The process of drug development and safety testing is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Animal testing is a vital part of drug development process, which is beneficial for researchers in understanding the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of various medical conditions. However, there are several concerns over the validity of animal research; drugs that seem to be safe and effective in animals usually turn out to be harmful or ineffective in humans, as animal models often do not accurately reflect the human physiology. As a result, industry has been trying to develop alternatives to animal models and organ on a chip, is one such novel concept.
Due to this biological mismatch, several toxic drugs are subjected to costly clinical trials, while potentially useful drugs do not get commercialized. Until recently, it was observed that these models display unparalleled flexibility in simulating and studying the complicated and delicate interactions between various cell types and tissues in humans. This is demonstrated by the statistic that 80% of the medications intended to target human disorders successfully complete preclinical animal testing but fail to advance through the clinical stages.
In order to fasten the discovery of innovative drugs and personalized medication, improved in vitro simulation of human biology and pathologies is required. Organs-on-a-chip also known as micro-physiological systems (MPS), are in vitro microfluidic devices housing living cells that recapitulate the human physiology, thereby providing insights into the cell microenvironment and disease pathophysiology.
Organ on a Chip as Emerging Alternative to Animal Testing Model
Given the inherent benefits of organ on a chip products and technologies, a number of players have launched their proprietary products and technologies for use across a wide array of applications. During our research, we identified around 145 unique organ on a chip products and technologies, which are available or are being developed by 45 players, for the rapid drug discovery and toxicity testing, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, cancer research and stem cell research.
The market landscape is predominantly characterized by the presence of several small companies with a few mid-sized and established players.
It is worth mentioning that majority (67%) of the organ on a chip products and technologies are commercialized; 11% organ-on-chip product and technologies are developed and 6% are under development.
Brand Positioning Matrix Of Organ-On-Chip Key Players
Based on the number of products or technologies, we shortlisted companies providing more than five products or technologies. Further, brand positioning matrices were developed for six shortlisted companies to highlight the relative positions of respective organ on a chip brands in the contemporary marketplace.
Organ-On-Chip Products And Technologies Related Patent Analysis
Around 445 filed / granted patents have been analyzed in the field of organ on a chip. A steady increase in the number of patents has been observed in this domain. This can be attributed to the incessant efforts towards implementing the use of organ-on-chip products and technologies over the animal-based testing models.
Partnership Activity Focused On A Diverse Range Of Organ on a Chip Products And Technologies
During our research, we came across several partnerships and collaborations that have been established in the field of organ on a chip, since 2017. A significant proportion of the breakthrough research in this domain can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of various industry stakeholders. We observed that many companies have entered this field by product / platform integration from other players to establish the necessary expertise required to develop / manufacture organ on a chip products.
The various partnership instances were analyzed on the basis of several relevant parameters, such as year of partnership, type of partnership, type of product, key players, and regional distribution of partnership activity.
Academic Grants Analysis: Grants Awarded By Several Non-Profit Organizations For Organ-On-Chip Related Research
We were able to collate information on 346 grants awarded till July 2022 (July). These grants were then analyzed based on several relevant parameters, such as, year of award, amount awarded, administering institute center, support period, type of grant application, purpose of grant award, activity code, emerging focus areas of the grants, study section, popular NIH departments, popular recipient organizations and regional distribution.
The maximum number of grants were awarded in 2021. The rise in the number of grants can be attributed to the fact that substantial commercially viable research is being conducted in the field of organ-on-chip, which is likely to encourage different other non-profit organizations.
Funding And Investment Analysis
A variety of investors, having realized the benefits and future opportunity, have invested over USD 680 million across more than 60 instances, since 2017. Further, maximum investment was made in Europe, followed by North America.
Future Evolution Of Organ-On-Chip Market
Driven by lucrative investments, partnerships and collaborations and extensive R&D efforts, the organ-on-chip market is expected to grow at a steady pace in the foreseen future.
Owing to the potential of organ on a chip models in simulating the architecture and function of human organs by combining 3D bioengineering constructs, several stakeholders have deployed organ on a chip platforms to study the physical aspects of organisms. In fact, a number of studies are underway to assess the applicability of organ-on-chips in medical research and dispel the notion that animal testing is the only way to advance human health and safety.
So far, research on these 3D models have enabled development of several microfluidic chips that can approximate the function of various organs, including liver, lungs, and gut in order to maintain various tissue-specific functions. In addition, cancer-on-chip models have emerged as a powerful tool in assessing the diagnostic and treatment outcomes and identify key molecular, cellular, and biophysical features of human cancer progression. Further, in order to validate the reliability of microfluidic devices for use across multiple application areas, researchers are still identifying ways to improve the key physiological monitoring parameters of these systems; one of these is the integration of sensors into the chips which will make the study of complex key aspects of human physiology relatively easier and convenient.
The industry is constantly evolving in the space of drug testing with emergence of more convenient and efficient drug testing models. As the demand of therapies increase, the need for testing systems is also expected to elevate. The historical trends of the existing non-animal testing models, such as 2D and 3D cell culture products suggest a strong demand in the market. Likewise, the organ on a chip market is expected to follow a similar growth trend as more researchers and drug developers shift from conventional to user-friendly biomedical testing alternatives.