The report identifies the field of biotechnology as key to maintaining the market's growth, where modest gains though laboratory chemical reagents are offset by the high growth exhibited in some segments that is attributed to an expanding therapeutic use. Antibodies are becoming increasingly significant, both in diagnostics as well as playing a major role in therapeutics, especially for targeting the diseased cells and cell compounds. With Qiagen maintaining a firm grasp on the purification kits segment, the battle is on as Ambion - with the backing of owners Applied Biosystems - look to take the crown off its nearest rival. For scientists who use commercial reagents, Invitrogen currently outpaces its market peers for selection as primary supplier, followed in second by Sigma-Aldrich, says the report. The report, compiled by Global Industry Analysts, identifies emerging disciplines such as neurosciences and proteomics as providing the most potential. In addition, highly automated instrumentation continues to remain a key factor determining the quantitative use of reagents. As funding resources becoming ever scarcer, researchers are looking for viable alternatives to meet their growing need for inexpensive sample preparation. Most automated sample preparation instrumentation products cost more than $70,000 inhibiting widespread adoption of this technology. Although most academic budgets can cover this cost, maintenance contracts and consumable/reagent costs also need to be considered. The report considered North America, Japan, and Europe as dominating the global laboratory chemical reagents market, accounting for about 75 per cent of the market in 2007. This is attributed to the sophistication of analysing technology and advancements in the field of biochemistry in recent years, as an indication of diversification and sophistication in reagent quality. The biochemistry reagents market is seen to represent the largest segment accounting for about 40 per cent of the market. The report identified reagents used in gene expression, vectors, cloning, and sequencing as most likely to experience fast growth. According to the report, Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing region with a compound annual growth rate of 6 per cent. Demand for sera, media and reagents were the primary factors identified for this growth. Also mentioned was the higher sales infrastructure investment by leading players in Japan and China, biomanufacturing demand, and increasing interest in stem cell research. The report predicted the environmental testing reagents market in Europe will reach $70m by 2010. "Continued shift of biotechnology research from academic to commercial sector and the evolution-integrated chemistry, are keeping up momentum in reagents market," the report stated. Germany leads the laboratory reagents market in Europe with a market share of 29 per cent in 2007. For more details of the report: 'Laboratory Biotechnology Reagents: A Global Strategic Business Report,' published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc, see here.