April 12, 2024
Middle East and Asia Pacific Cell and Gene Therapy

Middle East and Asia Pacific Cell and Gene Therapy Lead Global Advancements

Cell and gene therapies hold tremendous promise for treating many debilitating and life-threatening conditions. Researchers and companies across the globe are working tirelessly to develop these novel treatments and transform patient outcomes. The Middle East and Asia Pacific regions have emerged at the forefront of these advancements.

Emerging Cell and Gene Therapy

While North America and Europe have traditionally dominated the cell and gene therapy landscape, the Middle East and Asia Pacific are establishing robust markets. A growing patient population, significant government funding, and world-class research institutions are fueling cell and gene therapy development. Countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are ambitious hotspots of activity.

China’s commercialization-focused policies have accelerated the growth of its domestic cell and gene therapy industry. The country is home to over 300 cell therapy companies and several approved therapies. China also has one of the world’s largestescaperg cell banks and invests heavily in clinical trials. Japan similarly has a vibrant regenerative medicine sector and was among the first countries to approve a gene therapy.

The Middle East is also strategically investing in this field. For example, the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dubai is a hub of stem cell research excellence.The region’s universal healthcare coverage and large patient populations make it an attractive market. Countries throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East are working to build robust regulatory frameworks to ensure patient safety as development progresses.

Notable Cell and Gene Therapy Advances

Researchers in these emerging regions have achieved several notable firsts. A Chinese company was the first globally to gain approval for an CAR-T therapy in 2021. South Korean scientists were also pioneers in developing stem cell therapies for diseases like stroke.

Singapore has emerged as a leader in developing genetic modification technologies, like CRISPR. Its scientists were the first to safely test an in vivo CRISPR therapy in 2020. That same year, a Japanese company gained approval for the world’s first gene therapy for an inherited disease.

Scientists in the Middle East and Asia Pacific Cell and Gene Therapy ┬áregenerative therapies as well. Researchers at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia conducted the region’s first bone marrow transplant over 40 years ago. Today, United Arab Emirates physicians are using stem cells and gene editing tools to treat conditions like diabetes.

Intense Competition and Partnerships

With their ambitious growth goals, countries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East are in intense competition to be at the forefront of the next wave of breakthroughs. At the same time, cross-border collaborations are enriching the global innovation ecosystem and accelerating discoveries.

For example, Chinese and U.S. researchers routinely collaborate on clinical trials and foundational research. A partnership between South Korean and Japanese firms brought one of the earliest CAR-T therapies to market. Regional scientists also frequently team up to build capacity through knowledge sharing, joint facilities, international conferences and more.

Multinational corporations have established significant presences as well. Novartis, Gilead, and Bristol Myers Squibb are investing heavily in research centers, manufacturing capabilities, and clinical studies across Asia and the Middle East. Local companies are also forming strategic alliances to expand their reach.

Fueled by the rapid expansion of their domestic industries, the Middle East and Asia Pacific have emerged as global leaders driving the cell and gene therapy revolution forward. Their success will hinge on continued commitments to robust research infrastructures, ethical and accessible innovation, as well as further fostering international collaboration. With bold vision and execution, these regions are poised to achieve unprecedented medical advancements with life-changing cell and gene therapies in the coming decade.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it