04 Apr 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: New analysis from Frost & Sullivan has revealed that the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and digital PCR (dPCR) instrumentation markets in the US are at different growth stages. However, both remain competitively dynamic.
Despite its maturity, the low-growth qPCR market is witnessing a period of competitive expansion, as several big name life science tool companies entered the market looking to expand their genomics workflow solutions. Meanwhile, the emerging dPCR market is growing rapidly as implementation by early-adopters ramps up and suppliers expand the technology's applications to increase the scope for adoption.
The report titled, 'US qPCR and dPCR Instrumentation Markets' finds that the market earned revenue of more than $220.0 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $310.0 million in 2016. The broad and growing range of applications enabled by or requiring qPCR makes the technology highly valuable and essential in many research laboratories.
Mr Christi Bird, senior industry analyst, Life Sciences, Frost & Sullivan, said that, "qPCR maintains an entrenched role in research due to its performance, sensitivity, and reproducibility, and, therefore, the market remains stable despite economic uncertainties. To expand the installed base in this nearly saturated market, several suppliers launched affordable, low-throughput qPCR benchtop platforms to encourage installation in individual laboratories."
Competitors in the budding dPCR market are working on new clinical uses to expand the value of the technology. As the number of dPCR applications grows beyond copy number variation, rare mutation detection, and absolute quantification of nucleic acid sequences, researchers are more likely to acknowledge the capabilities and advantages of dPCR surpass those of qPCR technology.
Due to the maturity of the qPCR market, the gap in terms of technology, instrument performance, and quality has narrowed among competitors. Manufacturers lowered prices to stay competitive, reducing the potential value of the market. Additionally, budget constraints in the United States academic sector continue to alter the purchasing cycle of new instruments, despite lowered qPCR pricing.
Meanwhile, pricing of dPCR instruments remains expensive as a new technology, as many laboratories find adoption cost-prohibitive. dPCR currently serves a limited customer segment including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as large academic laboratories or core facilities with substantial capital equipment budgets.