1995/6 U.S. MSPPSA report on DNA Sequencing
153 pages, 158 graphs and tables
Published: December 21, 1995
Roughly three out of five U.S. life science researchers, over 53,300 individuals, use DNA sequencing techniques. Our detailed analysis of the market for 1995 puts combined instrument sales at over $150 million, with automated sequencers contributing $120 million and robotic workstations an additional $27 million.
The 153 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA series, examines the installed base of sequencing instrumentation and software, as well as measuring the consumption of sequencing reagents. The report assesses the attitudes and expectations of a cross-section of researchers in the US, and compares the results with a survey conducted for the European and US markets one and two years ago.
A large number of demographic screens were used to characterize respondents and the nature of the sequencing they performed. Respondents stemmed primarily from academia, with core facilities more common with users of advanced instrumentation. We also inquired into the sequencing strategies they use, primary methods for amplifying, purifying, and sequencing templates, and other specifics of their sequencing work. Most respondents were working on sequencing projects on the order of 1-5 kb, but there was definitely an increase in the percentage with projects in the megabase range.
Sequencing users were asked to itemize all manual and automated instruments, robotic workstations, automated film readers, and sequence analysis software they owned or operated, providing the brand, model, date acquired, and approximate cost for each unit. The results point to the huge dollar share associated with automated sequencers, which are lead completely by ABI. Their 373A was by far the most popular model, along with with 377 and 373 stretch. The manual sequencing market is divided a bit more evenly, with Life Technologies (with their BRL Model S2 and SA), and Bio-Rad (SequiGen and SequiGen II) in the top two positions. When looking at only the recent sales (since 1993) Owl Scientific's Model S2S assumes the number two spot over Bio-Rad. Beckman's entire Biomek line brings it to the lead in the area of robotic workstations, while Kodak/IBI hold the leading postition for film readers. Software shares went highly divided, but the Genetics Computer Group and Kodak/IBI Mac Vector software virtually shared the lead. All of these suppliers retain their positions when researchers predict future purchases.
For each type of instrument, respondents were questioned regarding their reasoning behind choosing their most recently acquired item, whether they would choose this unit again, and were asked to explain their reasons. Cost and previous experience were major factors for manual sequencers, while accuracy, quality and reliability were most important for the automated instruments. Satisfaction rates were moderately low for manual sequencers, and the leading suppliers, (Life Technologies and Bio-Rad) retained their positions when ranked for value, ease of use and quality.
The automated sequencer suppliers were ranked based upon the above categories as well as field service, innovation, instrument throughput, running costs, level of automation, and commitment to the field. PE/ABI is the clear market leader with only one weak spot. Li-Cor has gained considerable ground since the last US survey in 1993, and has succeeded in capturing a solid position for running costs and innovation. In fact, accuracy and ease of use were the two most common features desired in automated sequencers. Gel related problems dominated the requests for improvements in manual sequencers, while longer reads and cost were mentioned for automated sequencing.
Based upon an expanded four-page survey, this comprehensive sequencing
report should be considered required reading for clients interested
in evaluating their present market position, identifying their marketing
strengths and weaknesses, and developing sustainable competitive
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