1995/6 U.S. MSPPSA report on Cell Biology Reagent Kits

115 pages, 119 graphs and tables

Published: May 16, 1996

Price: $2295

Currently, 61% of U.S. life science researchers, nearly 55,000 individuals, use cell biology reagents or procedures in their work. This detailed analysis of the market for 1995 puts selected kit sales at $24.9 million, with growth rates for the current year measured at a heady +17.7%.

The 115 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA series, examines the consumption of recombinant protein expression systems, gene expression & regulation systems, signal transduction & cell cycle regulation assays, and reporter assays. For each category, the report measures the percent of active cell biologists using these assays, the mean number of assays run monthly by those active in each area, and the relative numbers of total assays run.

Each category is further detailed. Recombinant protein expression systems are segmented into bacterial, yeast, bacculovirus/insect, mammalian, and cell free in vitro translation systems. Respondents were asked to itemize the brand and type of systems used, the number of kits consumed per year, the prices paid, and the anticipated percent change for the coming year.

The gene expression & regulation category itemizes the following segments: differential display assays, subtractive hybridization, DNA mutagenesis, DNA footprinting, gel shift assays, nuclear run on, RNase protection, and two hybrid system. In addition to brand and type, annual kit consumption, prices paid, and forecast change, respondents were asked to indicate which kits were based on isotopic versus non-isotopic detection. The information provided the basis for calculating unit and dollar market size and shares for the segments as well as for suppliers. Average prices paid were calculated for leading suppliers and the most frequently mentioned kits in each segment were identified. These are: Novagen pET and Promega TNT for protein expression, Ambion RPA for gene expression, Promega Luciferase for reporter assays, and Amersham cAMP tied with Life Technologies Kinase kit tied for signal transduction.

This level of detail was repeated for signal transduction & cell regulation assays which included itemization for kinase, phosphatase, cyclic nucleotide, inositol phosphate, and nitric oxide assay segments. Seven segments were also individually studied for reporter assays including beta-galactosidase, luciferase, CAT (isotopic and non-isotopic), GFP, secreted alkaline phosphatase, and human growth hormone assays. Based upon this detailed audit, a spreadsheet was prepared outlining the estimated sales for 23 suppliers in each of these four categories. Promega, Life Technologies, Invitrogen, Ambion and Amersham turned out to be the leaders in terms of their dollar share in this diverse market. Graphs showing sales mix for each of the leading suppliers are also included.

A new title in the expanding MSPPSA series, the report also assesses the attitudes and expectations of a cross-section of cell biology researchers in the US. Customer satisfaction ratings were found to be high for leading vendors of cell biology products. Respondents were also asked specifically to select the leading supplier (from a choice of nine suppliers or a write-in candidate) in the following areas: best value for money, most consistent quality, fastest delivery, best application support, and most committed to cell biology. Life Technologies was the leader in 3 of the five categories. Promega, a very strong second, performed best for application support.

Major factors affecting the choice of brand are rated, and verbatim suggestions for improvements for specific assays are provided. We are used to seeing references to lower prices, but this issue was not raised as vehemently here as it has been on some of our other surveys. A good number of specific technical comments and suggestions were given.

We consider that this report will begin to do for cell biology reagent markets what our highly acclaimed reports have achieved for molecular biology reagent markets. Depending upon clients interests, we expect this to be the first of a number of reports surveying additional product and geographic segments for cell biology reagents.

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