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Mass Spectrometers

MS market generating revenue with triple-quadrupoles systems

The single- and triple-quadrupoles saw traction in 2020 over the other segments. While globally the triple-quadrupoles are increasingly preferred over their single counterparts, India being a price-sensitive market finds adequate application for both the products.

In the last 20 years, mass spectrometry has evolved from purely academic instrumentation to a technique now present in most analytical laboratories. Together with ongoing improvements in seamless software workflows and capabilities, increases in sensitivity and resolution are key drivers for this development.

In the recent years, MALDI-MS became a routine laboratory technique for the identification of enriched bacterial and fungal cultures. This is one of the most prominent clinical applications of mass spectrometry (MS). Its shorter identification time, compared to conventional techniques, makes MS a game changer in microbiology labs. Use of MALDI-ToF MS has further revolutionized the workflow for identification of microorganisms.

Paper spray ionization mass spectrometry (PSI-MS) has recently opened new opportunities for future clinical investigation to diagnose pathogens. Another rapidly emerging technique, PCR-MS, is being exploited for its capability to directly identify known pathogens from the clinical specimens. Furthermore, miniaturized portable MS equipment broaden the frontier for possible applications with relatively fast and highly sensitive ways to analyze for viral compounds. As of now, identification of a subset of microorganisms has been cleared by FDA, but the recent pandemic may propel the application of MS in detection of more viruses and microbes.

The global mass spectrometry market size was valued at USD 4551.27 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 7597.17 million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.40 percent from 2021 to 2028. The pharma and biotech industries account for almost 20 percent of the market, the largest share, with other contributing markets including the food and beverage testing and environmental testing, among others.

The hybrid MS segment held a major share in the mass spectrometry market in 2021, and is expected to continue the trend in coming years. This is attributed to their application and level of performance compared to other types of spectrometers. Hybrid MS combines numerous mass-analyzer components to achieve maximum performance in a single test. Increased performance of mass spectrometer can be measured in terms of higher sensitivity and resolving power; rapid data production and abundance of data-sets are additional set of benefits offered by hybrid mass spectrometers.

Increasing spending on pharmaceutical R&D across the globe, government regulations on drug safety, growing focus on the quality of food products, increase in crude and shale gas production, and growing government initiatives for pollution control and environmental testing are high-growth prospects for the MS market over the next seven years.

Moreover, technological breakthroughs in mass spectrometers are expected to drive market trends. Advanced technologies, such as ion-mobility spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis are being used for the separation of complex biological mixtures, such as derived peptide products. Additionally, miniaturization is expected to propel the growth of this market.

The Indian mass spectrometry market is estimated at ₹472 crore in 2020 with 299 units. The single- and triple-quadrupoles saw traction in 2020 over the other segments. While globally the triple quadrupoles are increasingly preferred over their single counterparts, India being a price sensitive market finds adequate application for both the products. On the same logic, globally the trend is moving toward HR-MS. It allows detection of analytes to the nearest 0.001 atomic mass units, and measures the exact mass of analytes without fragmentation, and can be combined with a quadrupole, in which case fragmentation is also possible and can add more selectivity to the method. However, in India, the clinicians are looking to only perform targeted quantitation and they are procured largely to meet regulatory compliance.

Researchers at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were able to detect novel coronavirus with 95-percent sensitivity and 100-percent specificity with respect to RT-PCR. Detection of the virus takes less than three minutes; time from sample preparation to detection takes less than 30 minutes.

Indian mass spectrometers vendors market – 2020

Segment Major Players
Single Quadrupole Waters, Shimadzu, Agilent, Advion, and Thermo Fisher
Triple Quadrupole SCIEX, Waters, Shimadzu, and Agilent
Ion Trap Thermo Fisher and Bruker
MALDI -TOF & Maldi
Bruker, Shimadzu, and JEOL
HRMS (includes
Q TOF and Orbitrap)
SCIEX, Waters, Agilent, and Thermo Fisher, Bruker, and Shimadzu
ADI Media Research

The new method can directly detect the virus without amplifying the RNA for detection, as is the case with RT-PCR. The new method relies on detecting the presence of two peptides, which are unique to SARS-CoV-2 virus and not seen in any other coronavirus or other viruses. Though seven peptides were found to be unique to SARS-CoV-2, only two peptides are used for quick virus detection. One of the peptides is the spike protein and the other is a replicase protein. The unique peptides were seen in over 54,000 genomic sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus deposited in a public database (GISAID) as on July 1.

Government initiatives for pollution control and environmental testing are to some extent supporting the growth of this market.

However, the dearth of skilled professionals and the high cost of instruments may restrain the market to a certain extent.

Currently, MS-based approaches to identify microorganisms are being adopted in microbiology laboratories across the world owing to the shorter identification time, compared to conventional techniques, which is one of the most prominent clinical MS application to date. It is a game changer in microbiology labs. A patient-derived biofluid is cultured and a colony is analyzed by the MS instrument, producing a spectrum one can match to established databases. Although only FDA-cleared for a subset of microorganisms, applications for mycobacteria, filamentous fungi, and rarer microbes in research-use-only (RUO) databases are forthcoming. Improvements in the technique may also shorten analysis time further, such as testing antimicrobial susceptibility or direct evaluation from blood culture or biofilms.

MS has many applications in the clinical laboratory, including clinical chemistry, microbiology, and more recently anatomical pathology, as there are significant advantages for MS-based assays in their multiplexing capacity, high analytical specificity and sensitivity, and potential for real time in vivo analysis. Prior to clinical implementation of these MS-based methods, a specific gap in clinical need or question needs to be addressed and the advantages and limitations of MS-based methods should be compared with traditional methods in pathology.

Additionally, there are desirable and practical features to consider, including high capital costs, requirement of skilled personnel, lack of automation, lack of direct bidirectional interface between MS instruments and laboratory or hospital information system, lack of standardization, and regulatory requirements. Significant progress is being actively pursued by the manufacturers and clinical MS community in regard to regulatory requirements, standardization of methods, automation in instrumentation and data analysis, and flat-file interface to laboratory information systems to facilitate seamless order-to-result workflows. Operational factors like standardized workflow, turnaround time, and comprehensive biocomputational data analysis, and storage should also be considered.

While future innovations in technology and instrumentation will drive novel clinical applications of MS to the forefront, the perpetual need for skilled individuals to drive the segment will always need to be addressed.

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