Kalorama Information estimated the budding market for digital PCR reached 175 million in 2014. The market research publisher said companies will be looking to provide products to increase research and diagnostics in diseases like cancer and neurological disorders. Kalorama's estimate for dPCR includes instruments, reagents and services. The finding was made in Kalorama Information's qPCR and dPCR Markets (Instruments, Reagents, Software/Services, Clinical and Research Markets).
According to the report, digital polymerase chain reaction is a relatively new approach to nucleic acid detection and quantification that uses molecular counting. Digital PCR delivers an absolute measure of target nucleic acid molecules, rather than the relative measure obtained from qPCR. It works by partitioning the sample to retain only a small number of DNA molecules of interest. This partitioning divides the sample into chambers (cdPCR) or droplets (ddPCR). Digital PCR differs from qPCR because it directly counts the number of target molecules instead of relying on reference standards.
Digital PCR was first used in 1999 to detect KRAS mutation, a predictive marker of several cancer types. It has since been used in the analysis of leukemia, detection of mutations in plasma and stool samples of colorectal cancer patients and in analysis of EGFR mutations in tissue of patients with non-small lung cancer. It is well suited for non-invasive prenatal diagnostics, viral load detection, Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples.
"dPCR is growing in popularity in labs because it is precise," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "It directly counts the number of individual target molecules in a sample and does not use approximation through standard curves. Targets are either 'white' and counted as 1 or they are 'black' non-targets and counted as 0."
Carlson said that because of that precision, dPCR is capable of analyzing complex mixtures, and it's capable of performing procedures where there isn't a lot of sample to work with.
The report said that developed nations, the U.S. and Europe represents most of the market for dPCR market with approximately 70% of the market. It is anticipated that U.S. and European markets will grow at a steady pace but the qPCR segment is mature.
"Companies will be looking to provide products to increase research and diagnostics in diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease," Carlson said.
The competitive landscape for qPCR and dPCR markets is diverse including large life sciences companies, large pharmaceutical company divisions and many smaller niche players. The leading players in this arena are Life Technologies (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Bio-Rad, Qiagen, Roche and Agilent, Fluidigm and RainDance Technologies.
Kalorama Information's qPCR and dPCR Markets (Instruments, Reagents, Software/Services, Clinical and Research Markets) contains information on both the qPCR and dPCR. The report breaks out the market for research applications and those for IVD.