5 Reasons Mass Spectrometry is Moving from Research Lab to Disease Detection
(3 months ago)
ROCKVILLE, Md: Kalorama Information believes that five factors are driving demand for mass spectrometry technology as it moves from research tool to clinical diagnostic option. The publisher reported on the technology in its report, Mass Spectrometry in Clinical Applications.
Mass spectrometry was first developed several decades ago. For much of this time, mass spectrometry has been primarily used in research applications. Early applications of mass spectrometry focused on small molecules. However, development of soft-ionization techniques such as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) has made it possible to study larger molecules such as proteins, peptides, DNA, and other large molecules without extensive fragmentation. This has opened up a whole new world of opportunities, in addition to the analysis methods for small molecules.
Demand: A major market driver for the mass spectrometry clinical market is the clinical need for the tests. The increasing number of clinical applications that can be tested by mass spectrometry will drive growth of this market. For many years, laboratory developed tests have been available for years for applications such as therapeutic drug monitoring (including immunosuppressants, pain management drugs, and many others), metabolite testing, steroid hormone, vitamins (including vitamin D), newborn screening, and others. The addition of new applications (markets) such as microbial identification, oncology, and others is fuelling growth of this market.
Approvals: The number of FDA cleared and/or CE-IVD marked platforms and assays is slowing growing.
Better Sensitivity than Immunoassays: Mass spectrometry has the potential to be a disruptive force for immunoassays. At this time, immunoassays have many advantages such as the large, fully automated analyzers widely found in clinical laboratories that can perform large numbers of immunoassays. However, as companies develop integrated, fully automated mass spectrometry platforms, the increased sensitivity and specificity of these assays may help mass spectrometry displace many of the immunoassays - at least for those applications where this improved performance is beneficial.
Improved Process For Operators: Companies marketing mass spectrometry platforms and assays to clinical laboratories are developing integrated systems that include everything needed to perform the analysis, starting with the patient sample and ending with the assay result. However, this move to full automation and integration takes time.
Increasing Base of Academic Hospital Customers: Mass spectrometry has already had a disruptive effect on microbial identification, at least at large hospitals and academic centers that are able to purchase and use the mass spectrometer platforms for microbial identification. As mass spectrometry platforms become even easier to use, this disruption may spread further throughout this market.
More information can be found in Kalorama Information's market research study on the topic, Mass Spectrometry in Clinical Applications.