MicroRNA, also known as miRNA, is a class of non-coding ribonucleic acid (RNA) which plays a vital role in the regulation of gene expression. It founds in animals, plants and some viruses and also involved in RNA silencing. RNA silencing is a term that refers to a family of gene silencing in which expression of one or more gene is suppressed by small RNAs.
MicroRNA regulates several biological processes. It includes apoptosis, cell cycle control and several developmental and physiological processes such as stem cell differentiation, hypoxia, cardiac and skeletal muscle development, hematopoiesis, neurogenesis, cholesterol metabolism, insulin secretion, aging and viral replication.
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The global microRNA market is categorized based on various diagnostic technologies, therapeutics and by research tools and reagents. The research tools and reagent is the largest segment of global microRNA market. However, microRNA diagnostics is the fastest growing segment of global microRNA market.
In terms of geographic, North America and Europe dominates the global microRNA market. This is due to improved life science research infrastructures in these regions. The U.S. represents the largest market for microRNA followed by Canada in North America. Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. holds major share of microRNA market in Europe. However, Asia is expected to show high growth rates in the next five years in global microRNA market due to increased investment by major companies in the region. In addition, less stringent regulations has also fueled the growth of microRNA market in Asia. China and India are expected to be the fastest growing microRNA markets in Asia.
In recent time, increasing prevalence of diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and innovative applications of the technology are some of the major drivers of the global microRNA market. For instance, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized agency of the WHO, about 12.7 million new cancer cases were reported in 2008 and the number reached 14.1 million in 2012. MicroRNAs are used as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In addition, increased research on microRNA based diagnostic tests and therapeutics has also fueled the growth of global microRNA market. This increased microRNA research continues to drive the advances of techniques for microRNA expression profiling and innovative technologies that are sensitive and specific for every biospecimens.
However, high investment cost and stringent regulations are some of the major restraints for global microRNA market. Moreover, methods used in detection of microRNA are costly and time-consuming. Equipments used in detection of microRNAs costs more than USD 1, 00,000. Thus, high investment costs hamper the growth of global microRNA market. In addition, lack of skilled professionals also obstructs the growth of global microRNA market. Increasing mergers and collaborations between biotech companies and government research organizations is key trend for the global microRNA market.
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Some of the major companies operating in the global microRNA market are Affymetrix Inc., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., Santaris Pharma A/S, Exiqon A/S, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Biogen Idec Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer Inc., CBC Comprehensive Biomarker Center GmbH, F. Hoffman-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co. Inc., Novartis AG and Sigma-Aldrich.
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