Single Quad and Triple Quad LC/MS: Equally Dynamic Markets.
The success of LC/MS LC/MS Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry is well known. Over the last decade, the LC/MS market in general has benefited from growth in nearly all product segments. While specific industries have been the key drivers behind this growth, a wide range of laboratories and applications have fueled the LC/MS market's growth as well. The single and triple quad segments of the LC/MS market illustrate the breadth of the MS market, and the range of opportunities it has generated. However, these two segments also illustrate the market's specialized nature and intense competition.
The primary distinction between a single triple and a triple quad LC/MS system is sensitivity. Triple quad LC/ MS has higher resolution and is more sensitive. In addition, triple quad systems are capable of MS-MS, which provides data on both the mass and structure of a sample. In the 1990s, the advent of atmospheric pressure chemical ionization Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) is an ionization method used in mass spectrometry. It is a form of chemical ionization which takes place at atmospheric pressure. and electrospray ionization Electrospray ionization (ESI) is a technique used in mass spectrometry to produce ions. It is especially useful in producing ions from macromolecules because it overcomes the propensity of these molecules to fragment when ionized. made coupling a LC with a MS much easier. The decade also marked the intensification in·ten·si·fy
v. in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing, in·ten·si·fies
1. To make intense or more intense: of drug development efforts and increased R&D spending by the pharmaceutical industry. These two developments had a significant impact on both the single and triple quad markets. New LC/MS systems became easier to use and more reliable, making them attractive to the pharmaceutical and biotech bi·o·tech
short for biotechnology
Noun 1. industries where they could be used throughout the drug discovery and development process.
In addition, in pharmaceutical and other laboratories, HPLC HPLC high-performance liquid chromatography.
high performance liquid chromatography.
HPLC High-performance liquid chromatography Lab instrumentation A highly sensitive analytic method in which analytes are placed was fast becoming a standard due to its speed, resolution, sensitivity and ability to separate different types of samples. Thus, the market was ripe for a detector that could make HPLC even more powerful. Compared to a HPLC system equipped with a UV or photo diode detector, mass spec detectors provided end-users with higher resolution, greater accuracy and faster results, depending on the application.
In the single quad market, LC/MS became competitive in terms of pricing, footprint and ease of use. Adoption of single quad LC/MS was also helped through pricing and promotion. Vendors such as Agilent, Shimadzu and Waters, which make both HPLC and MS systems, coupled their systems and tapped into their sizable siz·a·ble also size·a·ble
Of considerable size; fairly large.
siza·ble·ness n. HPLC customer base to upgrade them to LC/MS. At the same time, the market expanded to new customers as LC/MS proved a good match for applications in organic chemicals, environmental and food and beverage F&B is a common abbreviation in the United States and Commonwealth countries, including Hong Kong. F&B is typically the widely accepted abbreviation for "Food and Beverage," which is the sector/industry that specializes in the conceptualization, the making of, and delivery of foods. labs as well as for analytical services and R&D laboratories.
Ken Imatani, LC/MS product manager for Agilent Technologies This article needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications. Alone, primary sources and sources affiliated with the subject of this article are not sufficient for an accurate encyclopedia article. , told IBO Ibo: see Igbo. that the adoption of a MS detector by HPLC users is about five years old and is still going strong. He emphasized the wide range of applications that enables wide adoption as well as the number of units in demand from end-users such as pharmaceutical companies, which use single quad LC/MS for numerous applications. In addition, he notes, the ease-of-use and ruggedness of LC/MS systems have enabled chromatographers to feel comfortable using such systems. In particular, he said that software has been key to this and noted software as one area of the market that is evolving particularly quickly to keep pace with end-users' needs.
The strength of the single-quad market lies not only in its adoption by HPLC users but also in its adoption by the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Imatani cited DMPK DMPK Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
DMPK Dystrophia Myotonica Protein Kinase (Drug Metabolism Drug Metabolism/Interactions Definition
Drug metabolism is the process by which the body breaks down and converts medication into active chemical substances.
Drugs can interact with other drugs, foods, and beverages. and Pharmacokinetics pharmacokinetics /phar·ma·co·ki·net·ics/ (fahr?mah-ko-ki-net´iks) the action of drugs in the body over a period of time, including the processes of absorption, distribution, localization in tissues, biotransformation, and excretion. ) and compound screening as two applications particularly well suited for single-quad LC/ MS. LC/MS can be used to confirm a compound, analyze impurities or quantify Quantify - A performance analysis tool from Pure Software. analytes, among other applications. Besides its high resolution and accuracy, LC/MS is also a high-throughput technique. LC/MS can meet a number of the pharmaceutical industry's needs from R&D from analytical services, to method development and quality control. With increases in pharmaceutical R&D spending and advancements in drug development, single-quad LC/MS has been even more in demand.
Like single quads, the triple quad LC/MS market also grew rapidly over the last decade. However, the growth in this market was stimulated by a different set of factors. As the market developed, vendors brought out an increasingly sensitive systems and products that could be tailored toward specific applications. Although prices have remained high, end-users are willing to pay. Footprints have shrunk shrunk
A past tense and a past participle of shrink.
a past tense and past participle of shrink
shrunk, shrunken shrink and variations in product offerings have increased product choices. Because the technique is so sensitive and the instruments themselves can cost as much as $300,000, the applications for triple quads are much more specialized. "The major market for triple quads is in quantitative bioanalysis in pharmaceutical companies ... specifically in regulated quantification," according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Mark McDowall, marketing director at Micromass. Mr. McDowall told IBO that sensitivity and software demands are two of the primary drivers of the triple quad market. Unlike the single quad market, in most cases, triple quad end-users are not labs that have simply upgraded, but are labswith MS experts that have made a hefty investment in new LC/MS instruments for specific applications. But, like the single quad LC/MS market, the appeal of triple quad goes beyond one set of applications or one stage of the drug development process. Mr. McDowall told IBO, "there's a market that has emerged for quantification prior to regulation ... the market for lead optimization optimization
Field of applied mathematics whose principles and methods are used to solve quantitative problems in disciplines including physics, biology, engineering, and economics. ." It is in this application segment where triple quads are used for proteomics and the analyses of peptides and proteins. Thus triple quad LC/MS is ideally suited for for lead optimization, structural identification, regulated quantification and QA/QC QA/QC Quality Assurance/Quality Control .
Both single and triple quad LC/ MS systems have benefited from the acceleration of pharmaceutical research and the embrace of new technology by that industry. Yet, while both markets are growing, with double-digit growth expected over the next five years, relatively few companies compete in both segments. Between the single quad and triple quad market, a total of five companies sell the majority of LC/MS systems and only three of these companies participate in both markets. Agilent, 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. , Shimadzu, Thermo Finnigan, and Waters are the primary competitors in the single-quad LC/MS market. In the triple-quad market, the top competitors are Applied Biosystems, Thermo Finnigan, and Micromass (Waters).
Although single and triple quad LC/MS systems are both sold primarily to the pharmaceutical industry, the markets are extremely different in terms of specific applications, price and end-users. Looking at companies that choose to participate in only one of these markets versus companies that choose to participate in both, the advantages of both strategies becomes clear.
For the three companies that participate in both markets, the advantages can be capitalized on even if the connection between the products' marketing and manufacturing is not substantial. If a company has gained a good reputation in either LC/MS market, that reputation, be it for quality, reliability, service, or software, can enhance the company's reputation in relation to the company's other LC/MS products. In addition, familiarity with one company's products enables greater adaptability to a new product. As Mr. McDowall told IBO, if a customer moves from a Waters' single quad LC/ MS to a Micromass triple quad LC/ MS, they will already be familiar with many aspects of the instrument, such as software and ion source An ion source is an electro-magnetic device that is used to create charged particles. These are used primarily within mass spectrometers or particle accelerators. Mass spectrometry , thus enabling faster training and installation and greater end-user familiarity. In this way, customers may find an advantage in purchasing a single quad and triple quad system from the same company. In addition, a technological breakthrough or enhancement to one of the LC/MS product lines can be applied to the other. Such a development is most applicable for software, where capabilities and specialization A career option pursued by some attorneys that entails the acquisition of detailed knowledge of, and proficiency in, a particular area of law.
As the law in the United States becomes increasingly complex and covers a greater number of subjects, more and more attorneys are are rapidly changing and which is an important factor in product differentiation Product Differentiation
A source of competitive advantage that depends on producing some item that is regarded to have unique and valuable characteristics. . In addition, companies that offers a wide MS product line, such as one that includes both single quad and triple quad LC/MS, are more likely to be known as a "mass spec company," which can be useful shorthand shorthand, any brief, rapid system of writing that may be used in transcribing, or recording, the spoken word. Such systems, many having characters based on the letters of the alphabet, were used in ancient times; the shorthand of Tiro, Cicero's amanuensis, was used in this period of fast growth for the technique.
But participation in only one market segment also holds advantages. Agilent and Shimadzu have built a strong single-quad business by appealing to their HPLC customers and by marketing their instruments for a wide range of applications with competitively priced systems. But this has also been true of Waters. However, Shimadzu has been able to pick up business through the coupling of its HPLC with Applied Biosystems' single quad, while Agilent's HPLCs are often paired with Thermo Finnigan's single quad MS instruments. In addition, vendors that chose to concentrate on either the single-quad or triple-quad LC/MS market can focus more resources on this market. Although Applied Biosystems does make a single quad system, this product line has never been as much of a focus of its activity as its triple quad LC/MS, which has been very successful. By participating in both markets simultaneously, a vendor's resources may be divided.
Waters' approach is to divide its LC/MS businesses by division. Waters handles the single quad LC/MS business, while Micromass handles the triple quad LC/MS product line. Both Thermo Electron's single and triple quad LC/MS product offerings are located in the Thermo Finnigan division. However, Thermo's mass spec offerings far outweigh out·weigh
tr.v. out·weighed, out·weigh·ing, out·weighs
1. To weigh more than.
2. To be more significant than; exceed in value or importance: The benefits outweigh the risks. its LC offerings, leaving it with a less comprehensive approach than Waters. However, Thermo has remained competitive as it has been able to approach both the single quad and triple quad market as one company, utilizing reputation and technology to distinguish itself in both markets.
Together, the single quad and triple quad LC/MS markets reflect what has enabled the fast growth and widespread use of MS techniques in general. The markets reflect the range of MS applications, technical advancements, the marketing strength and successful strategies of vendors, and the growth of pharmaceutical research. The markets also illustrate the specific demands that have made both markets, and the choices companies must make when approaching them, so challenging.