Lab Automation Market - Automating Science
Lab automation utilizes high end automated equipment’s such as automated liquid handling system, microplate reader, and automated storage and retrieval system. It also include software’s to perform variety of routine lab procedure such as sample analysis, assay performance, mixing of sample, storage of sample, and many other procedures. Lab automation allows improved productivity with less operational time and more accuracy by minimizing the human error in the operational tasks. Automated liquid handling system can perform three different procedures simultaneously such as sample preparation, reagent addition to different plates having samples, and movement of lab ware from periphery to front area of desk. As the liquid handling systems have multiple arms for operational purpose, number of procedures can be performed within limited space of equipment work stations. High cost associated with reagent and sample preparation can be reduced with lab automation, as it uses smaller sample volumes, which is otherwise difficult to use in manual procedures and it minimizes the risk of errors to prevent sample wastage and reagents. Moreover, lab automation equipment provide high quality data and allows reproducibility of results for given sample with better documentation of those results. It also allows the integration of different equipment thereby optimizing the operations.
The global lab automation market was valued at US$ 5,218.3 million in 2016 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period (2017 – 2025).
Figure 1. Global Lab Automation Market (US$ Mn), by Region, 2016
Source: Coherent Market Insights (2018)
Research and development conducted by pharmaceutical and biotech companies is fueling growth of the global lab automation market
Integration of the lab automation system reduces the time required for preclinical studies by lead molecule failure due to precision in procedure. Steps involved in drug development such as screening and lead optimization, sample assay development, and ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion)-toxicological studies majorly require lab automation equipment. For instance, assay development can be performed in real-time for large volume of new drug samples with the help of micrometer plate. Furthermore, high throughput screening of ADME samples can be performed with liquid handling system through automated cell permeability, drug solubility, in vitro drug metabolism, protein binding studies, and compound characterization procedures. However, high cost associated with these equipment is major factor restraining growth of the market.
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are focused on development of novel molecules for treatment of chronic disease such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, which require utilization of lab automation equipment, which in turn is expected to drive growth of the lab automation market. According to report published by International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturer and Association in 2017, pharmaceutical industry invests US$ 149.8 billion on research and development annually. Furthermore, more than 7000 compounds are in preclinical stage of development out of which 56 were launched in 2015 and in 2011 - 2015 around 225 new chemical and biological entities were launched.
Increasing research and development in personalized medicine to drive growth of the lab automation market
Lab automation market is expected to gain significant traction in near future due to advancements in personalized medicine by utilizing tools of genome engineering. For instance, immuno-oncology utilizes CAR-T cell therapy for isolation of T cells from patients, which then genetically engineered to produce receptors on their surface called chimeric antigen receptors and such cells are multiplied by in vitro methods. Most of the steps involved in this procedure require lab automation equipment. For instance, automated liquid handling system would boost the assay and sample preparation of CAR-T cells, automated storage and retrieval system helps in efficient preservation and storage of original and multiplied T cells, which are to be administered in patient’s body. Key players operating in the lab automation market include Tecan Group Ltd., PerkinElmer Inc., Danaher Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific, QIAGEN, Agilent Technologies, Hamilton Robotics, Abbot Diagnostics, Eppendorf, Roche Diagnostics, and Siemens Healthineers.