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New Government Schemes Will Drive The Microarray Market

While the microarray systems market is expected to witness an era of unprecedented growth, the high cost of tests and need of high tech instruments may play spoilsport.

Microarray has been a gold standard technology since many years for applications like gene expression profiling, miRNA analysis, and SNP genotyping. However, new applications like pharmacogenomics and molecular cytogenetics have recently brought a paradigm shift in the utility of microarray technology. The microarray analysis market is majorly driven by the increasing prevalence of cancer and rising need of research in pharmaceutical industries. India has adopted a National Action Plan and Monitoring Framework for non-communicable diseases with 10 targets and 21 indicators. At present, the National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Stroke (NPCDCS) is being implemented to generate awareness for cancer prevention, screening, early detection, and referral to an appropriate level institution for treatment. The focus is on three areas namely breast, cervical, and oral cancer.

Government is also implementing a scheme for enhancing the tertiary care facilities for cancer in the country. Under the scheme, the government is assisting to set up 20 state cancer institutes (SCI) and 50 tertiary care cancer centers (TCCC) in different parts of the country. Proposals for eligible institutions up to `45 crore for setting up of tertiary care cancer and up to `120 crore for setting up a state cancer institute will be approved. Under the Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, eight existing institutions are being upgraded with provision of oncology services. The SCI and TCCC shall mentor all cancer-related activities including research and treatment inter alia. Setting up of 15 SCI and 20 TCCC has been approved till date.

In the government sector, research activities for detection and treatment of cancer are mostly carried out by institutions/departments such as the Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). The National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar, Haryana and a second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata are being set up. The implementation of the projects is at the initial stage. These institutes will be apex institutes for activities related to cancer including research and treatment. The 14 All India Institutes of Medical Sciences too are being set up with focus on oncology.

The microarray systems market in the country is thus expected to witness an era of unprecedented growth with the increasing adoption of microarray technologies in cancer research. Over the years the demand of the systems will be affected by factors like the rising popularity of personalized medicines for cancer treatment and increasing research institutes. Moreover, growing population and better economic conditions, increasing awareness among the people about cancer, education, government initiatives, and modern and advanced technology are expected to propel the market in the country.

Global market
The global microarray market is expected to witness tremendous growth and will post a staggering CAGR of more than 14 percent from 2018 to 2021, predicts Technavio. Increasing prevalence of different chronic diseases, use of this techniques for the diagnosis of infectious diseases, development in the field of genetics and increasing healthcare expenditure; all these together have provided a push for this market’s growth. However, high cost of tests and need of high tech instruments may restrain growth of this market.

The products based on DNA microarrays, protein chips, lab-on-a-chip, and organ-on-a-chip technologies have extensively alleviated existing issues associated with time and costs in their respective applicable fields. Ongoing research and development into the microarray and microfluidic technologies for various applications is further expected to boost market growth over the next 3 years. For instance, in 2017, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD) had started working to develop a microfluidic platform to further reduce time and costs required for research.

Biochips technology and its applications is a highly lucrative field and is expected to reach USD 26 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 16.2 percent. This is partly due to extensive research and development in the field, which will eventually increase the adoption rate of these technologies. For instance, scientists at Harvard University have demonstrated the use of paper and threads as an effective option for cheap microfluidic devices. Integration of electrodes and electrical textile valves into these devices could make it further useful. An article published in the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2017 consists of a method of pre-concentration (P-CLIP), which could help in overcoming challenges associated with detecting low concentrations of target analytes in small sample volumes, especially for diagnosis of infectious diseases. Furthermore, the Laboratory of Integrated Bio Medical/Nanotechnology & Applications at the University of Illinois has developed a microfluidic POC sepsis chip, which is capable of quantifying total white blood cell counts and CD64 expression levels on neutrophils in around 30 minutes, using just 10 microliters of a blood sample. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a microfluidic biochip can isolate single circulating tumor cells and help in delivery of personalized medicine in non-small cell lung cancer patients.

However, manufacturing complexity of the biochip technology and, research and development that is required to bring out innovative biochips in the market results in high costs of these products. Although these processes that require a complete laboratory are miniaturized on a silicon or glass chip in this technology saving time and costs, the biochips themselves are still costly for many of the end users such as research laboratories with limited resources who cannot afford to purchase this technology.

The global market is highly diversified owing to the presence of several well-established international and regional vendors. The market is growing rapidly with the increasing adoption of microarray technology in the medical field through transcriptome studies, as well as the diagnosis of infectious diseases. Increasing number of mergers and acquisitions, rise in the number of collaborations and partnerships, and product launches are some of the latest trends.

Way forward
The importance of microarray technology in therapeutics has helped shape the future of diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries. The key driver of microarray consumption in cancer research is the need for its early detection and targeted treatment options. The popularity of these solutions can be attributed to their capability of rapid identification of targets for therapeutic intervention. Changing government policies related to healthcare will positively impact the consumption of microarrays in the country. Although microarray is an expensive technology, its extensive applications in the healthcare sector owing to its portability, rapid assay times, and fewer sample requirements will lead to its augmented adoption in the future.

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