Ribonucleic acid interference delivery remains one of the underdeveloped aspects of the overall RNAi market.
The limitations of current delivery technologies - with regard to both in-vitro delivery to hard-to-transfect cell lines and in-vivo delivery - are substantial barriers to the development and growth of the overall RNAi market.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, U.S. RNAi Markets, reveals that the market was worth $66.2 million in 2005 and expects to reach $294.9 million in 2012.
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While many of the available delivery tools - such as general-purpose transfection reagents - are suitable for RNAi-facilitated studies, there is still much room for improvement to delivery technologies.
Currently available reagents can be highly toxic in experiments, and are therefore restrictive to researchers attempting to achieve knockdown in hard-to- transfect cell lines or in-vitro.
"As much as 20 percent of researchers use more than one type of delivery tool in a single study," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jonathan Witonsky.
"Therefore, vendors that supply numerous delivery solutions that are optimized to work with each other become a one-stop shop for delivery tools."
"These 'one-stop shop' vendors both enable further RNAi research and also generate greater revenues."
A growing segment of researchers are also using comprehensive screens to measure RNAi-induced knockdown.
While quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) remains the gold standard for analyzing changes due to RNAi, many researchers focus on screening both messenger RNA and protein levels.
The resulting increase in consumption of western blot kits and other protein analysis tools significantly drives overall market revenue.
Although most researchers are solely concerned with the interference effect on the level of mRNA, it is well known that mRNA levels alone do not necessarily correlate with a biological change.
Researchers have observed that a significant change to mRNA levels does not always lead to sufficient protein knockdown, therefore disallowing the examination of any phenotypic alteration.
Without a method to evaluate protein knockdown, researchers are incapable of obtaining a comprehensive assessment of their system of interest.
Using RNAi, researchers can simply turn genes on and off and observe what happens, thereby gaining insights into how genes participate in cellular processes.
"RNAi technologies are proving to be indispensable tools for functional genomics research and for identifying, as well as validating, potential drug targets," notes Witonsky.
"RNAi has become a vital tool for conducting both gene and protein expression analyses, especially with regard to understanding the pre- and post-transcriptional functions of genes in relation to diseases."
U.S. RNAi Markets is part of the Drug Discovery Technologies subscription. It provides revenue forecasts for individual market segments as well as the overall market, detailed market trends with specific applications forecasts, and industry challenges with corresponding strategic recommendations.
This research thoroughly examines the total RNAi market, RNAi content, as well as RNAi delivery, screening, and analysis tools. Analyst interviews are available to the press.