Analysis of more than 2,350 trials shows growing interest in clinical applications of collagen in skin disease, wound care, bone disease, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
Boston, USA, 30 November 2022: Phesi, a global provider of patient-centric data analytics, has today published a new analysis of 2,358 clinical trials involving collagen to highlight the growing investment being placed into the protein. The analysis shows a steady, linear increase in new collagen clinical trials over the previous decade (Fig. 1). In the first 10 months of 2022, there were more than 225 new trials into collagen, compared with 125 in 2012.
“There has been a steady linear growth in collagen clinical trials since 2010, with an understandable disruption in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” explained Dr Gen Li, CEO and Founder, Phesi. “Despite low levels of industry funding, interest in the therapeutic applications of collagen is high, with a surprisingly low number of trials – just five per cent – into anti-ageing solutions. If clinical research into collagen maintains this momentum, we can expect to see innovations in wound healing and bone care making their way to patients in the coming years.”
In 2021, the global collagen market was valued at $9.75 billion USD, and is expected to grow to $16.7 billion by 2028. Healthcare applications make up around 50% of this value, encompassing bone and joint health supplements, wound dressings, tissue regeneration, medical implants, cardiology, and drug delivery. Phesi’s analysis shows that clinical research into collagen has limited commercial support, with just 27% of trials receiving industry funding. The collagen trials initiated since 2010 fell into five main categories: skin disease, wound care, bone disease, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Despite growing interest in the anti-aging applications of collagen by the cosmetic industry, just 5% of collagen clinical trials explored potential anti-ageing therapies.
Age-related diseases such as arthritis are becoming more common as improved public health contributes to greater longevity. Collagens are a group of structural proteins that exist throughout the human body, with nearly a third of all proteins in the human body in the collagen family. As the body ages, collagen levels become depleted, with skin losing elasticity, cartilage in joints becoming less resilient and bones becoming more brittle.
“As life expectancy increases, a growing number of patients require intervention for age-related conditions, with more joint replacement surgeries taking place every year. The clinical development industry is showing an increased interest in preventative measures and potential therapies for these conditions to improve quality of life for patients,” said Dr Li. “However, the industry has been slow to invest in collagen-related clinical research. For these trials 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 that life-changing therapies make their way to patients faster.”
Fig. 1. Increase in new collagen clinical trials since 2010 (data up to October 2022).