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1994/1995 U.S. MSPPSA report on HPLC in the Life Sciences

125 pages, 94 graphs and tables

Published: August 15, 1994

Price: $1995


HPLC is Strong not only in the Analytical World, but also among Life Science Researchers

The technique of HPLC is strong not only in the analytical world, but also among life science researchers, totaling almost 31,000 U.S. individuals in 1994. Our detailed analysis of this market puts total instrument sales at over $1.1 billion from 1970 to 1994, for both complete systems and separate components including detectors, autosamplers, pumps, and data analysis packages. In 1994 alone, customers spent $142 million, the bulk of which going to a certain configuration of components. The compound annual growth to this segment was 7.4%, but also showed significant variance between the different components. The annual market for columns did not come near the total for instruments, a very unusual outcome. We analyzed sales of reversed phase, ion exchange, gel filtration, HIC, affinity, chiral, and perfusion columns, along with any other categories respondents might choose to fill in, and found they spent their dollars overwhelmingly on one specific chemistry.

The 125 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA series, details unit and dollar placements per year, market sizes and growth rates, plus unit and dollar market shares for each of the instrument and column categories based upon our analysis of the responses to over 3,000 surveys mailed out to a cross-section of life science researchers in mid 1994. We also examine the installed base by year and by model for each of the top suppliers, of whom there are many. In fact the market is distributed among several very strong companies but the top two appear to be strengthening their hold away from the rest. In contrast, the market for HPLC columns is flooded with smaller suppliers, taking away significant market share from the leaders. One supplier has overall market share, but the differences between individual column types are striking.

From the data for future purchases, we found a resurgence in sales, possibly due to recession-fueled pent-up demand for new or replacement systems. Existing users not only will continue to expand and upgrade their systems, but new users plan to add a significant amount to this growth. As for columns, the growth rate also promises bright futures for the suppliers who provide what customers are looking for.

Complete demographic analyses include the distribution of users by type of organization, and by the applications for which they used HPLC. For example, we found that researchers from different segments had strongly varying uses for their instruments, with industry being more highly penetrated than either academia, hospitals and medical schools, or government agencies. The report goes into great depth asking researchers for their preferred format for systems (i.e. modular vs. integrated), their desired combination of components, and the amount of use their instruments receive (samples per week).

Leading suppliers of HPLC instruments are rated in the following areas of customer satisfaction: ease of use, low running costs, reliable quality, innovation, price worthiness, field service and commitment to HPLC. An overwhelming leader sweeps six out of seven categories. When satisfaction with the product was examined, a very different result was seen. The instruments from several other companies outperformed the market leader. Overall, our respondents seem to be more pleased with their HPLC systems than other instruments we have studied, but do not find the market leader to be flawless. The situation for columns is quite similar for a different set of players, with whom researchers were extremely pleased. The feelings on column performance were quite enlightening.

A significant number of our respondents provided suggestions for improvements in HPLC instruments and columns. Their concerns spanned the technical as well as 'softer' issues, and represented well thought out, insightful ideas.

This is the first market research report to focus exclusively on the life science research sector. We consider this report essential reading for anyone serious intending to succeed in this increasingly competitive area.

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