As the most abundant protein in the human body and a crucial component of connective tissue, collagen is crucial for the body’s strength and structure. However, part of the natural aging process is collagen depletion. Today, scientists around the world are investigating how collagen can help to mitigate age-related conditions. The past decade has witnessed a growing interest in how collagen-based therapies could treat diseases, prevent complications, and benefit the health of aging people.
After analyzing Phesi data, we uncovered a steady and linear growth in collagen-related clinical trials from 2010 onwards, with an increase of 142% between 2010 and 2019. Despite 2020 witnessing a slight decline due to the global pandemic, the number quickly recovered and returned to normal levels the following year.
The global market for collagen supplements alone is expected to surpass $2 billion in revenue by 2030, according to a recent report. Despite the burgeoning popularity of collagen-based products in the skincare industry, we found that less than 5% of collagen clinical trials in the past 12 years relate to cosmetics. Our analysis shows significant interest from the R&D community in therapeutic applications like treating skin and bone diseases and improving wound care and arthritic joints. Such research could help to discover the ideal form and dosage of collagen for new treatments, which could make a significant impact on the health of patients.
For example, osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease, and affects more than 500 million people worldwide, with women disproportionately impacted. Osteoarthritis is more common in countries with established market economies where there is an aging population and a higher prevalence of obesity. There is currently no cure aside from joint replacement surgery. Clinical trials are in progress to investigate how collagen could treat the joint inflammation and stiffness patients experience when joint cartilage wears down.
With a growing number of trials exploring collagen, we expect to see new treatments emerge with the ability to improve quality of life for aging patients. But for these studies to be successful, a data-driven approach to trial design is needed to minimize costs and reduce protocol amendments. This will be key in ensuring life-changing therapies make their way to patients faster.