The global long read sequencing market was valued at USD 825.80million in 2019 and is expected to grow at 24.29% CAGR during the forecast period.
Long-read sequencing is a next-generation sequencing technique with high throughput. It is used for the reading of large size genome sequencing, which is more than 10,000 bp. scientifically, for genome sequences of that length, conventional sequencing techniques cannot be used as they offer a high inaccurate error percentage.
The increasing incidences of genetic diseases across the world are one of the primary factors contributing to the growth of the long-read sequencing market. This is because these high throughput sequencing techniques provide superior diagnostic opportunities to genetic diseases as well as chronic disorders. Thus, the market products witness extensive adoption owing to the rising prevalence of genetic diseases and chronic diseases like cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sickle cell anemia, a severe genetic disorder, affects around 72,000 new-born babies. Similarly, hemophilia, a genetic bleeding disorder, has affected more than 6000 people in the U.K. Furthermore, alpha and beta-thalassemia are the most predominant inherited single gene affected genetic disorders in the world with the highest prevalence.
The burden of this disorder in the global scenario is high such as in Iran, WHO estimates that about 8,000 pregnancies are at risk of the disease each year. Additionally, other genetic diseases like color blindness, Down’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and frequent incidences of disorder of synthesis of DNA, RNA, and protein are also expected to propel the growth of the long-read sequencing market as demand for early diagnosis of these diseases is still unmet.
More recently, oncology-related testing has been one of the crucial revenues generating application domains. With a rise in patient awareness regarding cancer therapy, precision oncology and diagnostics have shown remarkable utilization of long-read sequencing technologies. According to CDC, Cancer accounted for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, with lung cancer (1.76 million deaths) and colorectal cancer (862,000 deaths), where more than 80% of these malignancies can be detected with the help of DNA sequencing diagnostic testing.
The market has been significantly boosted due to the increasing number of research activities, research support, and funding from government authorities. For example, the U.S. government, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as numerous other groups from around the world, offers funding for genomics research and development projects. Further, most of these government-sponsored sequencing projects are performed in and across collaborations from twenty universities and research centers within the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, and China.
Escalating R&D activities for developing therapies utilized in the treatment of genetic diseases will raise the demand for long-read sequencing techniques during the forecast period. Governments of developed nations have launched several policies and initiatives to encourage researchers and scientists to find solutions for the treatment of rare and chronic diseases.
For instance, the government of the U.S. has funded numerous projects that focus on identifying alterations in the genetic makeup of individuals. In such projects, researchers widely utilize third-generation sequencing technologies to develop novel therapies effective in treating genetic disorders. This is primarily because these long-read sequencing techniques have scientifically proven benefits in determining and reading structural variants. As a result, increasing R&D activities will fuel demand for third-generation sequencing technologies, thereby accelerating the long-read sequencing market growth in the forthcoming years.
SMRT sequencing segment dominates the market in terms of revenue and was valued at USD 648.28 million in 2019, and is growing at 24.79% CAGR during the study period. The market dominance can be attributed to a combination of multiple factors such as high consensus accuracy, owing to low systematic bias and longer read lengths.
The single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing segment is a core technology, powering long-read sequencing platforms as developed by PacBio. Pac Biolong-read SMRT Sequencing technology further offers great advantages such as it requires no PCR amplification during the sample preparation phase, and the read length is 100 times longer than that of 2nd gen NGS technologies. Therefore, it is adopted by researchers to span repetitive genomic regions and assemble genomes.
Besides, SMRT technology provides more accuracy, uniformity, precision, reduces system-induced errors, and enables real-time sequencing. Moreover, the technology is flexible in terms of usage, i.e., can be used in sequencing multiple sample types with varying output lengths altogether. Thus, it is used for the diagnosis of many diseases, such as genetic diseases, cancer, and prevalent infections, cancer research.
Furthermore, technological development and advancement in the single real-time sequencing platform will also enhance segment growth. In October 2018, Pacific Biosciences of California (PacBio) announced the upgrades to their Sequel System, which consists of a new version of its software, new consumables including reagents, and a new SMRT Cell (1M v3). This addition helped to improve the performance factor by improving the accuracy of the new system as well as affordability amongst end-users.
The cancer segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment, by application, presently valued at USD 155.52 million, yet growing at a booming CAGR of 24.91%. The cancer applications segment is experiencing major help and support due to the growing demand for diagnostics measures coupled with the availability of technologically advanced and cost-efficient diagnostic technology.
Further, rising investments in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and increasing R&D activities for the development of novel treatment therapies are the factors attributing to the growth of genomics in the cancer segment. For example, whole-genome sequencing provides key insights by the discovery of novel cancer-associated variants, such as single nucleotide variants (SNVs), structural variants, and copy number changes that are useful in detecting cancer and understand progression.
The American regional market held the largest revenue share currently valued at USD 449.23 million and is expected to maintain its position growing at a 24.66% CAGR. The market dominance can be attributed to the well-established healthcare infrastructure in the U.S and Canada, easy accessibility to technologically advanced diagnostics, and many leading market players providing long-read sequencing services such as Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited, Quantapore, Inc., and others.
Further, growing government support and funding has provided a further boost to the market. For instance, in collaboration with the President's Council on Science and Technology, the U.S. government's National Institute of Health has taken steps to enhance financial incentives to promote innovation in the field of genomics, which is a significant factor in the development of the long-read sequencing market. Further, long-read sequencing has redefined the approach to cancer research in the United States.
The National Institute of Health estimates around 1.8 million cancer cases in 2020 and 606,520 deaths attributed to the same. Thus, there is an ever-growing demand for therapeutics and timely diagnostics in the market. However, researchers in the region have discovered a ray of hope utilizing using long-read sequencing in precision oncology.
For instance, a new study reported in BC Cancer research has illustrated significant benefits of Long-read sequencing techniques using Oxford Nanopore PromethION (a long-read sequencer). Thus, these recent discoveries are expected further to boost the regional market as more and more researchers implement the technology of LRS.
The European market is the second-largest regional market amongst all regions considered and is currently valued at USD 168.46 million. Europe's market growth can be attributed to leveraging advanced technologies, adoption of long-read sequencing techniques across medical diagnostic centers, biotechnology laboratories, forensic labs, virology research labs, and academic-level research, and combined initiatives of the European Union for R&D activities in genomics and many developed countries in Europe region.
Further, in light of the recent pandemic, these long-read techniques have found utilization on several occasions. For instance, in April 2020, Eurofins Genomics has launched SARS-CoV-2 full-length genome sequencing service to support researchers worldwide in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreak source tracing. Further, EASI-Genomics, a European Genomics Infrastructure Horizon 2020 project, which started in February 2019, has invited researchers to apply with proposals addressing the COVID-19 with a total budget of 0.5 million euros. This funding's primary focus is on whole-genome (short and long-read), whole-exome, and RNA sequencing of human patients from patients with severe forms of SARS-Cov-2 infection that are experiencing adverse symptoms.
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