Monday, March 12, 2007

The Multibillion Dollar Stem Cell Market and Its Challenges

Today's market for stem cell therapies in the United States currently runs around $100 million but is expected shoot up to $710 million in three years, venture capitalist Steve Burrill said Monday.

By 2016, the market could hit $8.5 billion, he told about 500 persons attending The Stem Cell Meeting at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay complex.

The event, sponsored by Burrill & Company and which drew attendees from throughout the world, focused on both the science and business of stem cells.

Access to capital for fledgling stem firms was the topic of one panel Monday morning. Speakers from stem cell company indicated that funds are still tight, but that some loosening seemed to be occurring that was related to the more favorable political climate in Washington, D.C.

Burrill said a "reasonable amount of money" is available around the world, but different investors have different appetites, depending on the perspective from their countries.

He asked a panel of stem cell business executives about the biggest challenges for the stem cell business. One replied that predictable manufacturing processes were needed. Another said bigger companies with larger resources were necessary. William Caldwell, head of Advanced Cell Technology of Alameda, Ca., said the key was "curing the first patient."

Zach Hall, president of the California stem cell agency, echoed Caldwell during his overview of the status of the state's $3 billion research effort. To do that, Hall said CIRM expected ultimately to partner with the private sector.

Hall said the agency will have awarded about $190 million in grants to nonprofit agencies by sometime this summer with research being financed in about 100 labs throughout the state. Hall said CIRM hopes to build a "very strong pipeline" for research. That's because of the high disappointment rate involved in research. Hall noted that only one out of every eight to 10 clinical trials results in a viable product. And those trials occur at an advanced stage in the development of a therapy or cure.

We will have continuing coverage of the Burrill stem cell conference today and Tuesday. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment