Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Tissue Engineering Market
In light of the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is a dire need for new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to combat such diseases worldwide. Tissue engineering has traditionally focused on the application of engineering principles to biological systems, collaboration across disciplines, and rapid translation of technologies.
One of the prime challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic includes the availability of supplies in the tissue engineering market. Shipments of various laboratory supplies and products have been canceled and in most cases, the delivery of most of the supplies got delayed. This made research laboratories and research-driven companies difficult to choose alternative solutions, severely affecting the productivity of laboratory research in the last few months.
Financial risks include high risk of research uncertainty along with the current socio-economic pressures to reduce the cost of any novel tissue engineering products which may be used in the treatment of diseases. Other risks are currency volatility and the high fixed cost and operating costs which pushes the mid-sized enterprises at a huge risk of loss.
The technological advancements in the tissue engineering field in the past decade has revolutionized the field of plastic surgery. As compared to plastic surgery, tissue engineering has proved to be more modern and interdisciplinary. The increasing preference of society for using stem cells, PRP (platelet-rich plasma), growth factors, and synthetic scaffolds to treat facial defects are significant factors providing opportunities for the global tissue engineering market. However, in the previous quarter, most of the regulatory authorities did not permit medical professionals to carry on with cosmetic surgeries. Owing to this, there is a significant gap created in the demand and supply of tissue engineering products.
While the whole world is afraid to reach the point of economic crisis, 3D bioprinting is emerging as a novel tissue engineering strategy due to its cost-efficiency. This technology includes a precise layering of cells, growth factors, and biological scaffolds to create bioidentical tissues. 3D bioprinting has the ability to produce healthcare products at cheap costs. The cost of 3D bioprinting is becoming low for small production runs. 3D bioprinting is also capable of reducing manufacturing costs by decreasing the use of unnecessary resources. While some technology companies have been using other means to address the personal protective equipment shortage caused by COVID-19, others are using 3D printing technology to create samples of human organs and tissues for coronavirus testing. Since public health officials are racing to find treatments for COVID-19, researchers and scientists are continuously working to aid the challenges. For instance, companies such as Novoheart Holdings Inc., are trying to speed up traditional drug and vaccine development processes without compromising patient safety by creating miniaturized versions of organs using 3D bioprinting and stem cell engineering. As many companies speed up the production of therapies and vaccines, with emergency authorization approvals and regulatory guidelines, 3D organs may see greater use as researchers, and companies are seeking a quick way for the testing of the effects of drug therapies.
Several companies operating in this market are focused on improving community conditions all over the world. For instance, as on 7th May 2020, Allergan plc announced that the Allergan Foundation has fast-tracked another USD 2 million in charitable grants for community organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new grants double the Allergan Foundation's total COVID-19 donations, raising the total to USD 4 million. The donations are dedicated to 57 organizations working on the front lines of the community response to the pandemic in the US and internationally.
The world faces a global health crisis of great magnitude. The rate of infection and mortality from COVID-19 make it unlike any virus seen in this century. Physicians and scientists are banding together to combat the threat of COVID-19. Thus, tissue engineering companies have a rare set of tools and can make substantial contributions to the development of therapeutic and diagnostic platforms.