiment with materials designed to achieve hemostasis: gelatin, collagen, natural fabrics, and thrombin and fibrin materials. In the early 1980s today’s commercial products began to appear. They were rapidly adopted in Japan where bleeding is an extremely emotive issue, and also in Europe where local regulatory requirements allowed a sequential roll-out of product introductions. In the United States, early FDA concerns associated with disease transmission led to delayed launch of products derived from human sources. These regulatory delays, plus the perceived high cost of products and surgeons’ concerns regarding disease transmission risk, drove surgeons and hospitals to continue to look for alternative hemostats, sealants and glues. As a result, to this day there is a tendency for hospitals to continue to prepare autologous fibrin (from the patient’s own blood taken before surgery) and to use a number of inferior hemostasis products.
U.S. FDA Approved Uses of Sealants, Glues, and Hemostats
*Specific indication (few procedures per year) approved
Topical high-strength glues were first used by the military and to achieve immediate repair of sports injuries during professional sports like ice hockey, boxing and American football and basketball. These products became the subject of collaborative efforts between innovative suppliers and major suture manufacturing and marketing companies, keen to evolve their product portfolios to include next-generation closure materials.
During the 1990s, many technology-based companies began to target the huge unmet closure and sealant market and extensive literature appeared, advising practitioners on specific methodology to create the ideal autologous fibrin sealant product and on applying these products to surgical indications. In addition, a number of specialist societies were established to support and advise on the process of preparing and using hospital-derived fibrin sealants.
There were also a growing number of companies developing medical devices and equipment specifically designed to allow the preparation of autologous fibrin sealant for surgical applications. All this effort led to a number of products being approved for use in the major surgical indications (Exhibit 1-7). In 2006, sealant products were used in over three million surgical procedures. This represents up to 5 million units of commercially available fibrin sealant products, and approximately four million units of autologous fibrin prepared by hospitals. The autologous fibrin material, prepared using commercial medical devices, was used in approximately 70,000 surgical operations worldwide and represents a new market that has developed over the last five years. Similarly, the use of high-strength glues for wound closure evolved since 1992 in Europe and since 1998 in the United States and Japan. High-strength adhesives were used on approximately 6 million cuts, grazes and minor incisions in 2006. This usage is growing rapidly driven by greater awareness and cost-effectiveness.
Taken together, the Americas represent some 60% of the global market for surgical securement (sealants, glues, hemostasis, wound closure, anti-adhesion), led by the United States with more than 50%. The relative success of each product type varies between these markets, dominated by traditional sutures and staples, but with sealants rapidly penetrating and gaining share.
Significant cost-effectiveness arguments can be made for products that avoid blood transfusions or reduce the quantities of blood transfusion products required. Approximately 8 million patients worldwide would benefit directly from increased usage of hemostats, sealants and glue products to reduce bleeding during cardiovascular, orthopaedic, urologic, and other general surgical procedures. Units of blood cost approximately $180 each; however, the benefit of reducing transfusion requirement goes beyond this simple saving. Often, the real benefit is that appropriate hemostasis reduces the risk of mortality. For example, reducing blood loss during cardiovascular procedures in particular not only prevents the use of large volumes of donated blood (e.g., 5–10 units for dissection of aortic aneurysms) but significantly reduces mortality rates (which can be as high as 30% for aortic aneurysm procedures).
Adhesion-prevention products have been shown to significantly reduce post-surgical adhesions associated with gynaecological, spinal, cardiovascular and orthopedic procedures. Post-operative adhesions can severely complicate subsequent interventions by making re-entry hazardous, and impeding orientation and visibility, which can lead to damaging the surrounding tissues or vessels. There may also be increased blood loss, and significantly longer operating time required to cut through the adhesions.
These dynamics have collectively contributed to the worldwide growth in the market. Below please find the aggregate worldwide market forecast for these products.
Worldwide Growth in the Markets for Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion, 2006–2013
Source: Report #S175, published December 2008, MedMarket Diligence, LLC