PCR techniques have paved the way for innovation in life sciences research and molecular diagnostics through its most potential features such as absolute detection and quantification of genetic materials such as DNA and RNA. Researchers are able to quantify and analyze rare alleles and point mutations using advanced PCR systems such as digital PCR. Currently, the market players are engaged in developing PCR systems with enhanced capabilities such as broad menu of tests, higher sensitivity and specificity. Other major advances associated with the PCR include shorter turnaround times (PCR cycling time), higher productivity and automated workflow; thereby ensuring efficient detection and amplification of genetic materials with accurate results. The market is witnessing significant advances in the design of PCR platforms shifting from conventional standard PCR to real time and digital PCR systems to efficiently detect pathogenic microbes such as mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria and influenza viruses. For instance, introduction of QX200 Droplet Digital PCR System by Bio-Rad provides a broad menu of molecular diagnostic tests and enhanced workflow to enable overall cost reduction and eliminate the need for multiple systems. The global PCR market is valued at USD 6,065 million in 2013 and is expected to reach USD 9,621.0 million with the CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period of 2014 to 2020.
Although, the use of PCR has been mostly confined to research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, currently, the market has seen an increasing preference of PCR in the commercial diagnostic laboratories and hospitals due to precise diagnoses of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and Ebola. Multi-chain diagnostic laboratories are currently focusing on expanding their operations in less developed areas by acquiring standalone laboratories with minimal infrastructure. Therefore, a strong demand for compact and portable PCR with high reliability and sensitivity is created. All these features along with high affordability are expected to provide impressive growth opportunities for PCR market.
The PCR market is broadly classified on the basis of product segments, end-users and application areas. Among the product segments, reagents and consumables remain the most widely used segment with the largest share in the net sales across various companies, considering the global sales of USD 4,072.2 million in 2013. Among various end-users of PCR, academics and research organization was accounted for the largest market share of overall market in 2013, followed by clinical diagnostic labs and hospitals segment. However, clinical diagnostics segment is likely to grow at an impressive pace during the forecast period of 2014 to 2020. Among the PCR applications area, the life sciences segment is the largest application area covering more than 48% of the total PCR market followed by clinical diagnostics segment with 33% of the market share. The majority market share by the life sciences segment corresponded to its wider acceptance in the cancer research, which is also amongst the oldest segments of PCR application.
Geographically, North America accounted for the largest share of global PCR market in 2013 followed by Europe. These two regions are expected to retain their position throughout the forecast period 2014 to 2020. This is majorly attributed to the presence of technologically sophisticated diagnostic laboratories along with wider acceptance of novel assay technologies. The North American region was among the first to approve and implement the PCR based assays for diagnosis of infectious diseases such as HIV. The Asia Pacific region on the other hand is expected to represent the highest growth rate during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the growing investment in research and development in the region by the Government and private investors. China for example, is at present the world’s second largest investor in research and development according to the World Bank data.
The overall PCR market is consolidated and characterized by the presence of few established players accounting for more than 50% of the total market share. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Roche Diagnostics, Abbott Laboratories, Agilent Technologies and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Beckman Coulter, Bio-Rad, Becton Dickinson and QIAGEN are some of the key players operating in this market.
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