Microarrays to be replaced by next generation sequencers

Research industry set to gain most benefit, says report

Key applications previously performed by microarrays are being replaced by next generation sequencers (NGS), finds a new study by Frost & Sullivan.

The analysis reveals that NGS earned revenues of US$746m last year and estimates that this will reach $3bn by 2017 worldwide.

Frost & Sullivan research analyst Divyaa Ravishankar said governments are encouraging the use of NGS technology by making available a steady stream of funding.

Both suppliers and end users have shown interest in driving the technology towards diagnostics applications, where it is expected to play a significant role in the next two years. However, the research industry is harnessing the most benefit from NGS.

The study says the most important challenges for the technology to remain successful include the increase in data volume, which requires efficient data management systems, as well as the interpretation and validation of new and complex findings.

To cope with the amount of information generated through NGS, the report says new bioinformatic software and tools are necessary. Suppliers will therefore try to form strategic partnerships with companies offering bioinformatics solutions.

‘Near-term challenges will be the development of robust and extensive protocols for generating sequencing libraries, building effective new approaches for the purpose of data analysis as well as lowering the cost to sequence a human genome,’ added Ravishankar.

‘NGS enables a comprehensive analysis of genomes, transcriptomes, interactomes and will become an inexpensive and a widespread tool.’