NY Times on the Oligo Market

There’s an interesting article in today’s New York Times on the growth gene synthesis companies. I’m happy to report our very own Tamara Zemlo was interviewed for the article and our 2006 report on the oligo market was cited.

In that report, we estimated the size of the oligo market to be around $700 million and the articles points out that “some executives say that figure is too high.” Unfortunately, those are the executives that didn’t purchase the report…

We created a statistical model to estimate the market size for DNA oligos in the US and Europe. This model was generated using our survey data (i.e., number of oligos ordered, oligo length, synthesis scale and primary supplier) coupled with region and supplier-specific pricing and key assumptions regarding the number of life scientists who use DNA oligos in their research (based upon region-specific statistical databases).

We decided to use standard list prices for our calculations rather then relying on respondent’s perceptions of what they thought they were paying for their price per base. In our experience, scientists don’t always have an accurate recollection of what their price per base cost actually is once discounts and special pricing are factored out of the equation. Because these discounts — as you know — can vary widely by segment, institution and even lab, we elected to use standardized prices in order to eliminate any potential inconsistencies across our survey population. By using this approach, our clients who purchased the report could then customize our estimates using their own revenue numbers or alternatively, apply an across-the-board discount of 25% to 30% (which drops the revenue figure from $734 to $513-$550 for US and Europe combined).

I like to think we take a different approach to market research than some of our competitors. We don’t make outlandish claims or talk about “exploding markets” (it’s a wonder any of us remain unscathed with all these markets exploding all around us!) We provide clients with a statistically-driven, dynamic model into which they can plug their own data and monitor market changes over time. In other words, market research that can actually be used.