The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a tremendous increase in the burden on healthcare organizations across the globe. According to the WHO, as of September 29, 2020, there were 33,249,563 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,000,040 deaths, with the highest number of deaths in the Americas, followed by Europe and Southeast Asia.
Currently, no effective treatment for COVID-19 is available in the form of vaccines or antiviral drugs, and patients are currently treated symptomatically. According to the WHO, there are 70 vaccine candidates under development, and three candidates are already being tested in human trials. At the forefront of the COVID-19 outbreak, many researchers worldwide are engaged in the viral research of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Live cell imaging systems, including advanced microscopy systems, help researchers investigate cellular behavior during viral research. Biomedical research requires the analysis of enormous amounts of data to develop vaccines.
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The normalization of the global economy will slowly increase the demand for live cell imaging systems in non-COVID-related research activity labs, leading to market growth from the first quarter of 2021. Furthermore, players operating in the market are altering their strategies, for both long-term and short-term growth, by tapping the research market and developing innovative products to combat the pandemic.
The growth in research funding and rising government funding and investment in regenerative medicine research will also support the market growth in the coming years. However, the high cost of high-content screening systems is limiting the overall adoption of these products.
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The use of HCS makes the drug development process more time- and cost-efficient. Owing to these factors, the adoption of high-content screening for toxicity studies is expected to increase during the forecast period. This, in turn, is expected to drive market growth as live cell imaging is used in HCS to identify meaningful information from complex systems such as in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo systems.
Academic research laboratories find it difficult to afford such high-priced instruments as they have restricted budgets. The high price of these instruments is also a concern for several pharmaceutical companies as they require multiple HCS systems in their R&D activities (thus increasing the total cost spent on these systems).
In addition to the high procurement costs, the maintenance costs and several other indirect expenses increase the total cost of ownership of these instruments. This is one of the major factors limiting the adoption of live cell imaging instruments in clinical and research applications, especially in emerging countries.