A new market research report published by Markets and Markets predicts that the global molecular diagnostics market will reach $7,956.9 million by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 9.7% during the period 2013-2018. Molecular diagnosis using genetic technologies enables early detection of cancer, infectious diseases and genetic disorders at the prenatal stage.

Several factors are expected to drive the growth of this market: rising incidence of cancers, genetic disorders, and blood screening. The report looks at the scenario on the basis of the following segments: application, technology, end user, product, and geography.

Application: In 2013, infectious diseases were the leading market segment, with the CT/NG sub-segment contributing to the maximum share of the market. It is forecast that the MRSA sub-segment will be the fastest growing segment by 2018, driven by the rise in the number of people affected by the infectious disease.

Technology: The technology segment comprises polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification Technology (INAAT), hybridization, DNA sequencing and NGS, microarray, and others. While PCR segment had the largest share of the total molecular diagnostics technology market in 2013, the report says that by 2018, the microarray segment will be the fastest growing segment.

End user: Though hospitals were the largest segment in 2013, reference laboratories that carry out complex, specialized, and obscure tests will grow at the highest CAGR between 2013 and 2018. Government regulations to cut down healthcare costs will lead to the rise in the reference laboratories segment.

Products: Reagents occupy the largest market share and are expected to record the maximum growth rate in this forecasted period. Reagents include assays to detect and diagnose diseases, and also serve as biomarkers that predict the biological properties of the potential drug compounds.

Geography: Asia is the most promising region for molecular diagnostics in the coming five years and is expected to grow at a higher CAGR of 12.2% than North America and Europe over the forecast period. North America accounted for the largest share in 2013 and is set to grow at a high rate during the forecasted period. However, the European market is estimated to have a lower CAGR than North America due to factors such as the uneven reimbursement policies and the European economic crisis.

Top manufacturers in the market include Roche Diagnostics (Switzerland), Gen-Probe (Hologic) (U.S.), QIAGEN (Netherlands), Becton, Dickinson & Company (U.S.), Siemens Healthcare (Germany), bioMérieux (France), Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), Novartis AG (Switzerland), Cepheid (U.S.), and Beckman Coulter (U.S.).