Technology Advancements and Expanding Applications to Support Growth in the Global High Content Screening (HCS) Market

The global market for High Content Screening (HCS) is projected to reach US$932.4 million by 2024, driven by rise in investments in cell based research, expanded applications in drug discovery and stem cell research, and improvements in HCS hardware and software solutions.

High Content Screening (HCS) is a novel screening approach involving the use of automated microscopy, image processing and visualization tools to generate quantitative and multiparametric data from cellular samples. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries comprise the primary end-users of HCS technology The technology is extensively being integrated in all aspects of modern drug discovery including target identification, target verification, assay development, pathway detection, compound profiling, toxicity studies, primary compound screening, and post-primary screening to support evaluation of ADME/toxicity properties, and complex multivariate drug profiling.

Major growth drivers to the market include growing government support to carryout cell-based research and the development of innovative instruments and solutions designed for efficient image analysis and data acquisition. Other major factors driving growth in the HCS market include growing need to develop new drug molecules to address the unmet demand for effective treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease, growing use of HCS for academia, and growing demand for enhanced cell-based imaging with a focus on cell aggregation, cell structure, and complex morphological analysis.

Most of the advancements in HCS systems are focused on addressing the complexity of screening workflows, accelerating image analysis, efficient screening of compounds and achieving high-quality results. Advancements in imaging technology, improvements in image acquisition rates, new imaging options, new types of cell and tissue models, automation, and data analysis have widened HCS applications in recent years, allowing users to gain deeper biological insight into disease, and enable the discovery of new phenotypes that are difficult to identify with classical analysis approaches. The new solutions are capable of addressing varied HCS requirements for higher-throughput, phenotypic screening and assays involving complex disease models. Some of the hardware advancements in recent years include CMOS cameras, confocal optics, oil immersion objective lens, and throughput capabilities, while software advancements comprise improvements in image acquisition, data analysis, evaluation and data storage capabilities. Several HCS systems software have been integrated with 3D analysis features that allows analysis of specimens such as spheroids, microtissues, organoids, cells in 3D matrix and small organisms.

The United States represents the largest regional market worldwide. Asia-Pacific is forecast to emerge as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 11.8% over the analysis period, led by increasing investments in biotechnology research , rise in number of contract research organizations involved in drug discovery, and increased adoption of HCS by pharmaceutical companies to screen compound libraries.

Major players in the market include BD Biosciences, BioTek Instruments Inc., EMD Millipore, Evotec AG, Essen BioScience, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Genedata AG, IntelliCyt Corporation, Molecular Devices Inc., PerkinElmer Inc., Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., TTP LabTech Ltd., and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, among others.

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