Vijayasree Potluri

What does the future hold for polymerase chain reaction?

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most powerful technology in molecular biology, enabling researchers to produce millions of copies of specific DNA sequences in a very short duration. PCR is an indispensable technique used in the fields of medical and biomedical research for a variety of applications such as forensic science; DNA cloning; functional analysis of human, bacterial, and viral genes; and diagnosis of hereditary and infectious diseases. The global PCR industry has long been experiencing an upward trend with an accelerating growth rate even during period of recession, thus confirming its positive growth prospects. During the recent years, the innovative gene amplification technology indicated high growth potential in which PCR plays a very dominant role. Molecular diagnostics and the Human Genome Project are mainly contributing to the growth of the PCR market.

IQ4I Research & Consultancy analysis estimates that the global PCR technologies market is expected to grow with a single-digit CAGR to reach $13.4 billion by 2020. The booming healthcare technology market with its demand for innovative technology for early and accurate diagnosis of life-threatening diseases, rising investments in companion diagnostics, advent of digital PCR, expiry of key-player PCR patents, and the increasing demand for PCR in genetic and molecular testing are some of the factors driving the PCR market growth. However, stringent government regulations, lack of awareness of this technology and the unavailability of skilled labor, the emergence of alternate technology such as next-generation sequencing, and the high cost of some of the commercial PCR technologies are expected to hamper the PCR market growth. Additionally, there is a need for portable PCR and thermal cyclers promoting real-time testing rather than transporting the samples to the laboratories.

The global PCR market by technique is segmented into standard PCR, real-time quantitative PCR, reverse transcriptase PCR, digital PCR, assembly PCR, multiplex PCR, hot-start PCR, and others. Real-time quantitative PCR accounted for the largest revenue in 2013 and is poised to reach $5.65 billion by 2020. Further, digital PCR market segment is expected to grow at the highest double-digit CAGR of 12.2% during the forecast period. Among PCR products, reagents and consumables commanded the largest market in 2013 with services segment poised for highest growth rate.

IQ4I’s global PCR market report covers the wide range of applications like clinical diagnostics (both infectious and noninfectious segments) and industry applications, covering agricultural biotechnology, applied sciences, research application, and others. Industry applications hold the largest market and are expected to grow with single-digit CAGR by 2020. Clinical diagnostics segment is expected to grow at the highest double-digit CAGR of 10.2% during the forecast period. Among the various end-users of PCR, pharmaceutical, biotech companies, and CROs accounted for the largest market share in 2013, whereas hospitals and laboratories are expected to grow with double-digit CAGR during the forecasted period.

Developed regions such as North America commanded the largest market in 2013 and are expected to reach $5.70 billion by 2020. High investments in healthcare infrastructures and availability of government funds improved market growth in this region. However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest double-digit CAGR of 12.3% during the forecasted period due to increased healthcare awareness, improved economic growth, and increasing disposable incomes. Significant mergers and acquisitions, collaborations, joint ventures, and new product launches are the industry trends that are playing a major role for the market growth.

Major players in the PCR market include Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), Becton, Dickinson and Co. (U.S.), Bio-Rad Laboratories (U.S.), Qiagen (Netherlands), Promega (U.S.), Sigma-Aldrich (U.S.), Roche Diagnostics (Switzerland), Siemens Healthcare (Germany), and Thermo Fisher Scientific (U.S.). Thermo Fisher Scientific is the dominant player with a share of 24.4%, followed by Bio-Rad Laboratories, Qiagen, Roche Diagnostics, Sigma-Aldrich, and Promega.

Vijayasree Potluri is an analyst at IQ4I Research & Consultancy. For more information, contact Satish Birudukota at [email protected].

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