Organ-On-Chip Market Characteristics
The organ-on-chips industry comprises of establishments involved in the manufacturing and development of organ-on-chips models. Organ-on-chips are microfluidic 3D cell culture devices that closely mimic the key physiological functions of body organs. These chips are not designed to bio mimic an entire organ, but simulate the physiology of a single functional unit of an organ system.
The recent past has seen some developments in the testing of human organs-on-chips. Human organs-on-chips (OOCs) are miniaturized versions of lungs, livers, kidneys, heart, brain, intestines and other vital human organs embedded in a chip. With advances in OOC technology, drug regulatory bodies have started testing OOCs for their reliability and their use as an alternative to animal testing. For instance, in April 2017, the US FDA announced an agreement with Emulate Inc., a US-based biotechnology company, to evaluate the company’s human organ-on-chip technology in laboratories.
Organ-On-Chip Market Competitive Landscape
OOCs are still at initial stages of development. In spite of being a new technology, OOC has gained prominence in the last few years. Currently the technology is not being leveraged very significantly across the pharmaceutical industry for their experimental needs due to the continued technical difficulties and lack of regulatory status for OOC based testing. However, both the big pharmaceutical players and the small biotech firms are now showing a high level of interest in OOCs. The key players include Emulate, CN-Bio Innovations, InSphero, Mimetas, Tissue, Hµrel and Nortis. Currently OOCs are marketed primarily through sales agreements with end-users that involve collaboration of both parties in tailoring the OOCs to meet the end-user’s requirements.
Global Organ-On-Chip Market Size
The organ-on-chips market is expected to reach about $284 million by 2021. The rapid rise of the OOC market is expected to result from an increase in the number of collaborative sales agreements between the pharmaceutical companies and university spin-offs. The entry of new advanced models of OOC devices into the market will further help maintain a high growth rate during this period. The anticipated launch of human-on-chip models in 2018 will further increase the growth rate from that year.
The launch of a human-on-chip is expected to boost the market as it is much anticipated by many of the end-users because it has the potential to predict the combined effects on multiple organs produced by a drug molecule. Following the launch of humans-on-chips a wider range of companies are likely to invest in OOCs for testing the drug candidates in their product portfolios.
However, the organ-on-chips market is expected to face restraints from several factors which include complex manufacturing techniques of organ-on-chips, stringent drug approvals from regulatory bodies, requirement for specialized equipment for the development of specific organ models, appropriation of size for each chip to ensure close simulation of physiological functions of the organs, vascularisation with optimal surface-to-volume ratios for designing realistic models and development of a medium which can act as a blood surrogate.
Organ-On-Chip Market Segmentation
The organ-on-chips market is further segmented on the basis of organ type, end users and geography.
Organ Type - The organ-on-chips market is segmented into lung-on-chip, heart-on-chip, liver-on-chip, intestine-on-chip, kidney-on-chip, skin-on-chip, blood-brain-barrier-on-chip and human-on-chip.
Lung-on-chip model is designed using human lung and blood vessel cells. It is a multifunctional model that has the potential to mimic key structural, functional and mechanical properties of the human alveolar-capillary interface.
Heart-on-chip model is a highly complex model which is designed to mimic the contractility and response of hearts in the in-vitro condition.
Liver-on-chip model mimics one of the most versatile organs, the liver. The liver-on-chip model is used for assessing the toxicity profile of drug molecules.
Intestine-on-chip model is a microfluidic device is developed to provide a physiological estimate of a drug’s absorption and metabolism in humans.
Kidney-on-chip model is lined by human kidney epithelial cells. This model has the potential to simulate the in-vivo physiology of a nephron, which is the functional unit of the kidney.
Skin-on-chip model is one of the various organ-on-chip models that is under development, which tries to mimic exchange of immune cells, controlled environment and increased barrier function.
Blood-brain-barrier-on-chip models are used to understand and treat neurological diseases and different drugs.
Human-on-chip model is achieved by integrating multiple organs-on-chips. Most organs-on-chips are seeded with specified cell lines which represent the physiological functions of individual organs. Thus, to evaluate the effects of the drug simultaneously on multiple organ systems, a human-on-chip is developed.
Among these segments, the lung-on-chip model is the most commercially used organ models, followed by heart-on-chip and liver-on-chip model.
By End Users - The organ on a chip market is segmented into pharmaceuticals, research organizations, consumer goods and cosmetics, food and beverages and others.
Among these segments, the pharmaceuticals industry holds the largest share in the organ-on-chips industry.
By Geography - The organ-on-chips market is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In 2018, the market for organ on-chip was the largest in North America, accounting for about 60% of the market. It could be directly related to the funding granted for the development of OOCs.
Organ On A Chip Market Trends
The development of organs on chips for human testing, using organ-on-chips technology in space and integrating advanced technologies such as 3D printing and automation on organ-on-chips models are a few trends witnessed globally in the organ-on-chips market.
Potential Opportunities In the Organ-On-Chip Market
With increasing number of collaborative sales agreements between the pharmaceutical companies and university spin-offs, entry of new advanced models of organ-on-chips devices into the market and the launch of human-on-chip models, there is high scope and potential for the organ-on-chips market.
OOCs are still at initial stages of development. In spite of being a new technology, OOC has gained prominence in the last few years. Currently the technology is not being leveraged very significantly across the pharmaceutical industry for their experimental needs due to the continued technical difficulties and lack of regulatory status for OOC based testing. However, both the big pharmaceutical players and the small biotech firms are now showing a high level of interest in OOCs. Only a few companies are developing OOCs. Each spin-off company maintains and follows its own proprietary methodologies for designing and manufacturing OOCs. The level of competition amongst these few players is moderate.