Manufacturers will need to reinforce growth trends in the European thermal cycler markets by widening their end-user base.
This can be achieved by promoting greater uptake of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by university-based laboratories for academic research while targeting other newer platforms where thermal cyclers can be used.
Enhanced R&D investments will also enable market participants to leverage end-user demand for innovative technologies.
Frost & Sullivan finds that the Thermal Cycler Markets in Europe earned revenues of US$422.6 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach US$2,093.9 million in 2013.
Due to its manifold advantages, PCR is widely deployed in numerous research processes. This is being paralleled by efforts to investigate new applications for PCR. Consequently, the thermal cycler markets are projected to experience long-term growth.
"The introduction of real-time PCR techniques has already opened new avenues in molecular biology research," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst G. Haripriya. "Regular technology upgrades and the incorporation of software has resulted in more sophisticated and user-friendly instruments, with end users keen on investing in the latest instruments."
Fields including forensic medicine, paternity testing and DNA sequencing are gradually adopting PCR. Another factor driving PCR implementation is increased government funding for biotechnology research.
However, several key concerns remain. New market participants present a challenge to established incumbents since they can leverage niche end-user segments to capture a reasonable amount of market share.
From a technical perspective, maintaining temperature consistency within the cycler during the process of PCR reaction poses a critical challenge since both heating and cooling reactions need to occur in proper synchronisation, with the slightest variation resulting in erroneous outcomes.
Moreover, manufacturers face pressures to remain in step with rapid technological progress and constantly evolving industry needs and demands.
"While PCR holds enormous appeal for the biotechnology industry because of its ease of use and advantages and is one of the most preferred laboratory techniques for researchers, the major question remains whether these technologies are cost effective," observes Ms. Haripriya.
"Although there is a clear indication of its considerable benefits, the premium pricing does not justify the use of some of these technologies for routine processes."
Moreover, trends indicate that investments would increase if technical issues are resolved and data proves more reliable and consistent.
"With significant growth opportunities and intensifying competition, manufacturers will need to address the issue of pricing and convince end users to boost investments into thermal cyclers," advises Ms. Haripriya.
"Also, as skilled labour is required to handle these sophisticated instruments, laboratories need to ensure that their employees are well trained, while simultaneously maintaining stringent laboratory conditions essential to securing beneficial results."