Naturally sticky: Biologically-based medical glues dominate

Biologically-based medical glues, cyanoacrylate, or other synthetic. The bulk of global sales of medical glues are biologically-based, (includes fibrin, thrombogen, and others), rather than cyanoacrylate-based or other synthetic glues.

Synthetic glues

Cyanoacrylate-based glues, include those from Ethicon, Adhezion Biomedical, B. Braun, Meyer-Haake, and others. Cyanoacrylate-based glues for medical use are said to be stronger, less irritating to the skin when used externally, and more flexible than the household ‘super glue.’

Topical skin adhesives (TSAs) are used quite commonly for closing small wounds and incisions. There are two basic TSAs: 2-octyl cyanoacrylate (intended to close wounds and surgical incisions, and useful as an antibacterial barrier), and n-butyl cyanoacrylate, which is more flexible than the former, but also not as strong. Dermabond® and SurgiSeal™ are 2-octyl cyanoacrylates (OCA); Histoacryl®, Indermil®, and LiquiBand™ are n-butyl cyanoacrylates (BCA). These glues are intended for topical use only due primarily to toxicity and safety issues.

Other Synthetic Glues

Innovators are developing “other” glues from a variety of synthetic types; these glues have yet to gain more than 4% share globally. Synthetic glues may be derived from polyurethane or other polymers and may be light-activated. As yet, these synthetics have not been able to create anything more than a minor dent in bio-glue sales.

Biologically-based Medical Glues

Manufacturers of biologically-based medical glues have made these glues the most popular, accounting for almost two-thirds of medical glue revenues. However, ongoing developments mean that products are being improved and new products are being invented. These new glues may start to cannibalize from the biologically-based products.

Below is illustrated the growth of biologically-based glues by region, showing that most growth in this segment will be from Asia/Pacific markets, which are consistently demonstrating higher growth than in western markets.

Global Markets for Biologically-Based Medical Glues, 2015-2022, USD MillionsGrowth of Medical Glues by RegionSource: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S290. (Order online)

 

Wounds looking for closure: Untapped potential for sealants, glues, hemostats

Today’s surgeon has a broad range of products from which to choose for closing and sealing wounds. These include sutures, stapling devices, vascular clips, ligatures, and thermal devices, as well as a wide range of topical hemostats, surgical sealants and glues.

However, surgeons still primarily use sutures for wound closure and securement—sutures are cheap, familiar and work most of the time. Now, in addition to reaching for a stapling device, the surgeon must frequently decide at what point to augment or replace the commonly used items in favor of other products, which product is best for what procedure or condition, how much to use, and ease of use in order to achieve optimal patient outcomes. Because of budget pressures, the surgeon must also consider price when selecting a product. Of course in the USA, the product must also be FDA-approved, although the surgeon still has the choice of using a product off-label.

In the areas of sealants, hemostats and glues, there is room for both improvement and additional products.  There are a number of products already on the market, but the fact is that there is no one product that meets all needs in all situations and procedures. There are few products that stand out from the rest, apart, perhaps, from DermaBond® and BioGlue®. There are unmet needs, and companies having the necessary technology, or which may acquire and further develop the technology, can enter this market and launch novel items. These products have yet to significantly tap the potential for wound management and medical/surgical procedures.

Note: Log10 scale; Chronic wounds includes pressure, venous/arterial and diabetic ulcers.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S290.

Sealants, Fibrin and Others

Numerous variants of fibrin sealant exist, including autologous products. “Other” sealants refers to thrombin, collagen & gelatin-based sealants.

Fibrin sealants are used in the US in a wide array of applications; they are used the most in orthopedic surgeries, where the penetration rate is thought to be 25-30%. Fibrin sealants can, however, be ineffective under wet surgical conditions. The penetration rate in other surgeries is estimated to be about 10-15%.

Fibrin-based sealants were originally made with bovine components. These components were judged to increase the risk of developing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), so second-generation commercial fibrin sealants (CSF) avoided bovine-derived materials. The antifibrinolytic tranexamic acid (TXA) was used instead of bovine aprotinin. Later, the TXA was removed, again due to safety issues. Today, Ethicon’s (JNJ) Evicel is an example of this product, which Ethicon says is the only all human, aprotinin free, fibrin sealant indicated for general hemostasis. Market growth in the Sealants sector is driven by the need for improved biocompatibility and stronger sealing ability—in other words, meeting the still-unsatisfied needs of physician end-users.

High Strength Medical Glues

Similar to that of sealants, the current market penetration of glues in the US is thought to be about 25% of eligible surgeries. There are several strong points in favor of the use of medical glues: their use can significantly reduce healthcare costs, for example by reducing time in the surgical suite, reducing the risk of a bleed, which may mean a return trip to the OR, and general ease of use. Patients seem to prefer the glues over receiving sutures for an external wound, as glues can provide a suture-free method of closing wounds. In addition, if glues are selected over sutures, the physician can avoid the need (and cost) of administering local anesthesia to the wound site.

Hemostats

Hemostats are normally used in surgical procedures only when conventional bleeding control methods are ineffective or impractical. The hemostat market offers opportunities as customers seek products that better meet their needs. Above and beyond having hemostats that are effective and reliable, additional improvements that they wish to see in hemostat products include: laparoscopy-friendly; work regardless of whether the patient is on anticoagulants or not; easy to prepare and store, with a long shelf life; antimicrobial; transparent so that the surgeon continues to have a clear field of view; and non-toxic; i.e. preferably not made from human or animal materials.


Drawn from, “Worldwide Markets for Medical and Surgical Sealants, Glues, and Hemostats, 2015-2022:  Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World.” Report #S290.