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Sharp rise for immune disease testing.

The U . S . market for AIDS and related testing products will grow from $1 18 million in 1987 to $199 million in 1992, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan, the international market research firm based in New York. This expansion will be driven by blood banks beginning to test for HIV-2 and HTLV-1, the firm says, and it will also be marked by "a major confrontation . . . as Du Pont moves to invade Abbott's position in AIDS testing."

The diverse array of non-HIV immune disease tests will grow even faster, more than doubling over the 1987-92 period. That will bring the market as a whole from $167.2 million to $293.7 million. These forecasts are contained in a 285-page study, "U.S. Markets for Immune Disease Diagnostics Products."

Some near-term manufacturer development opportunities identified by Frost & Sullivan include early detection systems for transplant rejection, greater specificity in diagnosis of autoimmune discases, new tests for autoimmune infertility, and prenatal testing for primary immune deficiencies, as well as more definitive diagnostics for AIDS.

Of the six non-HIV segments analyzed in the report, testing for autoimmune disorders is the second largest-$11.2 million in 1987 (see Figure 1) and $25.4 million projected for 1992 as indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) technology is replaced by quantitation of antibodies to specific autoantigens.

Allergy diagnostic sales are expected to increase from $ 10.1 million to $17.1 million. Growth in this area will be limited by the difficulty of persuading allergists to abandon scratch/patch tests in favor of IgE assay procedures, which require capital investment.

The cyclical complement assays market, currently on an uptrend, should soon wane again in the absence of a major breakthrough. The anticipated result: minimal growth, from $4.6 million to $5.6 million between 1987 and 1992.

Major changes in the immunoglobulin assays segment are unlikely during the forecast period, according to Frost & Sullivan. Product sales are seen rising from $10.7 million to $17.2 million.

Quantitative assays of different rheumatoid factor immunoglobulins may have a significant impact on the rheumatoid arthritis test n market, which is characterzed by relatively low-tech, low-priced procedures. Projected sales are $18.5 million in 1992, compared with $8.9 million in 1987.

The tiny lymphokine assay segment, worth about $200,000 in product sales in 1987, is expected to reach $1.8 million in 1992.

The report also looks at a miscellaneous category that includes cellular immunology and the interaction of the immune system with cellular function as in diabetes, pernicious anemia, and neuroimmune syndromes.
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Author:Fitzgibbon, Robert J.
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:editorial
Date:Apr 1, 1989
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