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Frost & Sullivan: Label-Free Technology is a High Potential Market with Myriad Unexplored Applications

LONDON, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The inherent advantages of label-free technology is a significant factor in driving its adoption.  The promise of reducing drug failure caused by toxicity is another key factor likely to boost the uptake of label-free technology.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Western European Market for Label Free Detection (LFD) Systems, finds that the market earned revenues of $60.9 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $160.9 million in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9 per cent from 2010-2017. The research covers key segments including biochemical assays and cell-based assays.

"The key advantage of label-free technologies is that it is true to its word: it is "label-free" as it requires no labelling or reporter molecules," notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Ranjith Gopinathan. "Labels are known for their altering effect on molecules under study which, in turn, alters its binding or physicochemical properties."

The absence of labels also means lesser interference from compound autofluorescence and colour quenching, therefore leading to fewer false positives and negatives. It is also devoid of problems arising from secondary detection of auxiliary reagents.

"By virtue of its direct detection capabilities, label-free technologies could enable the use of natural ligands and substrates that is currently not possible with label-based detection assays," adds Gopinathan. "Avoidance of radioactive labels is an attractive factor for label-free technologies as this means better lab safety and cost savings from evasion of radioactive waste disposable procedures."

Of the many reasons for escalating clinical development costs, drug failure caused by toxicity is a chronic and growing problem in drug development. The problem of toxicity holds the promise of being successfully addressed with new, discovery-stage tools of which label-free technology is a key part.

While these are promising trends, consolidations in the pharmaceutical industry will negatively impact the growth of the life science research market and, by extension, of label-free detection systems.

"The large number of consolidations in the pharmaceutical industry is a harsh reality for all life science research tools providers," explains Gopinathan. "Consolidation significantly shrinks the addressable end-user pool as research facilities start to share instrumentation and resources. Sometimes after a merger or acquisition, companies segregate certain specialised kinds of work to certain research facilities, and so only those facilities will be equipped with the required equipment."

A diversification into service offerings will be key to sustaining market expansion. Being still a black box technology, companies need to offer custom assay development services that will help in the adoption of their technology.

"This, in the long-term, can lead to the upsell of a service customer into a product customer," concludes Gopinathan. "Also having more than one avenue of revenue will ensure more constant revenue generation."

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Janique Morvan, Corporate Communications, at

Western European Market for Label Free Detection (LFD) Systems is part of the Drug Discovery Technologies Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets:  European Molecular Diagnostics Market, Strategic Analysis of the European Stem Cell Research Tools Market and The Emerging European Molecular POC Testing Markets. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Western European Market for Label Free Detection (LFD) Systems

Janique Morvan
Corporate Communications – Europe
P: +33 (0)1 42 81 20 37
M: +33 (0)6 79 22 41 42


SOURCE Frost & Sullivan
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