Competitive landscape analysis of microcarriers and ATMPs

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Desired outcome

Working with adherent mesenchymal stem cells on a laboratory scale is simple compared to scaling the production up to the industry level. There are already products on the market that offer microcarriers made from different materials to be used as a surface to which cells can attach and multiply in a bioreactor. We seek competitive landscape analysis of what is already used for large-scale cell production.

Initial Problem Description

We need to analyze what already exists on the market, what types of microcarriers are often used in the pharma industry, and who would also be one of our future customers. Through this analysis, we would get a better understanding of the customer’s needs and pains. This way, we can align the properties of our product, such as the material used, size, perforation, cell detachment process, etc., to fill the white spots in the market.


Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are medicines based on genes, tissues, or cells, providing new opportunities for treating diseases and injuries. Our team works with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat orthopaedic injuries and inflammation-related illnesses. These stromal cells can self-renew, show adherence while in vitro, and differentiate into different types of cells. They can be isolated from other tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose, umbilical cord, etc. MSCs have shown great potential due to their immunomodulatory effects and the possibility of using them in tissue engineering and other regenerative treatments. Our team works with MSCs on a laboratory level, but recently, the need to scale up the production led us to discover that there aren’t many options on the market. Many therapies that include adherent cells to produce advanced medicinal products are on the rise. We see an opportunity to develop a new type of carrier that could be included in the industry-level production of cells.

Connection to cross-cutting areas

By developing a new product for cell manufacturing and considering environmental aspects when choosing materials, we will contribute to sustainable cell therapy production. By developing this product, we’re also looking to speed up the production of high-quality ATMPs, reducing waste by downstream processes and making the production of new therapeutics more accessible.


ATMP production is on the rise, but not many are in the market due to legislation and complications to ensure product consistency. Nevertheless, the number of clinical trials involving ATMP is growing each year. Our future customers are companies engaged in the pharmaceutical industry and are developing new therapies.


We expect defined customer needs, their pains, and gains from methods to culture cells on a large scale already existing in the market. We want to see products, their properties, and for what type of cells and manufacturing they are used; on the other hand, we would also like to see what is missing in the market and what problems the industry faces when using stem cells to develop a new drug or therapy.

Desired Team Profile

Interest in pharma and business will help to deliver the solution. Someone who understands cell culture and has a biotechnological background would help to understand the challenge. Still, it is not mandatory, as we can provide you with all the missing information needed to start searching for the solution.

Additional Information

To help the selected team promptly deliver results, one team member of Animacel will be designated for this project on our side so that communication can be quick and efficient through the platform. If any questions arise, an assigned person will guide you while searching for the solution. We're happy to collaborate.

Related Keywords

  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
  • Medical Biomaterials
  • Stem cell Technologies
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Market research


Animacel was established as a spin-out company of the Veterinary Faculty in Ljubljana in 2011 due to a revolutionary technology based on cutting-edge science in the stem cell therapy area. The academic knowledge we acquired during several years of research was brought into clinical veterinary medicine to help dogs and horses with joint, sinew, and ligament problems. Stem cell therapy has great potential to advance veterinary and human medicine.


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