(written 2005)


According to the Cleveland Business Wire – Nov. 8, 2004 – the United States demand for biochip products and services is projected to increase 20% annually to $2.1 billion in 2008. Biochips (or microarrays) will account for $875 million of this amount, with the remaining $1.2 billion divided among related instruments, reagents and other consumables, software, and services. Growth will be led by uses in drug discovery and epidemiological research, with protein analysis and gene expression profiling providing the fastest expanding applications. These and other trends are presented in Biochips, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm.

DNA chips will continue to generate broad usage in genomic research. However, sales of laboratory and protein chips will expand faster as pharmaceutical researchers shift the focus of drug discovery toward proteomics. By 2013, protein chips will account for the largest demand among microarrays, at over $1 billion.

Demand for biochip instruments is projected to grow over 13% annually from 2003. Growth opportunities for detection, sample preparation and hybridization equipment will continue to expand as pharmaceutical and other life science researchers diversify into proteomic investigations. By contrast, increasing end-user preferences for pre-arrayed biochips will weaken market growth for biochip production instruments. Based on increased sensitivity, high value-added microarray labeling and processing kits will generate the strongest sales gains among biochip reagents and consumables. Demand for biochip software will also rise impressively as researchers purchase more sophisticated programs capable of comparing vast amounts of experimental microarray data to information contained in external databases.

The market for biochip-related services is projected to reach $600 million in 2008, up 19 percent annually from 2003. Subscription rights to use proprietary technologies and systems, along with contract research in the area of drug discovery, will continue to make up the largest share of demand. Growth opportunities for maintenance and technical support services will also increase favorably, spurred by upward trends in the number of new installed biochip systems and the continued aging of previously installed systems.

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