frost and sullivanWith increasing clinical applications, the global market for flow cytometry is experiencing a rise in active partnerships. The primary reason for this is the demand in underdeveloped nations to quantitate CD4 cell markers in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global Flow Cytometry Market, finds the market earned revenues of $2.50 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $3.52 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.9%.

Revenues from reagents for clinical applications will be greater than the profits from research-use-only reagents. This is because the demand for in vitro diagnostic kits is high for several clinical applications, such as the analysis of leukemia and lymphoma, enumeration of stem cells, diagnosis of HIV infection and immunodeficiency diseases, as well as quality control.

On account of the vast clinical applications of flow cytometry, markers for conditions, such as sepsis and cardiac diseases, are also being explored. This will open up new markets and applications for clinical reagents.

“As multicolour flow cytometry is becoming a reality, applications, such as immunophenotyping, will benefit from the advanced properties of these products,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar. “In addition to this novel technology, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology segments may employ multiparametric capabilities to monitor clinical trials.”

However, in the US, the uncertainty of laboratory developed test regulations threatens growth in the flow cytometry market. The consolidation of core clinical facilities and the limited availability of reimbursements are added hindrances to market development. In European countries, severe cuts within the life science’s funding will restrict investments in new equipment. The sale of refurbished and used instruments could further exacerbate the impact on new sales.

However, the proliferation of less expensive, mid-throughput systems created a market for these products among cell biologists and protein researchers. With smaller hospitals and research groups in favor of benchtop systems and low-cost, easy-to-use flow cytometry products with a small footprint, lucrative opportunities await providers in the low-mid range analyser segment.

“From a provider’s standpoint, potential game-changing strategies include the use of microfluidic technologies and newer focusing techniques such as microcapillary and acoustic focusing,” noted Ravishankar. “Acoustic focusing has a major advantage as the cells are decoupled from hydrodynamic forces and sheath sample flow rates can be adjusted to one’s needs. Microcapillary focusing is attractive since it enables a laser beam to focus on a small section of the tube, serving as a test volume.”

For success in this market, product differentiation strategies surrounding data analysis software will be important. Most of the data analysis packages sold today have overlapping features making it crucial to explore innovative ways to stand out. Enabling connectivity, automation capabilities and seamless data management abilities to handle the data from multicolour flows will eventually prove essential.

Analysis of the Global Flow Cytometry Market is part of the Transformational Health Growth Partnership Service programme. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: 2015 Global Survey on Flow Cytometry Adoption Trends, Analysis of the US and European Diabetes Diagnostics Market and Analysis of the Western European Laboratory Information Management System Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.