What’s next for next-generation sequencing (NGS)?Published On: September 5, 2015
Ten years ago next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies appeared on the market. It has expanded the frontiers of genomic research, opening up new opportunities of enquiry and offering insights into various areas of biology. During the past decade, significant progress has been made in terms of speed, read length, and throughput, along with a huge decrease in per-base cost. Rapid developments in this field are further dramatically lowering costs and increasing speeds. This continually evolving technology is now being applied within clinical environments, where it has the potential to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes of various diseases such as cancer which has paved the way for the development of a large number of novel NGS applications in basic science as well as in translational research areas such as clinical diagnostics, agriculture and animal research, and genetic screening. The ability to obtain affordable sequence data has aided NGS technology to expand not only in the large research centres but also into many smaller labs.
A rising trend in sequencing has been the development of instruments which can operate at higher speeds and produce longer read lengths. For example, Illumina, a leader in NGS market continues to drive innovation with its incessant focus on research and development across its entire sequencing ecosystem – from sample preparation to platform improvements to data analysis. Illumina brought the world’s first $1,000 genome in 2014 with the HiSeq X Ten System, a set of 10 HiSeq X instruments, which enabled a single laboratory to sequence around 18,000 high-qualities, high-coverage human whole genomes per year. With the launch of HiSeq X Five System and HiSeq 3000/4000 Systems in January 2015, Illumina has further expanded its NGS portfolio.
The global NGS market is highly dynamic in nature with new products and technologies being introduced in the market. With the introduction of these new technologies in the market, sequencing output has grown a thousand-fold, from less than 1 gigabase to over 1 terabase per run, while the number of reads has increased from millions to billions. According to the latest market research report published by Meticulous Research®, driven by its cost advantages and high turnaround time, the global NGS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.3% from 2015 to 2020 to reach $8,599.5 million by 2020. The North America held the largest share in the global NGS market followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region provides significant opportunities for the NGS with China and India being the most populous countries in this region contributing to the increased demand for advanced sequencing facilities like NGS. As, the NGS market in Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at a highest CAGR during the forecast period; many players in this market are focusing on strengthening their position in this region.
The introduction of nanopore technology by Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Roche promises affordable and fast genome sequencing by providing long read lengths. It allows health care providers and research facilities to decode a genome within hours for less than $1000. Therefore, although Illumina, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pacific Biosciences, and Roche accounted for the lion’s share in the global NGS market; the introduction of nanopore technology is expected to change the dynamics of the market after next couple of years.
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