September 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 16)

Biopharma Leads Consumption of Products and Is Thus Strongest Driver of the Market

Proteomics sample preparation refers to an assorted set of techniques, using various chemistries and devices, employed to extract or prefractionate protein samples prior to downstream applications for fractionation or analysis. Depending on a researcher’s specific aim or proteomics workflow, several procedures or methods are required for the appropriate preparation.

Techniques for proteomics sample preparation can be straightforward, such as the utilization of pipette tips packed with C18 silica for peptide microextraction prior to mass-spectrometry analysis. Methods can also be rather challenging, for example, the extraction and solubilization of membrane proteins prior to further fractionation by 2-D gel electrophoresis or chromatographic instrumentation.

Chemistries, devices, and kits for proteomics sample preparation are required in diverse life science research settings. Biopharmaceutical companies drive the greatest consumption of sample-preparation products and consequently are the strongest drivers of the market.

Biopharmaceutical firms, in their search for protein biomarkers or druggable protein targets, make use of high-throughput automated tools that allow for large-scale production. This necessitates a constant need for proteomics sample-preparation solutions.

Research initiatives, driven by the NIH or the Human Proteome Organization, also are fueling proteomics sample-preparation needs in academia. Scientists are increasingly interested in applying a proteomics-based analysis to their model systems.

Technology Advancements

Technological advancements in fractionation and detection are beginning to provide researchers with the necessary tools to visualize low-abundant proteins. Improved methods for 2-D gel electrophoresis or chromatographic separations combined with novel mass spectrometers, which are reportedly up to 10 times more sensitive than their predecessors, are enabling researchers to obtain provocative proteomics data.

Suppliers are complementing such progress with innovative products and kits for effective proteomics sample preparation. The sale of the assortment of chemistries, devices, and kits included in the total proteomics sample preparation is forecasted to generate $59.3 million in revenue in the U.S. for 2007. The U.S. proteomics sample-preparation market is expected to reach $103.2 million in 2011.

Currently, a significant amount of revenue is generated by the consumption of prepackaged kits for proteomics sample preparation. Kits generally provide a set of tools that are also available as commodities. Researchers are often comfortable utilizing commodities in a homemade fashion, using their own unique protocols. They can thereby eliminate the need for kits.

Nevertheless, the proteomics sample-preparation kits segment is expected to grow as consistency and standards, which make research more amenable to kit-based solutions, are implemented in large-scale proteomics production facilities.

It is expected that over the next couple of years novel proteomics sample-preparation technologies will drive the demand for commodity chemistries and devices. Sample-preparation standardization should allow for these breakthroughs to be immediately implemented in kit-based solutions, propelling the total market growth to a 15.3% CAGR between 2008 and 2011.

Jonathan Witonsky is an industry
analyst in the drug discovery technologies and clinical diagnostics group of Frost & Sullivan. Web: E-mail: [email protected].

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