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Molecular biologists help spur proteomic sample prep market
The total U.S. proteomics sample preparation market was $41.6 million in 2004 according to a recently-released report "U.S. Proteomics Sample Preparation Markets" from market research firm Frost & Sullivan. The report also predicts that the market for these products will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 percent between now and 2011, when the market is predicted to top $100 million.
Of the total sales in 2004, the commodities and devices portion of market accounted for sales of $23.2 million or nearly 56 percent of the total market. Targeted sample extraction and fractionation kits accounted for a relatively modest $7.4 million in sales though this portion of the overall proteomics market is forecast to have a CAGR of nearly 21 percent for the period 2004 through 2011.
One driver of the projected growth of this segment will be the increased use of proteomics sample preparation kits by biologists, the study notes. Since the study of proteomics offers wider solutions and comprehensive results, molecular biologists—alongside genomic study—are exploring proteomics. These researchers are used to prepackaged comprehensive kits for sample preparation, which is a relatively streamlined process for nucleic acid sample preparation in genomics. Therefore, as molecular biologists shift from genomic research to proteomics, similar kits that offer improved convenience and optimized protocols are expected to be required in the latter.
One thing hindering even faster growth in the market is the lack of consistency and standards surrounding today's proteomic research. The result is researchers using divergent methods for their protein research. The result is data sets that are difficult or impossible to compare from one researchers work to the next. Frost & Sullivan predicts that "until standards emerge, the continual generation of randomized data sets is likely to contribute to the increasing complexity of proteomics research as well as sample preparation. Each new application creates yet another small niche with few participants within the proteomics community. This decreases opportunities for suppliers of proteomics sample preparation solutions by limiting the potential sales of a certain product."
But there are efforts underway that may solve this fragmentation. Initiatives such as the Human Proteome Organization's Proteomics Standards Initiative, which aims to define standards for the representation of proteomics data, are driving the research community to employ procedures that are more consistent. The report predict that "this has opened new avenues for suppliers of commodity chemistries and devices to repack and re-label their existing commodity sample preparation products as kits. The rapid consumption of products for proteomics sample preparation, resulting innovative technologies, implemented consistency, and emerging success stories are expected to drive the proteomics sample preparation market considerably."