Report: U.S. preclinical small animal imaging market shows growth

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A combination of federal initiatives and a stringent peer-review process has led to greater adoption rates for preclinical imaging modalities in the United States, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan of San Jose, Calif. Revenues in this market totaled $172.5 million in 2005, and may reach $556 million in 2012, the company said.

Although the segment was in the nascent stage only a few years ago, the U.S. preclinical small animal imaging markets have evolved into a competitive landscape with the same range of vendors and imaging capabilities as those found in clinical environments, according to the firm’s research analyst, Subha Basu.

Instrumental in the advances of the market are key initiatives from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the country’s largest financier of basic research and the governing body of all clinical drugs, respectively, said Frost & Sullivan.

According to the company, in 2002, the NIH roadmap prioritized the need to identify biological processes in the living animal, or in vivo, through the expanding field of molecular imaging. Following suit, the FDA further heightened interest in molecular and preclinical imaging through its 2003 Critical Path to New Medical Products initiative. Consequently, all clinical imaging modalities, from PET to MRI, have been replicated for specialty use in small animal models.

The report, “U.S. Preclinical Small Animal Imaging Markets,” states that the paucity of federal and private research grants as well as general awareness about the benefits of preclinical imaging serves as the most important challenges in the industry. The company advised that targeting users through an applications-based, rather than technology-based, pitch could be particularly beneficial for market participants, as scientists are more receptive to ways the equipment will help in their experiments.