Diagnostic assays are tests that are used to assess target analytes, quantitatively or qualitatively, in biochemical substances, cells or an organism, or an organic sample for disease diagnosis. Multiplexed diagnostics screen multiple analytes in a single cycle of assay procedure. Though single plex assays are widely available in the market, they fail to yield results for multiple analytes in single cycle of assay process and thus, when multiple analytes are needed to be screened, cost and turnaround time of single plex assay is higher as compared to multiplexed assay. Considering the increase demand for diagnostic tools, healthcare professionals are progressively adopting multiplexed diagnostics technology.
As per the estimations of a recent study by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global market for multiplexed diagnostics has been expanding robustly in the recent past and projected it to be worth US$9.8 bn by 2019.
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What are the key factors influencing the demand for multiplexed diagnostics?
Multiplexed assays are used by healthcare professionals, especially by research scientists and clinical laboratory technicians for diseases diagnosis. The global multiplexed assay market has experienced impressive growth in the past decade, primarily because of completion of human genome project and increasing prevalence of cancer and infectious diseases. The information obtained from the human genome project has enabled the detection of exact abnormal and infected genome. Scientists and researchers are trying to incorporate available information in their research to enhance the effectiveness of multiplexed assays available in the market. Multiplexed assays are also used in drug discovery and phases of clinical researches. This, along with evolving regulatory landscape, are other factors augmenting the demand in the market for multiplexed diagnostics. However, cost of equipment, lack of skilled labor, and the lack of reimbursement coverage are the factors that are hindering the market from attaining its full potential.
Which are the most profitable segments of the global multiplexed diagnostics market?
Application-wise, the TMR report rates the segment of infectious disease diagnostic as most important. Tools such as multiplex CR have been recently developed to increase the diagnostic capacity of PCR assays. Multiplex diagnostics is useful for the simultaneous identification of various bacteria, parasites, viruses, or fungi. Such diagnostic tools helps in saving significant time, money, efforts, and resources by simultaneous amplification of multiple sequences in a single reaction.
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Technology-wise, the market currently gains maximum demand for medium density multiplexed assays, although next generation sequencing is projected for the best growth rate during the forecast period of 2012 to 2019. Medium density multiplexed assays include bead-based arrays, antibody arrays, reverse arrays, and mass spectrometry. On the other hand, next generation sequencing technique is rapidly replacing all the other multiplexing techniques available in the market due to the advantage of broader coverage of the diagnostic area, enhanced sensitivity, accurate results, and reduced cost. Next generation sequencing is currently widely used in cancer genome diagnostics and drug targeted therapies. Next generation sequencing technique is rapidly expanding its area of coverage with the growth in research efforts in this area. In the near future, this technology segment is anticipated to become most fruitful.
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