Total revenues for the four emerging sectors of protein array, crucial antibody array, peptide biochip, protein biochip, and solution bead/particle array were estimated at $90 million (€83million) in 2002, writes market analyst Business Communications Company (BCC) this week.
In a new report BCC estimates that by 2007, growing at an average annual growth rate of 30 per cent, total revenues are forecast to approach $336 million. BCC attributes the growth rate to the large boom in protein array products launched onto the market in 2001 and 2002, as well as the anticipation of future products and technology breakthroughs during the next five years.
Since each of the markets has begun within the last three years, all four of the protein array segments are expected to grow with high growth rates, continues the report.
The four protein array sectors, the peptide biochip technology sector as the newest kid on the block, represent different stages in technology evolution and format of technology. There is a range of protein array technology offerings that includes services, do-it-yourself building, custom building, and pre-built arrays. Because each array technology and/or service is unique, there are lots of players developing the different approaches, adds BCC.
Although there are leaders and first-to-market players in each protein array technology sector, BCC maintains that the protein array services or technologies that will prevail are not clear at this time. As a first step in technology development, antibody arrays utilise well-characterised and available proteins easier to immobilise with very limited damage on a surface. Surface materials are often a nitrocellulose membrane or glass slide.
The peptide biochip category is the newest and smallest sector of the four protein array sectors identified for the report. Peptide capture molecules offer a very specific binding domain and are complementary to the use of antibody and protein capture molecule arrays, which utilise entire binding domain regions.
The protein biochip category covers a wide range of available and developing sensor chip and detection technology instrumentation, to include surface plasmon resonance (SPR), mass-spectroscopy (MS), polymer chemistry, surface-enhanced laser desorption ionisation (SELDI), laser readers and fluorescence.
The bead/solution protein array technology is a fourth protein array sector developing concurrently with antibody and protein biochip arrays. The choice of development of the type of horizontal chip array versus a bead format can depend on the protein immobilization technique, so the two formats are not necessarily exclusive in terms of how the protein(s) are immobilised.
In the same way that development of DNA array technology required development of bioinformatic technology that could read and then interpret all of the spot data, the protein array field must also develop such bioinformatic technology.
According to the report, because the development and commercial availability of different protein arrays is so new, the protein array community is just beginning to define itself. Since there are so many different technologies at this time, the next five years of development will begin to show which are best for specific applications.
Further information about the report 'RB-169 Protein Chips: Where To' can be obtained from Business Communications.