Since the introduction of oligonucleotides in the mid-1980s, they have become a significant component in advancement of genomics research and product development. Through the Nucleic Acid Chemistry (NAC) investigations, market players are attempting to deliver a fully-supported end-to-end portfolio of critical chemical products and instruments for oligonucleotide synthesis, notably in the molecular diagnostic and oligonucleotide therapeutic markets. The insurgence of high-volume sequencers is increasingly allowing the acquisition of more information regarding entire genomes at very low costs.
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Further, studies with regard to combined broad-screening genomics are currently on the rise and have been deemed critical for the direct linkage of genotypes with phenotypes. Additionally, a consistently growing accessibility to next generation sequencing may enhance the identification and analysis of novel, unique variants that potentially could be missed by the SNP array-based methods, placing the global oligonucleotide industry in an attractive position. The criticality of oligonucleotide synthesis in the global DNA synthesis phenomenon is unprecedented as it is responsible for ensuring better treatment outcomes through efficient, safe, targeted therapeutics, thus enabling better care with the ultimate aim of lowering the economic burden of diseases on populations.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the global healthcare expenditure was valued approximately at $7.2 trillion in 2015 and is expected to reach over $8.5 trillion by 2020. This increasing value has been propelled by the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases, among others. The WHO also states that chronic diseases have been responsible for 60% of the deaths, worldwide, and constitute approximately 43% of the global economic burden of diseases. By 2020, the global spending on chronic diseases is expected to reach approximately $4.0 trillion. A rise in the global geriatric population and increase in incidence of communicable diseases, auto-immune diseases, and infectious diseases have been instrumental in escalating the economic, social, and clinical burden across the globe.
Therefore, pharmaceutical as well as diagnostic companies are facing high pricing pressure from all other stakeholders of healthcare industry. Acknowledging the criticality of the situation, on one hand, government bodies of several nations have been rigorously involved in restructuring their regulatory and market access policies to help companies in cost reduction and make healthcare solutions accessible to a wide range of population. On the other hand, the healthcare industry is trying to reduce the unnecessary healthcare expenditure by developing cost-effective products based on advancing technologies and novel treatment approaches. One such approach is based on nucleic acid chemistry involving the formation of oligonucleotides, short DNA or RNA molecules, which are manufactured as single-stranded molecules with any user-specified sequence. This property makes them vital for artificial gene synthesis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing, library construction, and as molecular probes.