Trends in cell therapy clinical trials 2011 – 2014

by Alexey Bersenev on February 14, 2015 · 4 comments

in annual reports

Post updated on Feb. 17, 2015

Today I’m sharing some of my data for the last 4 years. This is a snapshot of trends in cell therapy trials from 2011 to 2014. This year, I’m planning to make few posts on cell therapy trends. I’d like to analyze some trends in mesenchymal stromal cells, adipose tissue-derived cells, industry versus academia and, finally, get to results of the trials. Some of these posts we will find on StemCellAssays.


Total number of trials
Total number of cell therapy trials, registered in international databases, continue to grow from year to year. From 2011 to 2014 a total number of trials increase more than 2 times. In 2014, every day cell therapy trial got registered in database. Please note that “registered” is not necessarily “new”.


About 75% of all databases cell therapy listings posted on US-based NCT registry ( The contribution of NCT database remains constant over the years, with range of 71-79% from all cell therapy trials, registered worldwide.

Similarly to the previous 2 years, US and China dominated all other countries in number of cell therapy trials in 2013. The US trend is keep going up, but China’s trend is getting flattened. Japan, South Korea and UK went down in 2014.

This graph shows a value of the most representative countries as % of total trials number.


There is no big difference from year to year in contribution by regions of listed cell therapy trials. However, the value of North America (read USA) steady increased from 28% to 36%.


Cell types
The positive trend for 2 “major advancers” – mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and T-cells is continued. T-cell curve looks especially impressive. MSC trials continue to surpass all other cell types in 2014. Another steady growing cell type is adipose-derived cells – very good positive trend. It seem like field lost interest to bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM MNC) and dendritic cells (DC) in 2014. Yet another decliner is NK cells. Embryonic stem cell trials are coming back! Three ESC trials were registered in 2014.


Malignancies is the most frequent indication for cell therapy trials. It skyrocketed in the last 3 years (increase about twice every year) with some decline in 2014. Of course, it coupled with interest to cellular immunotherapy and strictly correlates with use of immune cells (T-cells, DC, NK cells…). Interest to cell therapy in cardiovascular medicine remains pretty much flat. Muskoloskeletal diseases have a prominent positive trend. Yet another “advancer” of 2014 is neurology. Interest to cell therapy for liver diseases seem to be decreasing.


It was a snapshot of dataset analysis for the last 4 years. I’ve picked only few trends to demonstrate that the data could be “sliced and diced” in many different ways. Stay tuned for some other interesting results and trends!

How to cite:
Bersenev Alexey. Trends in cell therapy clinical trials 2011 – 2014. CellTrials blog. February 14, 2015. Available:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Roke Iñaki Oruezabal February 18, 2015 at 7:50 am

Just something anecdotic, from the results it is clearly shown that Spain is the top 1 in Europe, but interestingly in your comment only UK is highlighted from Europe:

“Similarly to the previous 2 years, US and China dominated all other countries in number of cell therapy trials in 2013. The US trend is keep going up, but China’s trend is getting flattened. Japan, South Korea and UK went down in 2014.”

I attend many biotechnology fairs and scientific congresses and many people is surprised with Spain in this field. Often the news and remarks are focused just on UK and Germany…




Joe Petrosky February 18, 2015 at 8:56 am

Very interesting, Alexey. Thank you for posting.


Srinivasan KELLATHUR February 18, 2015 at 8:38 pm

informative and comprehensive snapshot, thanks Alexey


Ian Copland February 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

Very nice synopsis Alexey, your blog continues to be a valuable informational resource for the Cell Therapy field. From the data you’ve collected it would be interesting to know the breakdown of trials that are in phase I, II or III. Also understand what proportion of trials are lead by academic institutions vs industry would be valuable.

Congrats and best of luck in your new position.


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