Qiagen and Invitrogen Revealed as Top Suppliers in the RNA Purification Market


A recent survey reveals that more than 60% of scientists cited Qiagen as their primary supplier of RNA purification kits and more than 45% identified Invitrogen as their primary supplier of commercial reagents. With almost one-third of scientists surveyed reporting that they have used their primary supplier of RNA purification kits and/or reagents for more than 36 months, companies seeking to win market share are posed with the challenge of overcoming strong levels of customer loyalty.

To help these suppliers evaluate opportunities to expand their reach into this market, BioInformatics, LLC recently published its latest report "The RNA Purification Market: Evaluating Competitive Dynamics & Establishing Benchmarks." Based on a 34-question survey of more than 800 scientific customers, this report is designed to assist life science suppliers in comprehensively assessing RNA purification practices, with a strong emphasis on what influences a researcher to choose between commercial offerings and homebrew techniques.

The majority of scientists surveyed employ a mixture of methods to purify RNA, most often utilizing kits (46%) and/or reagents (42%), though many respondents still prefer to use homebrew methods due to lower costs and optimized protocols. Qiagen has a firm grasp on the purification kits segment and is trailed by Ambion. For scientists who use commercial reagents, Invitrogen far outpaces its market peers for selection as primary supplier, followed in second by Sigma-Aldrich.

"The RNA product market is crowded, with more than 25 suppliers offering RNA purification kits. To succeed, suppliers must distinguish themselves from their competitors by optimizing their product portfolio," said Dr. Robin Rothrock, Director of Market Research at BioInformatics, LLC.

Suppliers do not appear to be competing on price in this technologically undifferentiated market. Instead, successful suppliers are addressing areas of low customer satisfaction-such as speed, throughput and yield-and then promoting this upgrade in their performance.

With regard to product attributes, one particularly ripe area for improvements is in sample throughput. Although they represent the smallest group, "high throughput" respondents account for over half of all samples purified per month. More significantly, with 41% of these scientists expecting to increase their throughput over the next 12 months, overall sample numbers are anticipated to escalate by 12%. This increase in demand presents suppliers with an opportunity to expand their sales, either by selling more units or by making purification kits with an increased sample capacity.

"Interestingly enough, clinical researchers-who are becoming ever more reliant upon specialty suppliers as their primary source of purification kits and reagents-not only purify more samples per month than respondents conducting basic research, but they are also more likely to expect their throughput to increase over the next year," reported Rothrock.

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