Highly effective cancer therapies. Handheld hematology analyzers. A new and untapped world market. Social media selling life science tools. Science and Medicine Group publications, including Kalorama Information, Strategic Directions International (SDi), Bioinformatics, and IMV have made various projections for the new year in imaging, diagnostics, biotechnology, and life science instrument and supplies that can help marketers determine their plans next year. These projections are the result of analysis in the scores of detailed publications produced by these brands.

The list below includes the top 10 predictions for 2020:

  1. CAR-T therapy revenue will exceed $1 billion next year: CAR-T cancer therapeutics, which use the patient’s own immune cells to attack cancer, will earn more than $700 million this year for the two companies that market them. And it’s likely these therapies will exceed $1 billion in revenue in 2020 as new products are approved. This is according to Kalorama Information (www.kaloramainformation.com). The reason is their track record in treating patients with little or no treatment options.  CAR-T therapy involves using T cells from the patient and genetically engineering those cells using a disarmed virus so that the cells produce receptors called CARS that can attack cancer. It has shown effectiveness in some lymphomas and leukemias, and next year one or more products for myeloma are expected. Science and Medicine Group thought leaders and representatives were at the American Society of Hematology meeting in Orlando, FL, where significant studies were released on CAR-T safety and efficacy, as well as new products announced.
  2. Social media will be the best tool for selling life science instruments: According to “Life Science Customer Purchasing Journey: Finding Customers Along the Way” https://bioinfoinc.com/product/life-science-customer-purchasing-journey/ scientists look to other scientists when they need a tool to solve an experimental problem. The report, which describes the purchasing habits of life science tool buyers, is the result of a survey of scientists. Among the findings were that 72% trust their colleagues over websites and 71% look to fellow scientists over sales reps. These are just two of the many facts detailed in the report. Instrument buyers will need to see feedback from their colleagues in order to be influenced in a purchase decision, according to the report. Social media reflects the best forum for this to happen. The report also gets into other topics and finds that good customer service will be essential for sales in 2020.
  3. Instrument makers will target the ASEAN countries: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a multinational economic and political alliance founded in 1967 by Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. If the ASEAN group were a single nation, it would rank third in population, after India. It would also be the eighth largest market in the world. While not one nation, in 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community was established to create a single market for free trade of goods, services, and labor across the region, similar to the single market free trade within the European Union. According to SDi’s report on the Southeast Asia instrument markets (https://strategic-directions.com/product/2019-asia-pacific-instrumentation/), this group of Southeast Asian nations is projected to have the fastest growth in the analytical instrumentation market in the next five years due to its burgeoning pharma/bio sector. Furthermore, the ASEAN’s policies and foreign investments will bolster the pharma/bio sector contributing even more to the region’s growth. While places like Singapore and Taiwan have well-established pharma/bio industries, other countries like Thailand and Malaysia look to grow domestic production and research for pharmaceuticals.
  4. Imaging procedure volume, especially for CT and MRI, will increase around the world: Results are in from IMV’s Global Radiologist Survey, part of its “Global Imaging Market Outlook Report” (https://imvinfo.com/product/imv-2019-global-imaging-market-outlook-report/). Over 300 respondents participated in IMV’s global survey, and they represent key opinion leaders, with nearly half of the respondents being the chair/chief/heads of their radiology departments and over half being practicing radiologists. Overall, these opinion leaders are optimistic about the growth of imaging in their countries, with 80% saying their imaging procedure volume will increase. Respondents in the emerging markets are more optimistic about their outlook for increases in imaging procedures than those in the developed markets. The top two modalities planned in all 10 global regions are CT and MRI.
  5. That doesn’t mean all global hospitals are ready: IMV’s survey also found that solutions to address this procedure growth may be a challenge. Only one-quarter of the respondents feel their “capacity is sufficient to meet their needs over the next two to three years,” but their prospects for acquiring imaging equipment may be inhibited by delays in their internal and governmental approval processes and local economic conditions. Respondents in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are particularly concerned about their local economy limiting their capital budgets for imaging equipment, and they are very cost-conscious about equipment and service pricing while seeking reliable equipment and responsive service in their environments.
  6. Preparation for sequencing will be a $2 billion+ market: The increasingly routine use of sequencing in clinical settings is creating tremendous opportunities for suppliers of sequencing instrumentation and consumables, including those required for preanalytical preparation of samples from biological materials. In fact, clinical applications will drive double-digit growth for the NGS sample preparation market over the next five years. SDi’s newly published report, Sample Preparation for Next-Generation Sequencing(https://strategic-directions.com/product/2019-next-generation-sequencing-sample-preparation-market/), provides an in-depth analysis of how precision medicine and other applications are shaping demand for next-generation sequencing (NGS) sample preparation techniques. The report finds these products earned $1.8 billion this year and will push beyond $2 billion in 2020.
  7. AI will find its best home in imaging: IMV’s Global Radiologists Survey findings also confirmed the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tools for imaging in 2020 and beyond. The top-ranked potential use for AI that respondents cited was “capabilities to more precisely diagnose patient conditions and enhance personalized medicine.” It’s not all positive — in their comments on potential uses, some radiologists see the potential for AI to improve clinical decision support and image quality, but others expressed concern on when and how AI applications will be integrated into their routine practice and daily workflow, as well as work seamlessly with their imaging equipment, PACS, and RIS.
  8. Ascendance of mass spectrometry as a clinical instrument continues: Within the analytical instrumentation industry, mass spectrometry is certainly one of the most dynamic areas for growth over the next several years. Its increasingly sensitive analytical capabilities and enhancements continue to bring the technology to the edge of new scientific discovery and research applications. While SDi covers the market for eight separate mass spectrometry techniques in its flagship publication, the “Global Assessment Report,” it does so from a broad perspective that looks across all end markets. Clinical mass spectrometry, however, is one particular end market that has been at the root of very rapid mass spectrometry growth over the past few years — and will continue to be in 2020 and for the foreseeable future. SDi’s latest publication, “The 2019 Mass Spectrometry Market for Clinical Applications” (https://strategic-directions.com/product/2019-clinical-mass-spectrometry/), dives into the world of clinical diagnostics to examine how robust the demand from laboratories in this space is shaping the market for mass spectrometry technologies. The report presents market data and insights into six categories of clinical mass spectrometry, although two categories in particular are responsible for the most disruptive market influences in recent years: MALDI-TOF and triple quadrupole LC/MS.
  9. Multiphoton microscopy makes gains: According to SDi’s “2019 Market for Live Cell Imaging” report (https://strategic-directions.com/product/2019-live-cell-imaging-market/), the total market for live cell imaging instruments, assays, and labeling reagents is projected to reach $1.9 billion in five years. Among the factors driving this high growth is the increasing adoption of advanced microscopy techniques for live cell imaging, namely multiphoton microscopy and light sheet microscopy. Multiphoton microscopy, also called two-photon excitation microscopy, makes use of nonlinear optics to provide finely localized, three-dimensional imaging. Instead of using optics to control the light returning to the detector, multiphoton optics ensure that the stimulated part of the sample is restricted to a small point, which reduces the risk of photobleaching effects. Light sheet microscopy, also called single-plane illumination microscopy, illuminates only a thin plane of just a few micrometers at a time using a laser. As the sample is moved through the light sheet, three-dimensional images are generated. Since only a thin slice of the sample is exposed at a time, light sheet microscopy is a relatively gentle technique for live cell imaging and can be used to image cells in living animals.
  10. Hematology testing goes handheld: Hematology is important for a workup in annual exams and hospital inpatients. The basis of hematology testing is the complete blood count (CBC) that provides information on blood components: hemoglobin, hematocrit, red blood cells, white blood cells, reticulocytes, and platelets. Kalorama Information has covered hematology for decades in its “The Worldwide Market for In Vitro Diagnostic Tests” (https://kaloramainformation.com/product/the-world-market-for-in-vitro-diagnostic-tests-12th-edition/) and says these devices are now getting smaller and useable at the point of care (POC) — a trend that will continue in 2020. A number of handheld and benchtop analyzers are available for POC professional hematology procedures. Among the producers of these products are Beckman Coulter, Diatron, GlysBy Diagnostics, HemoCue (Radiometer/Danaher), Horiba, Roche, and Sysmex. Hematology will remain the second-largest volume of global in vitro diagnostic procedures, with the number of tests increasing 5.3% per year to nearly 6.7 billion in 2024. The total worldwide volume of POC professional hematology testing procedures conducted is predicted to expand 4.4% annually to 424 million in 2024. Uses in general health screening and the diagnosis and monitoring of blood-related disorders during hospital stays, emergency room visits, and physicians’ consultations will account for growth. The availability of complete blood counts on high-throughput clinical chemistry systems will moderate a faster rise in procedure volume.
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