1998/1999 European MSPPSA report on DNA Amplification

194 pages, 126 graphs and tables

Published: January 19, 1998

Price: $2795

Can Suppliers Keep Up With the Changing Needs of Scientists Performing Amplification?

A new market research report by PhorTech International provides surprising details concerning the European amplification market, including the new trend toward smaller, personal-sized instruments. An extensive analysis of the market for 1997/8 shows that lower capacity instruments are accounting for a higher percentage of the 5,000+ units sold annually. As far as the future of this market, currently worth almost $50 million, growth appears very healthy for some sectors but not all. "This leads us to believe that nimble competitors with an attractive product mix may do particularly well in the months ahead while those still flogging dinosaurs will flounder." says Michael Eby, president of PhorTech International.

This comprehensive 194 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA series, examines the installed base of thermal cyclers as well as the annual consumption of thermostable enzymes in six geographic regions of Europe. Unit and dollar sales per year, market sizes and growth rates, plus unit and dollar supplier shares for both instruments and enzymes were calculated. This analysis is done for each European region, based upon the analysis of 698 responses received from a cross-section of European life science researchers in 1997. The differences in both pricing and consumption across the European continent are analyzed and show significant variation. The regions include: German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), English-speaking Europe (United Kingdom plus the Republic of Ireland) France, Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal), Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg), and the Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland).

The most frequently mentioned thermal cyclers are identified by name, along with the average prices paid for each major brand . When looking at trademarked thermostable enzymes, Taq emerges as an overwhelming leader, but many lesser-known enzymes seem to be gaining popularity. The market leader is no surprise, but several European companies provide this supplier with significant competition. This is made especially clear in the section examining supplier market shares within each of the European regions.

A large number of demographic screens, broadened considerably from previous surveys, are used to characterize respondents and the nature of the amplification they performed. These include not only the geographic distribution of users, but also segmentation by type of organization, scientific discipline and professional position, as well as level of experience. As expected, the bulk of amplification work is found in organizations stressing research and medical applications, such as academia and hospitals. Respondents were not only well-experienced but were holding high level laboratory positions and labeling themselves molecular biologists.

A comprehensive section on amplification methodologies includes an analysis of throughput, applications, the degree to which various enzymes and procedures are used, and the preferences for kits vs reagents. Quantitative values are obtained for typical reaction volumes, magnesium concentration and type of reaction vessel. Respondents were running from hundreds to several thousand thermal cycler reactions monthly, with PCR-based applications (such as RT-PCR) the most frequently mentioned.

The reasons for choosing the most recent thermal cycler purchased as well as satisfaction with that decision, are measured, with high scores for many of the American companies supplying to the European market. Leading companies are then ranked in six key areas of customer satisfaction, with surprising results for companies previously thought to be strong players. These same analyses are performed for the crowded field of suppliers of thermostable enzymes. In a change from previous studies, respondents seem to be more pleased with their enzymes than with their instruments, possibly due to the heightened competition in that market. As far as the market leader, some problems do arise in terms of their performance in the six key customer satisfaction criteria.

The suggestions on existing products given by over 300 respondents delve deeper than the typical price concerns into technically sound, and manageable improvements. Respondents are also specifically asked to choose among a list of supplier-derived improvements to point out which would be most important to their work. These covered both enzyme and instrument-related issues and detailed sought after practical, technically-based enhancements.

This report is undoubtedly the most complete analysis of the amplification market in Europe and has already been purchased by 10 companies determined to strengthen their position in this lucrative market. With one of the largest datasets to date, and enhanced by over 120 graphs and tables, this study provides an indepth look at the European amplification user's current needs and future expectations. This report should be considered essential reading for anyone seriously intending to succeed in this increasingly competitive area.

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