Genetic testing for chromosomal abnormalities a burgeoning market

The global market for the genetic testing that precedes in vitro fertilization is estimated to be worth $31.9 million in 2011 and is expected to reach $47.4 million in 2018, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 percent from 2013 to 2018, said a recent report from Transparency Market Research.

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North America dominates the global demand for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) testing and is expected to account for over 30 percent of the global market in 2018, followed by Europe at 28 percent.

Over the last decade, the demand for PGD has grown significantly, mostly due to the growing awareness around the prevention of genetic diseases and the increase in the number of genetic disorders that can be diagnosed through PGD, said S. B. Kumar, research manager at Transparency Market Research.

The testing is commonly performed before in vitro fertilization to determine chromosomal abnormalities and detect aneuploidy (an abnormal number of chromosomes). It is also performed for the purpose of gender selection.

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According to Kumar, genetic testing before in vitro fertilization can significantly increase success rates, which is part of what is driving the market.

“Amongst women above the age of 35 years, one third of the pregnancies get miscarried. Out of this portion, half of the miscarriages are caused because of aneuploidy. If only chromosomally fit embryos are implanted through PGD, the number of successful pregnancies will definitely increase,” said Kumar. “The increase in implantation rate will further increase the demand for PGD by the patients and thus help in developing the market.”

Another big factor driving growth in the market is the rising rate of infertility, said Kumar.

“The global female infertility prevalence number was estimated at 321.8 million in 2010 and is expected to reach 346.2 million by 2017,” said Kumar. “This class of patients opting for in vitro fertilization is also rising. Amongst such population, the sections of people who have a history of genetic diseases in their family further prefer to undergo PGD cycles as well.”
Although market growth is expected to be steady in the next five years, there are a few factors that could possibly slow it down, said Kumar.

“The growth of this market can be held back by certain factors such as risk of misdiagnosis, existence of scientific, ethical and policy-related issues and risk of change in the criteria for implementation of IVF,” said Kumar.

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