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Life science instrumentation: aftermarket gold.

The life science market accounts for the largest share of the analytical instrumentation market. While funding from private and public sources continues to fuel growth, pharmaceutical, government and academic spending is not as robust as just a few years ago. In addition, the dynamics of the market are changing as life science research takes on challenges that focus on complex biological systems and exploit molecular processes for diagnostics and drug development.

In 2005, the life science instrumentation market grew 6.1% to $7.6 billion. The life science instrument market includes DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
 or deoxyribonucleic acid

One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes.
 and peptide sequencers, DNA and peptide synthesizers, thermal cyclers and real-time PCR PCR polymerase chain reaction.

polymerase chain reaction

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 
, gel electrophoresis gel electrophoresis
Electrophoresis performed in a gel composed of agarose, polyacrylamide, or starch.
 systems, plasmid purification products, microarray-based products, biosensors, bioinformatics, and flow cytometers and cell analysis systems, as well as associated aftermarket and service revenues for these techniques.

The rapid pace and new discoveries in life science research have forced instrument companies to respond quickly to changing market conditions. The expanding realm of genomic and proteomic applications has helped leading vendors increase sales. However, niche players with novel technologies are competing successfully and, in some cases, stealing market share from industry leaders. Many vendors have responded with mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and licenses, and increased investments in product development.

Life science instruments are predominantly used by four end-user segments: academia, biotechnology, government and pharmaceutical research labs. Genomic and proteomic researchers are outfitting their labs with new technologies to replace slower and more labor-intensive techniques and expand capabilities for new applications.

Nucleic acid nucleic acid, any of a group of organic substances found in the chromosomes of living cells and viruses that play a central role in the storage and replication of hereditary information and in the expression of this information through protein synthesis.  amplification, or PCR (polymerase chain reaction polymerase chain reaction (pŏl`ĭmərās') (PCR), laboratory process in which a particular DNA segment from a mixture of DNA chains is rapidly replicated, producing a large, readily analyzed sample of a piece of DNA; the process is ), accounts for the largest share of the life science instrumentation market and is expected to be its fastest growing segment. Real-time PCR has become the method of choice for nucleic acid amplification and new aftermarket products and assays are driving demand. Applied Biosystems Applied Biosystems, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ: ABIO) is the original name of a pioneer biotechnology company founded in 1981 in Foster City, California, among the Silicon Valley cities of the southern San Francisco Bay Area.  leads this market due to its application expertise and intellectual property. Last March, the Roche's foundational patents covering the PCR process, which Applied Biosystems licenses, expired in the US and, in 2006, they are set to expire overseas. However, Applied Biosystems owns numerous patents for real-time PCR, for which it also offers licenses.

Microarray technology has improved since its birth about a decade ago. Although gene expression remains the primary application for DNA microarrays, their use for genotyping Genotyping refers to the process of determining the genotype of an individual with a biological assay. Current methods of doing this include PCR, DNA sequencing, and hybridization to DNA microarrays or beads.  and comparative genomics Comparative genomics is the study of relationships between the genomes of different species or strains. Comparative genomics is an attempt to take advantage of the information provided by the signatures of selection to understand the function and evolutionary processes that act on  applications is increasing. In addition, more protein and tissue arrays are becoming available. The microarray market is still undergoing consolidation and is expected to grow about 4% in 2006, with the fastest growth in the commercial market.

The flow cytometry flow cytometry (flōˑ sī·tˑ·m  and other cell analysis market is estimated to account for 13.3% of the life science instrumentation market and is driven by applications such as transfection transĀ·fecĀ·tion
Infection of a bacterium or cell with DNA or RNA isolated from a bacteriophage or from an animal or a plant virus, resulting in replication of the complete virus.
 and high-content screening High Content screening is an automated cell biology method drawing on optics, chemistry, biology and image analysis to permit rapid, highly parallel biological research and drug discovery. . Although sequencer See MIDI sequencer.

(music) sequencer - Any system for recording and/or playback of music via a programmable memory which stores music not as audio data, but as some representation of notes.
 market growth is expected to be flat for 2006, it continues to advance as the next generation of sequencers is now becoming available. These sequencers promise higher throughput and less expensive workflows. While basic research continues to account for the majority of the demand, diagnostic and clinical applications exhibit significant potential.

The life science instrumentation market is quite fragmented. The top five vendors account for nearly half of the total demand. Applied Biosystems continues to lead the market with about 18% share of the market. GE Healthcare GE Healthcare is a $18 billion (USD) unit of General Electric (GE). It employs more than 46,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. GE Healthcare is the first GE business segment headquartered outside the United States.  and Invitrogen combine for about 19% of the market, while Becton Dickinson BD (NYSE: BDX), is a medical technology company that manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs 27,000 people in nearly 50 countries.  and QIAGEN represent about 7% and 5% of the market, respectively.
2005 Life Science Market by Product Type

After-market      46%
Initial Systems   43%
Service           11%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

2005 Life Science Supplier Market Shares

Applied Biosystems   18%
GE Healthcare        10%
Invitrogen            9%
Becton Dickinson      7%
QIAGEN                5%
Others               51%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

2004-07 Total Life Science Instrumentation Market


2004   7151
2005   7586
2006   7994
2007   8318

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Life Science Instrumentation Market Leaders

Informatics                      MDL, Accelrys
Microarrays, Biosensors          Affymetrix, Biacore
Electrophoresis                  GE Healthcare, Bio-Rad
Plasmid Purification             QIAGEN, GE Healthcare
Nucleic Acid Amplification       Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen
Sequencing                       Applied Biosys., GE Healthcare
Flow Cytometry, Cell Analysis    Becton Dickinson, Beckman
Synthesis                        Applied Biosys., GE Healthcare

Life Science Instrumentation 2005-06

                                Market Share   Growth Rate

Nucleic Acid Amplification          17.9%          8.5%
Microarray/Biosensors               16.7%          4.2%
Flow Cytometry/Cell Analysis        13.3%          7.2%
Informatics                         12.5%          4.3%
Sequencing                          11.0%          1.0%
Plasmid Purification                10.9%          7.8%
Synthesis                            9.0%          5.4%
Electrophoresis                      8.6%          2.5%
Total                              100.0%          5.4%
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Date:Jan 15, 2006
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