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April 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 7)

Molecular Diagnostics: Potential and Reality

Despite Posting Healthy Growth, Sector Falls Short of Ambitious Predictions Made in Past

  • Emerging Markets

    While in many in vitro diagnostic markets, growth is expected from emerging market sales, this is not the case in molecular testing. Overall, clinical molecular testing remains a phenomenon of the developed world. Some more industrialized second-tier countries such as Australia, Israel, Brazil, China, and India have strong molecular test industries. The U.S. market dominates the world market for IVDs in general and molecular tests in particular. Increased testing for infectious diseases in the EU and histological analysis of biopsied tissue fuels growth

    In 2010, the U.S. and EU accounted for 79% of the world market for molecular tests. The healthy adoption of molecular tests for infectious diseases and investment in cancer tests fuel growth in this market. The expected continued growth of molecular tests will depend on their ability to perform in effectiveness testing that all developed nation healthcare systems are implementing.

    There is hope for the future in emerging market molecular diagnostics. By 2015, it is anticipated that more affluent emerging nations (primarily Latin America and the Pacific Rim) will begin to participate somewhat in this market. This is because these countries have few options in routine DNA assays. So when they decide to catch up with more developed countries, they will jump the technology gap. They will be starting from scratch, with few legacy techniques in use. Therefore, they will start with the more sophisticated user-friendly and cost-effective systems that will be on the market at that time. This, in turn, will encourage the use of molecular tests in patient care.

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