1995/6 European MSPPSA report on HPLC in the Life Sciences

165 pages, 158 graphs and tables

Published: September 16, 1996

Price: $2295

The forecast growth for HPLC/FPLC instruments in Europe promises a bright future for suppliers satisfying customer's needs.The European market, representing over $100 million annually, has seen a resurgence in instrument sales, due to recession-fueled pent-up demand for replacement systems.

A fresh market research report by PhorTech International provides details concerning the European HPLC and FPLC market, which has accumulated over $1 billion in sales since the 1970's. The technique of HPLC is strong among life science researchers, totaling almost 31,000 users in Europe who spent $126 million last year on instrumentation. The annual market for columns approaches the $70 million mark, divided between reversed phase, ion exchange, gel permeation, HIC, chiral, ion, and other columns. However, reversed phase columns clearly dominated the market.

This comprehensive 165 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's European MSPPSA (Market Size & Share, Purchase Plans, and Supplier Assessment) series, examines the annual consumption of both instruments and columns in six geographic regions of Europe. Instruments analyzed included complete systems as well as individual components (sample injectors, pumps, detectors, and data analysis). Analyses were repeated for each of the various column chemistries. Specifically, unit and dollar sales per year, market size and growth rates, plus unit and dollar supplier shares were calculated. This analysis is based upon the responses to over 2,000 surveys mailed out to a cross-section of European life science researchers last winter. The geographic regions studied include: German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), English-speaking Europe (United Kingdom plus the Republic of Ireland), France, Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg), Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway), and Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal).

The installed base of instruments is classified by year and by model for each of the leading suppliers. The data shows that the market is distributed among numerous powerful companies but that two in particular appear to be gaining in strength (HP and Waters). In contrast, the market for HPLC columns is flooded with small suppliers. One column supplier, Merck, does have significant overall share, but with striking differences across European regions and between individual column types.

From the data for future purchase plans, it is clear that strong growth is expected. Existing users will continue to expand and upgrade their systems, and the entrance of new users should further fuel this growth. As for columns, the growth rate also promises to be bright for suppliers who provide what customers are looking for.

Complete demographic analyses include the distribution of users by type of organization, and by application. The data shows 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 preference for modular vs. integrated systems, their desired combination of components to be integrated, and the level of use their instruments receive (injections per week).

Leading suppliers of HPLC instruments are rated in the following areas of customer satisfaction: reliable quality, innovation, price worthiness, field service and commitment to chromatography. Hewlett Packard, a strong leader, takes three out of five categories, but has a chromatography giant on its tails. Waters takes a very close second place, followed distantly by Shimadzu. When satisfaction with the product was examined, the instruments from several other companies, such as Gilson, Spectra Physics, and Shimadzu outperformed the market leader. Overall, the level of satisfaction with HPLC instruments is slightly lower than the previous year's US result. The situation for columns is much better, demonstrating a higher satisfaction rate for a different set of players, with whom researchers were extremely pleased. Pharmacia and Bio-Rad performed especially well. In either case, the feelings about the choice of suppliers and the suggestions on existing products delve deeper than the typical price concerns into well thought out, insightful ideas as well as technically sound, and manageable improvements.

This report represents the most complete, measured analysis of the HPLC/FPLC market in Europe and should be purchased by companies determined to strengthen their position in this lucrative but challenging business.

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