The Global Next Generation Sequencing Applications Market

Pharma IQ

Next generation sequencing (NGS) applications present the fastest growing segment of the genomics space, expected to be worth $1.3 billion (£0.8 billion) in 2011, before experiencing double-digital growth in the next five years.

The goal? To decrease the cost of sequencing the human genome to $1,000 or less, at which point a number of new applications will become open in the field of human variation and subsequently personalised medicine.

Illumina recently claimed to have halved the cost of sequencing the entire human genome to $4,000 for a group of its customers, after improvements in the HiSeq machine used by 50 or so clients boosted output.

Jay Flatley, Illumina's chief executive officer, said the higher number of orders it received should drive the cost lower, but the $1,000 figure is clearly still some way off.

"We're probably three to five years away from that magic number. We think the consumer market will just blow open," he told SignOn San Diego.

In the future, predications are that NGS technology will not just make its mark in the academics and biopharma sectors, but also push through to agriculture, bio-fuels and forensics, according to the Next Generation Sequencing: Market Size, Segmentation, Growth and Trends by Provider report from Research and Markets.

The report believes a number of factors will spur this growth, including broader adoption of sequencing services, increased use of scientific applications beyond pure sequencing and the adoption of the technology by new customers.

Further drivers include decentralisation via personalised sequencing platforms that will make the technology available to individual laboratories and increased reagent usage on the current high throughput platforms installed base.

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and Illumina, for example, recently signed a deal which is targeted at enhancing rapid, accurate identification of patients’ infectious disease states through NGS. The deal will see Siemens molecular HIV tests compatible with the recently launched Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing platform.

Michael Reitermann, chief executive officer of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, said: "Next generation sequencing is a transformational technology that we believe will significantly impact clinical diagnostics over the next five years."

Looking to the future, DeciBio sees reagents and service as leading the way with regard to product types, with 29 percent and 33 percent respectively.

The market for NGS services is poised to reach $180 million by 2013, as awareness of NGS increases throughout the broader scientific community.

"Given the high capital equipment required for high throughput experiments, scientists are expected to increasingly turn to these services in order to gain a temporary increase in sequencing capacity or to access a specific expertise," the report said.

Asia is expected to be a key destination for this growth, with 23 percent of the market, with the rest of the world segment accounting for 35 percent.

China is one country where genome sequencing is a key target for the science community, thanks in a large part to the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI).

Since its inception in 1999, the centre has been involved in several key projects, recently unravelling the genetic code of this summer's German E.coli outbreak and offering results in just three days.

BGI is also poised to play a large role in employing NGS technologies in the Earth Microbiome Project, a huge multidisciplinary effort to systematically determine the functional and evolutionary diversity of microbial communities across the globe.

Richard N. Zare, Stanford professor of chemistry, told Reuters: "Made in China is a label found everywhere. Clearly, the Chinese government also wants to see 'discovered in China' and 'invented in China' become more prominent."

The anticipated growth within the NGS applications market is not without its restrictions, as the Research and Markets report highlights. Growth is being moderated by a lack of bioinformations infrastructure to make use of complex datasets and an unattractive funding environment in both Europe and the United States.

However, with the prized $1,000 goal not yet met, advancements in NGS applications remain a key target for the future.

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