Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a high-throughput method for DNA sequencing that has largely superseded traditional first-generation sequencing methods.

NGS has revolutionised the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) market by providing enhanced diagnostic capabilities and expanding the market scope.

The NGS market was valued at $1.9bn in 2023. The market will reach sales of $5.1bn by 2033, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 10.3% over the period, according to GlobalData forecasts.

The NGS market’s growth is fuelled by a combination of unaddressed clinical needs for more effective tools in predicting, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring diseases, along with the ongoing advancement of sequencing technologies for efficiency.

During the forecast period, revenue is expected to be primarily generated by high-throughput and medium-throughput NGS.

NGS allows for the simultaneous sequencing of millions of fragments to generate a large amount of data in a single run, saving time and resources.

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By GlobalData

Additionally, the cost of sequencing has significantly reduced with the advent of NGS, as it allows for the sequencing of large amounts of DNA or RNA much quicker than the previously used Sanger sequencing.

With decreased test fees, GlobalData anticipates that demand for routine diagnostic procedures, including cancer panel testing and noninvasive prenatal testing, will grow.

NGS technologies have paved the way for personalised treatments, especially in the field of oncology.

Physicians can sequence their patients’ tumours to match them to therapies designed to target the genetic alterations driving the tumour’s growth.

Automation will play a crucial role in facilitating the acceptance and integration of NGS into routine medical practice as the demand for diagnostic NGS testing increases.

The use of automation systems for library preparation and sample analysis will be instrumental in ensuring the validity of the test results.

Automation also enables laboratories to consolidate multiple disease diagnostic tests into a single system. This expansion broadens the range of diagnostic panel options available to clinicians and patients, enhancing the scope of diagnostic offerings.

Several companies, including Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific, are market leaders in NGS analysers and reagents.

Illumina provides both sequencing by synthesis with its Solexa system and semiconductor sequencing with its Ion Torrent system while Thermo Fisher provides sequencing by ligation with its SOLiD/Life Technologies system.

Companies such as Color Population Health, Helix OpCo, InVitae, and Sema4 are using NGS technology for direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing technology has been used to develop a protocol for highly accurate whole human genome sequencing at scale.