1998/1999 Far East MSPPSA report on DNA Amplification

149 pages, 114 graphs and tables

Published: December 3, 1998

Price: $2795

The Far East Proves Itself a Significantly Different Market than its Western Neighbors

As a companion volume to the European study of DNA Amplification instruments and reagents, PhorTech International's newest addition to its extensive library of market research examines the DNA amplification market in the Far East. Although this geography accounts for approximately 20% of the global population of life science researchers, it has been left predominantly unstudied. However, with this new report, PhorTech International breaks through the barriers to reveal some very surprising conditions within this vital region.

Numerous North American and European studies provide the basis upon which comparisons with the Far East market can be made. The data shows the historical growth of the market for thermal cyclers, rising consistently since the early 90's to a break in 1997.

This market increase is not due to the recent sales of instruments with more complexity and higher price tags. Unlike the recent rise in instrument prices measured in the Western markets, pressure in the Far East markets has kept local prices constant. The current amplification instrument market is worth only 10% of that for reagents, another striking difference from Europe, due to recent economic downturn limiting sales of new or replacement thermal cyclers.

The majority of these dollars is in the hands of a single supplier, who has held on to approximately half the market for the past 7 years. Their strength appears to be Pan-Asian, and accounts for a greater percentage of the Far East market than anywhere in Europe.

This comprehensive 149 page study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA series, reveals many other details regarding the DNA amplification market, including the annual consumption of thermostable enzymes as well as the installed base of thermal cyclers in three geographic regions of the Far East. Unit and dollar sales per year, market sizes and growth rates, plus unit and dollar supplier shares for both instruments and enzymes were calculated. The regions in which supplier shares were broken down include: Japan, Oceania (Australia, New Zealand) and the rest of Asia (China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan ROC and Thailand).

The most frequently mentioned thermal cyclers are identified by name, along with the average prices paid for each major brand. An analysis of the most recent state of the market demonstrates a few smaller companies giving the leader a bit more competition than many of the established giants had been able to do. As far as the thermostable enzyme market, the top three suppliers are based in each of the major geographies - North America, Europe and Asia. This profile, both the specific suppliers, and their relative positions, was strikingly different than what was found in any of the Western DNA amplification studies.

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. More than 300 respondents to this survey were not only experienced (with well over 1000 years of experience among them), but also held high level laboratory positions

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 responses are obtained for typical reaction volumes, magnesium concentration and type of reaction vessel. Similar to their Western counterparts, Far Eastern researchers were running predominantly PCR-based applications, such as RT-PCR and cloning PCR. A difference lies in their choice and degree of usage of the most common trademarked enzymes. The preference for Taq-based enzymes is significantly lower, while the Takara enzymes appear much farther up the list than the corresponding results from Western geographies

The reasons for choosing the most recent thermal cycler purchased as well as satisfaction with that decision are measured, with the appearance of many new suppliers garnering both praise and condemnation. 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. Far Eastern researchers seem to be more pleased with the performance of their enzymes than with their instruments, possibly due to the heightened competition in that market, but show dissatisfaction with several U.S. and European suppliers in numerous customer satisfaction criteria.

The suggestions on existing products were incredibly specific and technically detailed, and range far beyond typical price concerns. Both instruments and enzymes were given fair doses of suggestions by those whose work depends on their reliable functioning.

This report is undoubtedly the most complete analysis of the amplification market in the Far East, an uncharacterized, but highly lucrative market. Over 100 graphs and tables provide an in-depth look at this highly complex market where researchers clearly differentiate themselves from their Western colleagues. The ability to compare these amplifications users' historical consumption, current needs, and future expectations with their U.S. and European counterparts should be considered absolutely essential for anyone ready to conquer the East.

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