Lab Automation in Genomics Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026)

The Global Lab Automation in the Genomics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period (2021-2026). With the technological advancements and increasing computational capacities, there has been significant improvement in knowledge of genome sequencing in terms of data analytics advances that show unknown correlations, hidden patterns, and other insights, especially when it comes to testing data sets a large scale.

– Moreover, novel advances in medicine are being made at a rapidly increasing pace, largely due to recent developments in genome analysis. DNA sequence analysis provides a clearer understanding of how genetic variation leads to disease and will ultimately lead to new cures. Also, laboratory automation has proved to make room for great flexibility, higher throughputs, and affordable solutions. It offers faster handling and process can be expedited without the worry for lack of reliability and precision. Genotyping and DNA sequencing have been very affordable, due to which the rate of growth is robust.
– Advances in DNA sequencing technology have made it cost-effective and more accessible than before, which has led to a flurry of genetic testing start-ups. To bring the price down, companies, such as Color Genomics and Counsyl, have built their sequencing labs and analytics software from scratch, using robots and machine learning to optimize operations.
– Various genomics applications that can integrate automation in their processes include nucleic acid isolation, RNAi screening, CRISPR analysis, PCR, and gene expression analysis. Players/Vendors in the laboratory automation are designing tools that cater to these application needs. For instance, Explorer G3 integrated workstations are developed by PerkinElmer, an American company focused in the business areas of life science research, and industrial testing, to meet customers’ automation needs for genomics applications.
– Moreover, the companies’ other kind of product launches through partnerships, which is increasing the market share of automation in the genomics. For instance, in January 2020, pentrons Labworks, Inc. and Swift Biosciences, Inc. announced the launch of the most affordable fully-automated workstation for next-generation sequencing (NGS) library preparation ever put on the market.
– Since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, labs have been converting their spaces and resources into COVID-19 testing facilities, leading to increased adoption of automation equipment. The labs at the University of Washington were the first ones to do this. The Broad Institute followed an announcement of the conversion of their clinical processing lab into a large-scale COVID-19 testing facility.

Key Market Trends

Automated Liquid Handlers to Witness High Growth

– Cross contamination is a major problem in the genomics laboratory, which can be avoided by implementing automated systems to manage the reagents and reaction mixtures. It is believed that taking out human intervention helps in achieving more consistency.
– Many technological advances have been made in the molding of plastics that reduced the volumes of reagents used and enabled the easy handling of smaller liquid volumes. These advancements have worked in favor of the development of micro- and nano-litre plates, to fit with the automated liquid handling equipment.
– Leading companies have set the benchmark for the development of automated liquid handlers. These companies are constantly investing in developing premium products, to increase the productivity of the process.
– According to the Robotics Industries Association, the life science sector has the third-highest growth in industrial robots, in terms of automated liquid handlers, automated plate handlers, and robotic arms, among others to meet up the demand.

North America Occupies the Largest Market Share

– North America has been a pioneer in clinical research for years. This region is home to some major pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, J&J, and Novartis. The region also has the highest concentration of contract research organizations (CROs). Some of the significant CROs are Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, IQVIA, Syneos Health, and Parexel International Corp. Owing to the presence of all the major players in the industry and stringent FDA regulations, the market is very competitive in the region. To gain an advantage over competitors, the genomics research organizations in the region are increasingly adopting robotics and automation in labs.
– The genomic industry, especially in the United States, is still in its growing phase and is expected to grow at a fast pace over the coming years. The availability of new genome sequencing technologies, well-established healthcare infrastructure, and the increasing geriatric population are significant contributing factors to revenue growth. In the United States, the need to accommodate growth and the drive to boost efficiency are priming blood centers to acquire fully automated walkaway systems, either to perform types and screens or to test specimens for infectious diseases.
– Many companies are involved in innovation due to their extensive R&D capabilities. For instance, In January 2020, Benchling, a life sciences R & D cloud platform, announced the launch of its software for Lab Automation. This new solution would help life sciences companies maximize their lab automation investments.
– The spread of COVID-19 has positively impacted the market. When COVID- 19 started in the United States, scientists at the Broad Institute, affiliated with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, realized its genome-reading machines could be repurposed to test patient samples for the coronavirus that causes the disease. The company Color Genomics, best known for at-home genetic testing for disease risk genes, has also launched a high-throughput, CLIA-certified COVID-19 testing lab.

Competitive Landscape

The lab automation in the genomics market is a competitive market, owing to the presence of many small and big players exporting products to many countries. The key strategies adopted by the major players are a technological advancement in the product, partnerships, and merger and acquisition. Some of the major players in the market are Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Becton Dickinson, Siemens Healthineers AG, and Tecan Group Ltd, among others. Some of the recent developments in the market are :

– In March 2020 – Becton Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, announced that the BD Kiestra got listed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The BD Kiestra, a standalone instrument, primarily improves operational efficiency in clinical microbiology laboratories by automating routine plate management tasks and delivering accuracy through standardized digital image acquisition.
– In Nov 2019 – Thermo Fisher Scientific announced its Ion Torrent Genexus System, the first fully integrated, next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform featuring an automated specimen-to-report workflow that delivers results economically in a single day. This turnkey solution redefines the genomic profiling paradigm and enables a future in which local hospitals can adopt NGS testing.

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