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2004/2005 European MSPPSA report on Arrayers, Array Scanners & Microarrays Market Analysis

270 pages, 218 graphs and tables

Published: April 28, 2005

Price: $3995


Rapid Growth in European Microarrays Forecast to Continue as Future Users Outnumber Current Users


Growth in the years ahead is forecast to continue to boom as these new users come on-line and as the catalogs of commercially arrays continue to expand providing more options and capabilities for all users. Notice in the graph the small percentage of users making their own arrays compared with the larger number that obtain their arrays from elsewhere (core facilities, colleagues, and commercial sources).


What has this meant for suppliers to the microarray market? Those with a demonstrated commitment to quality commercial arrays and technical support have done well, while those focused solely on DIY arrayers and instrumentation have been squeezed, pushed to the wall, or merged into conglomerates.


These are a few of the conclusions of a new 270 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA series. The report examines the installed base over the past five years for instrumentation (including arrayers and array scanners). The report continues with a detailed investigation of commercial microarrays focusing on the types of arrays used as well as on the source of these arrays.



Unit and dollar placements per year, market sizes and growth rates, plus unit and dollar market shares for each of these product categories are calculated. These measurements are based upon an analysis of the 415 completed responses to more than 12,000 personalized email invitations sent to a cross-section of European life science researchers between late July and early September last year.


Complete demographic analyses for respondents to this survey include the distribution of users by type of organization, country of residence, current involvement with microarrays, areas of expertise, and position in the laboratory.


Approximately half of the current users of arrayers make arrays for their own consumption, while a quarter are located in core facilities and an eighth are located at commercial suppliers of custom arrays. The frequency with which arrays are made varied from once a year through 4 times daily. Typically, users of arrayers make from 2 to 1,000 arrays at a time, with an average of 87 arrays produced per batch and a median of 30 arrays produced at one time. The annual volume of arrays produced per researcher using an arrayer is shown in the following bar chart.



Extrapolating this to the Western Europe market, we estimate that a total of just over 1.3 million spotted arrays are produced in this region. In a further positive note, current users of arrayers forecast strong increases for the coming year and a considerable number of new users plan to produce their own arrays as well.


We also examined the market for array scanners in considerable detail.



We see that Affymetrix leads in unit placements in Europe, responsible for a quarter of all installed array scanners. However, the independent instrument maker, Axon Instruments, takes a strong second place - showing the substantial market for spotted arrays in Europe. When we look at the Euros spent on these products, however, the shares looks considerably different.


By asking respondents to itemize microarray instrumentation they had acquired in the past five years, describing the brand and model of the instrument, the number of units, the year of acquisition, and the category of instrument, we have produced an invaluable database of installed instrumentation. From this wealth of data, we are able to present detailed graphs of both market share and growth rates for the past five years..


We also asked respondents to itemize commercial microarrays they purchase, once again describing the makes and types in detail. From this database, we again extrapolate to total Western European sales and calculate unit and dollar market shares for these products. Readers of this report will be able to see how well the leading suppliers of commercial arrays have done and how they are regarded.



An entire section of the report is dedicated to future purchase plans and we use this data to project future growth rates and lines of products forecast to grow least and most rapidly. Over-confident suppliers will ignore these statistics at their own peril, while market-savvy suppliers will use this data to increase their market share and avoid market dead zones.


Respondents not currently working in this area, but planning to start within the next 18 months were directed to a different set of questions in the survey. These ~200 respondents were probed as to their anticipated applications for microarrays and whether they planned to purchase commercial microarrays, obtain custom-made microarrays from a core lab or outside facility, or prepare their own microarrays. They were also asked what catalog suppliers of commercial microarrays came to mind, what organizations they knew of that could produce custom-made microarrays, and what suppliers offered equipment (arrayers and scanners) to enable them to prepare and analyze their own microarrays. The responses to this last question are shown below. Although they have not yet started working in this area, these researchers have clearly begun to do their homework and they can enumerate suppliers and have already formed opinions as to who they would prefer to work with.



Customer satisfaction ratings are measured separately for leading vendors of arrayers and array scanners as well as for suppliers of commercial microarrays. We probed carefully in these areas and asked respondents to rate arrayer manufacturers in seven key areas (ease of use, lowest running costs, quality & reproducibility, highest density, best field service, and best overall reputation). We also asked respondents to rate scanner manufacturers in seven areas (ease of use, best value for money, most reliable quality, best software, highest resolution, best field service, and most rapid analysis). Commercial array suppliers were rated in five areas (most economical, most reliable quality, highest information content, most flexible choice of content, and best overall reputation). These ratings are invaluable both for suppliers to measure their own performance as well as to discover areas of weakness for their major competitors that can be used to obtain competitive advantage.


Finally, the report itemizes literally hundreds of specific verbatim comments. These include suppliers' performance issues, the benefits and drawbacks of making microarrays, as well as the circumstances under which respondents would consider switching from making to purchasing microarrays. Respondents also suggested improvements for arrayers, array scanners, and commercial microarrays, gave reasons for selecting suppliers, listed anticipated applications, itemized areas of work with the highest potential for improvement, and suggested alternative technologies that they believe could offer solutions to current problems with arrays. Reading these comments is equivalent to spending weeks of time in the field with end-users and provides essential insight for suppliers.


Highest Potential for Improvement in Microarrays: Some Current Users' Verbatim Comments

·         Cheaper supplies for microarrays and materials/enzymes/kits needed for molecular work; better software for the analysis of microarrays; The statistic algorithms currently used are mainly for eukaryotic expression levels but tricky when it comes to the fast generation times of bacteria.

·         Different microarrays being produced for the users at a reasonable cost - we particularly want DNA methylation microarrays.

·         Greater sensitivity to minor changes in mRNA levels; We find that real-time PCR always gives us much higher expression ratios than the microarray experiments.

·         Have more automatic step in the process of hybridization and analysis of chip. This to avoid the variation between experiments and to allow a large number of people to use our facility

·         Improvement of throughput for scanner and arrayer; More flexibility considering the use of chip size for scanner and arrayer e.g. smaller chips should also be able to be printed and scanned.

·         In defining a common standard for data analysis (starting from algorithms) and procedures for extracting valuable information from the intensity values obtained by scanned arrays.

·         Increasing the content of arrays, e.g. including ALL 22500 human genes

·         Simplify/automate target preparation; automate scanning process; standardized controls for different array platforms

·         Standardization, inter & intra array variances; flexibility; software

·         The interpretation and management of the data into a manageable workload


This report is undoubtedly the most comprehensive analysis of the current market for microarray products in Western Europe. and has already been purchased by astute competitors determined to strengthen their position in this lucrative market. Enhanced by over 218 color graphs and tables, this study provides a penetrating analysis and should be considered essential reading for anyone seriously intending to succeed in this competitive area. Companies mentioned in the report are listed below.


Companies Mentioned in This Report


GE Healthcare



GeneScan Europe AG

PerkinElmer Life Sciences

Agilent Technologies


Perlegen Sciences

Agilix Corporation

Genetix Ltd/GenePak


Ambion Corporation


Promedia Associates

ArrayJet Ltd.



Apogent Technologies

Illumina, Inc.

RayBioTech, Inc.

Applied Biosystems

Incyte Pharmaceuticals/Synteni

Roche Diagnostics

Applied Precision, LLC



BD Biosciences/Clontech



Bio-Rad/Virtek Vision

Memorec Biotec GmbH

Scienion AG

Biomérieux SA

Merck & Company

Sigma-Genosys Biotech


MetriGenix Corporation

SuperArray Bioscience

BTK, Finland

Microarrays, Inc.

STAB VIDA (Portugal)

Ciphergen Biosystems

Molecular Devices/Axon Instr.

Stratagene Corporation

CLONDIAG Chip Technol.

MWG-Biotech AG

Tecan Austria GmbH

CombiMatrix Corporation

Nanogen, Inc

TeleChem International

Eurogentec SA

NimbleGen Systems

Ventana Medical Systems

Febit AG

PamGene International BV

Zeptosens AG




Original press release for this reportSee original press release for this report in Adobe Acrobat format.

Detailed contents, methodology, demographics, and questionnaire for this reportSee detailed contents, methodology, demographics, and questionnaire for this report in Adobe Acrobat format.