• 11 July 2011
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After experiencing a slide in the last fiscal, Mass Spectrometry has made a comeback this time with a growth of about 20 percent. The projections point to similar kind of growth in 2011-12 as well
In India, the mass spectrometry (MS) market started picking up from the year 2000. With the adoption of technology, it slowly made inroads into the market and the trend continued with the market growing at a steady rate of 20-25 percent until 2008. However, the year 2009 was not good for MS market and it shrunk due to global economic meltdown.


After a brief slowdown, the Indian market has slowly picked up and it witnessed more than 20 percent rise in business during the last fiscal. According to BioSpectrum estimates, the business for MS was over 230 crore ($50 million) in 2010-11. The major share of this business has come from triple quad MS technology. This growth momentum is expected to continue in the coming years, thanks to the sustained investment in pharma and CRO industry, spurt in food safety and increased funding to academia. The companies such as ABI, Agilent, Bruker, Shimadzu, Thermo, and Waters are the leading players in the market.

Estimated revenue for MS systems during 2010 was about 230 crore ($50 million)

ABI, Agilent, Bruker, Shimadzu, Thermo and Waters are the leading players in the market

Triple quad MS continues to be the major contributor in this segment
The MS market consists of single quadrupole, triple quadrupole, ion trap, MALDI and high resolution mass spectrometry. The new high speed triple quad from Shimadzu last year has gained momentum in the market place. The other appreciable trend is to use UHPLC as front end to increase lab productivity. Also, even as the market is picking up high-end solutions, however, triple quad is maintaining a matured growth. The leaders in the segment are ABI Sciex and Waters. In June 2011, ABI Sciex launched SelexION Technology aimed to improve performance of any application requiring the separation of isobaric species, isolation of challenging co-eluting contaminants and elimination of high background noise.

The major player in the segment is ABI Sciex with almost 45 percent market share followed by Waters (25 percent). Thermo Fisher holds another 15 percent followed by Bruker (5 percent). Though ABI Sciex (distributed through LabIndia) continues to enjoy the market leadership but its total share reduced significantly in 2009, compared to previous years. According to industry sources, the major orders were bagged by ABI Sciex followed by Waters, Thermo Fisher and Bruker. Bruker, which is a relatively late entrant in this segment, is a worldwide leader in MALDI, TOF and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, not just in proteomics but also in genomics. The number of these instruments in industry and academia has grown considerably. ABI has more than 200 installations all over India and Agilent has close to 40 in Bangalore alone. Few of the examples of successful installations include a high-end MALDI-TOF and a TOF-TOF in Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR). Besides that, there are high-end MS instruments in IISC, Bangalore. Also there is a MALDI-TOF-TOF installed at Jawaharlal Nehru University and around six instruments are at The Centre for Genomic Applications (TCGA), New Delhi, and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Chandigarh.

The high-performance mass spectrometers spurred good revenue growth at Waters and ABI Sciex, with the companies reporting strong sales of instruments like Waters' Synapt devices and ABI Sciex's TripleTOF 5600. In the year 2010, Waters further bolstered its high-end mass spectrometry line with the release of the Xevo G2 QTof machine.

The transition of Labmate from erstwhile distributor to a majority-owned Bruker company has also boosted the future prospects of Bruker in the Indian market. In 2009, along with Bruker Daltonics, Labmate established a spectrometry joint venture called Bruker LabMate.

The benefit with the mass spectrometer is that it is more universal and decisive than any other GC and LC detector, therefore there is the possibility that the market will shift more and more towards mass spectrometry. It is also expected that the regulatory bodies will also insist more on methods based on mass spectrometry. Although the Indian MS market, currently, holds a small share at the global scale, the above trends certainly point towards a bright future.

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