Global regenerative medicine market shows strong growthThe market for human spare parts is growing rapidly. While the market is still relatively small worldwide, all the indicators are pointing up. BioMediTech’s seminar brought together scientists and companies to discuss the latest developments in the field.
BioMediTech, a joint institute of the University of Tampere (UTA) and Tampere University of Technology (TUT), is home to several research groups that fall under the umbrella of regenerative medicine. Professors Minna Kellomäki of TUT and Heli Skottman of UTA showcased the latest research conducted by the groups during a seminar titled ‘Emerging Business Opportunities for the Industry’, which was hosted by BioMediTech in Helsinki, Finland, on 14 September 2015.
”From a consumer perspective, examples of the most intriguing innovations being adopted by the healthcare sector are a novel method for determining whether a particular cardiac medication will be effective in an individual patient and new stem cell-based treatments for incontinence. In the field of eye research, we’re currently testing new methods for retinal repair through cell transplantation, Kellomäki and Skottman say.
Clear guidelines needed
According to Minna Kellomäki and Heli Skottman, a more widespread commercialization of human spare parts is often hampered by legislation, which is lagging behind scientific advancements in Finland and many other countries.
”We need clear guidelines that lay down the tests and results that are needed before the new technologies are allowed into the market. EU legislation has made the commercialization process a bit easier: individual countries are no longer having to ponder these issues on their own,” they say.
“The market needs to be large enough to make product development worthwhile. In this business we need to think globally.”
There is great interest among scientists to tap into the global market. Declan M. Flaherty has assisted Finnish researchers with the commercialization of innovations for a long time. He offered his top tips for all research groups that are planning to establish a company.
“All scientists should have business savvy, and all businessmen should be knowledgeable about science. Right from the outset, researchers should ask themselves whether their innovation responds to a specific need. They also need to conduct a thorough analysis of the market and build a strong business plan. Effective branding is the key to captivating your audience’s attention,” Flaherty says.
Location is more than a geographical concept
CEO Benny Daniels from the Belgium-based Insight Bioventures complemented Finland’s high standard of education, research and expertise in the field of biotechnology. He finds location to be the key challenge for Finns.
“If you were to draw a circle with a diameter of 100 kilometres around the town of Hasselt in Belgium, numerous top European universities, research institutions and large-scale companies would be found within that circle,” Daniels says.
“Luckily, these days periphery is a state of mind rather than a geographical location, and Finland has a strong international orientation,” says Professor Markku Sotarauta of the University of Tampere.
A Finnish delegation will set off for Hasselt later this autumn to make preparations for further collaboration.