Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are approaching what some might call a "heyday."
Archives of Medical Research reports that in June 2020, more than 1,100 registered clinical trials involved MSCs worldwide, up from 220 just eight years prior. Much of that growth is driven by the versatility of MSC-based research, which has affirmed the value of stem cell production in the lab.
"Almost every organ is being evaluated for potential MSC therapies," said Hilary Sherman, senior applications scientist at Corning Life Sciences. "And these clinical trials are looking at a range of indications, from cartilage regeneration and inflammation reduction to management of neurological symptoms. I think we're just coming to the cusp of MSC research delivering therapies into the market within the next few years."
Despite all the excitement over these potential market disruptors after notable successes such as Alofisel® for Crohn's disease in Europe, as reported in Science Advances, many challenges remain as researchers look for the most efficient and effective ways to optimize MSC workflows. Fortunately, scientists have ample new tools and technologies in the lab to support those workflows for improved scale and cell quality.