Interview Synopsis

Cell and Gene Therapy – Q1 2022 Market Update

  • Public Equity
  • Healthcare
  • North America

Cell and gene therapy (CGT) offers more TAM opportunities for life science companies compared to mRNA, a former executive at Thermo Fisher told Third Bridge Forum.

Cell and gene therapy TAM opportunities to grow in 2022

In the Interview, the specialist said that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the value of mRNA in fighting infectious diseases that can mutate rapidly. However, they said it is not yet suitable for treating other major illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases in the same way as CGT, and that ultimately gives CGT a TAM advantage. 

The specialist said supply chain issues continue to affect the CGT industry. But it is the increase in demand – much from COVID-19 vaccines – that is affecting supply chains, and could be a challenge for the next several years. 

To tackle this, the specialist told us companies were “locking in” contracts and thinking about potential supply chain issues earlier than before. They also said that companies were beginning to insource rather than outsource virals but commented that this is unlikely to be a long-term trend.

The specialist told us they were “bullish” on electroporation – whereby an electrical pulse is used to create temporary pores in cell membranes through which substances like nucleic acids can pass into cells. Although Lonza, Miltenyi and Thermo Fisher are beginning to become involved in electroporation, the specialist was surprised that it has not garnered more traction with other life science majors. 

One company that is heavily involved in electroporation is “700-pound gorilla” MaxCyte, according to the specialist. They told us MaxCyte’s business model is both “unique” and “extremely profitable” in that it is able to command royalties on a drug product that is not a fixed asset like a cell line.

The specialist said they expect life science majors to continue “aggressive M&A activity” in 2022 as a result of public and private funding related to the COVID-19 pandemic remaining stable. Of last year’s activity, the specialist highlighted Danaher’s acquisition of Aldevron as a “strong” move that takes Danaher further into CGT, life science services and mRNA – an area it previously has not had much exposure to. 

The specialist was confident Danaher could successfully integrate Aldevron, given it has a “proven playbook” on integrating large organisations. They also speculated Danaher’s move followed a wider trend by other life science majors such as Thermo Fisher in moving “more and more” into pharma services. 

Finally, the specialist said tools and services related to the CGT industry deserve greater consideration. These tools and services are more differentiated than other modalities like biologics, and as such, their price capture and market opportunity is “that much higher”. 

To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s Cell & Gene Therapy – Q1 2022 Market Update & Competitive Landscape Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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