Trend sees boom in pharma analytical tools

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chromatography Human genome project Analytical chemistry Us

According to a recent report, analytic separation technology will
continue to evolve as limitations are addressed and standards grow
even more rigorous, as market drivers such as quality control,
instrument design, and software in the biotech/health care industry
continue to promote its evolution.

The field of analytic separations is composed of both established and novel technologies and the industry is often unstable due to the emergence of newly introduced instruments and methods.

It is comprised of a diverse group of technologies, which are all used to perform some sort of analytic-scale separation.

Often these technologies may not have much else in common, but used separately or in combination with one another, analytic to create a multibillion-dollar US market.

Latest figures suggest that the US market for analytic separation techniques will reach approximately $7.8 billion (€6.7 billion) by the end of 2005.

The estimated average annual growth rate (AAGR) for this market over the forecast period 2005-2010 is 8.6 per cent and the market is expected to reach over $11.8 billion by 2010.

US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2004 was 4.4 per cent, up from 3 per cent in 2003 and 1.9 per cent in 2002.

The report singled out spectroscopy, which accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the analytical separations market.

This is a complex market comprised of technologies used singly or in combination with other methods to address both broad and niche markets.

The report said that hybrid or hyphenated methods, including various combinations of chromatography and spectroscopy, had experienced a renaissance of sorts over the past several years.

Chromatography may be an established technology, but its popularity continues to grow.

Indeed, a recent survey of American Chemical Society (ACS) conference attendees found that scientists expected to increase their current chromatography equipment by over 15 per cent in the near future.

It is clear that medical applications continue to dominate the biosensor market. The pharmaceutical research industry needs rapid assay biosensors to meet growing pressure to speed up drug discovery.

Biosensors also are being used to meet needs as diverse as pharmaceutical research, food production, and environmental pollution monitoring.

One other technique, electrophoresis, particularly the 2-D gel variety, is one to cash in on the rapidly expanding field of proteomics.

Capillary electrophoresis continues to make inroads in gel/slab electrophoresis market shares.

A variety of surveys have found that life scientists are planning to purchase these large quantities over the next few years.

Microarrays are now coming into their own as critical technology for biotech applications, such as the human genome project and characterisation of certain biological mechanisms.

The report reckoned that the major drawback was cost; microarrays have become the most expensive disposable product in the laboratory. Growth is taking place, however, as prices drop and scientists become increasingly familiar with the technology.

The report: "RC-242 Analytical Instruments: Major Trends and Markets," is available from Business Communications Co.

Related topics Preclinical Research QA/QC

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