Purified nucleic acids are required for a majority of experiments in life science research. They are an integral part of experiments that involve cloning, sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction digestion, and southern blotting. As such, the isolation and purification of nucleic acid from biological material is often the first step in all experiments in molecular biology. The technological advancements and the increased government support in the form of funding are the factors that drive the nucleic acid isolation and purification market across the globe. However, decrease in R&D spending may hinder the growth of this market. The increasing applications of nucleic acid test in molecular diagnostics represent a huge growth opportunity for nucleic acid isolation and purification market.
There are multiple technologies used for isolation and purification of nucleic acids. The magnetic bead-based technology for DNA isolation and purification will see a lucrative growth in the next five years due to increasing use of DNA isolation and purification instruments in hospitals and diagnostics, owing to technological advancements. In the past, extraction of nucleic acids was carried out by using time-consuming and labor-intensive reagent-based techniques. These techniques were complex, and limited in terms of their throughput. For instance, in May 2013, MO BIO Laboratories developed the SwiftMag magnetic bead technology, to be used on the Eppendorf epMotion 5075 TMX automated system for isolation of DNA from microbial cultures. This novel technology does not require chaotropic salts for binding nucleic acids to beads, and thus provides higher purity of DNA as compared to other methods.
The market is rapidly getting highly consolidated. For instance, in February 2014, Thermo Fisher Scientific acquired Life Technologies Corporations (U.S.), which strengthened its portfolio of reagents, consumables, instruments, and systems. In 2013, the top five players had a combined market share of over 90%. This makes it difficult for new players to differentiate their technology platforms and penetrate the market. Furthermore, there is a large variation in technology preference in different geographic and application segments. Low-cost reagent-based techniques for nucleic acid isolation and purification are still being preferred over kits and instrument-based techniques in key geographic segments of Asia and Latin America. Reagent-based techniques are also being preferred for specific applications like genomic DNA isolation. With such substantial difference in user preference for technologies and applications, it becomes important for market players to identify current market size and future market potential for each technology and application segment. This information will enable market players to make well-informed decisions about growth strategies in this highly competitive and evolved market.
The global nucleic acid isolation and purification industry presents significant growth potential. Most players in this market are aiming to either diversify their product portfolios or expand their geographic presence to maintain their market shares. Between 2011 and 2013, entering into collaborative partnerships was an important growth strategy adopted by most players in the nucleic acid isolation and purification market. This strategy was employed by players to gain immediate technological competency and widen their geographic presence. For instance in July 2013, QIAGEN partnered with Exosome Diagnostics Inc. (U.S.) to develop and commercialize high-performance sample preparation kits for the processing of nucleic acids from exosomes. This strategy was mainly adopted by Illumina, Inc. (U.S.), GE Healthcare (U.K.), Life Technologies (U.S.), QIAGEN (Netherlands), and Roche Applied Sciences (Germany).