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Global Liquid Handling System Market - Outlook and Forecast 2022-2027
The global liquid handling system market is projected to reach $5.17 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 6% from 2022 to 2027. The market’s growth is primarily driven by the expansion of the pharmaceutical biotechnology sector, increased research and development (R&D) spending by biopharmaceutical companies, and advancements in life sciences research supported by favorable funding environments. Liquid handling involves the precise movement of liquid reagents across various laboratory instruments, platforms, and analyzers. These liquid handling tools are used in a wide range of laboratory applications, from research to clinical settings, to accurately handle different types of samples.
The growth of the global liquid handling system market is primarily fueled by the expansion of the pharmaceutical biotechnology sector, increased R&D spending by biopharmaceutical companies, and advancements in life sciences research supported by favorable funding environments.
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USD 3.5 billion in 2020
Product, Method, Application, End User, and Geography
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Research organizations and medical institutions are conducting various clinical trials to develop effective anti-COVID drugs and testing devices, which are expected to support the growth of the global liquid handling system market. For instance, in 2020, Hamilton announced a test project for automated COVID-19 testing workstations and prioritized tracking of all orders related to combating virus pandemics.
R&D is crucial for the pharmaceutical industry, and the success of large pharmaceutical companies heavily relies on the discovery and development of new drugs. Their capital spending allocation reflects this fact, with an average spending of over 25% of revenue, and some companies investing even more. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, biopharmaceutical research and development continued at a record pace in 2021. The number of newly planned clinical trials launched last year increased by 14% compared to 2020, reaching a total of 5,500 trials. Additionally, 84 new drugs were approved and launched in 2021, which is twice the number from five years ago. With over 6,000 active product pipelines under development, a 68% increase compared to 2016, the pace of pharmaceutical R&D is expected to be sustained in the coming years.
In today’s research and clinical genomics laboratories, sample preparation is a major bottleneck, especially for high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS). Genomics labs are increasingly adopting automated liquid processing to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of sequencing workflows. Industrial-scale genomics labs also utilize automation to boost productivity. For example, the integration of microarray experiments and automation enables high-throughput analysis of sequences and simultaneous monitoring of thousands of genes in large biotechnology companies.
Liquid processing workstations used in life science labs must meet stringent requirements for high throughput, precision, and accuracy, particularly when handling small quantities of samples. Moreover, the market offers a variety of liquid processing robots that cater to specific laboratory needs.
Liquid processing robots available in the market fulfill a wide range of automation needs for NGS. Some advanced workstations, such as PerkinElmer’s Sciclone NGSxiQ workstation, go further by offering on-deck thermal cycling and chip box storage for complete automation of the NGS protocol. Agilent’s Bravo NGS, unlike many other robots, features an advanced microplate management system that includes a microplate thermal sealer, centrifuge, and plate barcode labeler.
Liquid handling systems find diverse applications in the life sciences industry. Over the past century, life science research has played a pivotal role in uncovering the biological foundations of life and developing methods to combat diseases. Modern life science institutes often require high-throughput liquid processing to maximize efficiency. For instance, there are between 20,000 and 25,000 genes encoding different proteins involved in protein structure determination.
Liquid handling plays a central role in life science research institutes. Experiments such as gene sequencing, protein crystallization, antibody testing, and drug screening require precise movement of liquid biosamples between containers of various sizes and dispension into different types of substrates.
Kevin Rosovsky, CEO of Caliper Life Sciences, emphasized the increased attention given to laboratory automation in recent years. Robotic technology that has long been utilized in factory automation is now being applied to automated liquid handling. Furthermore, new application-specific devices are constantly being developed to cater to this purpose. Achieving 500,000 test points per day opens up a new approach to drug discovery, said Rosovsky.
The response of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the development of over 1,000 vaccine and therapeutic candidates, with nearly 5,000 clinical trials underway. This surge in research, coupled with a growing trend of outsourcing by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, has led to an increased demand for liquid handling systems.
There is a wide range of bioanalysis required, including pharmacokinetic, immunogenicity, and biomarker assays for new therapies. Diagnostic tests such as nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) and antigen tests are also essential for COVID-19 diagnosis and clinical trial registration. In addition to therapeutics and vaccines development for COVID-19, there is a global requirement for millions of tests daily.
As of June 2, 2022, the United States had conducted over one billion COVID-19 tests, making it the country with the highest number of tests conducted. Russia conducted more than 273 million tests. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on healthcare systems worldwide. Consequently, laboratories are under immense pressure to handle the large volume of samples related to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutic drugs, and COVID-19 tests. To address this, laboratories require a substantial number of liquid handling equipment to accelerate sample processing. The automated system is imperative for managing the extensive scale of sample testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors have contributed to the growth of the global automated liquid handling system market.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including product, method, application, end user, and geography.
Segmentation by Product
Automated Liquid Handling System (ALHS)
Microplate Reagent Dispensers (MRD)
Segmentation by Method
Segmentation by Application
Drug Discovery & Development (DDD)
Proteomics & Genomics
Segmentation by End User
Pharma & Biotech Companies (PBC)
Academic & Research Labs/Centers (ARLC)
Clinical Diagnostics Labs (CDL)
Others End Users (OEU)Tankers
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE
The pipettes segment held a significant share of approximately 28.41% in the global liquid handling system market in 2021. This can be attributed to the availability of both fixed volume and adjustable volume pipettes. Fixed volume pipettes offer higher accuracy and precision, while adjustable volume pipettes provide versatility for different experiment requirements. Electronic pipettes are considered more accurate as they are independent of user experience and can self-calibrate with visual feedback. However, even with electronic pipettes, users can still make errors in volume measurement despite the advantages they offer.
The method segment of the liquid handling system market includes electronic, automated, and manual approaches. The electronic segment had a major share in 2021 and is expected to increase further. Electronic pipettes provide an efficient way to increase sample throughput without using a robot and offer ergonomic benefits compared to manual pipettes. These pipettes often allow users to program unique functions, tailoring them to specific application demands. Various configurations of electronic pipettes are available, including single channel, multi-channel, 96-well, and 384-well formats.
In terms of applications, the drug discovery & development segment dominated the global liquid handling system market in 2021. This growth can be attributed to the adoption of automated liquid handling systems, which have revolutionized drug discovery processes over the past two decades. Automated systems have been widely implemented in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology pipeline to enhance productivity while ensuring high accuracy and repeatability standards. Laboratory automation, achieved through liquid handling systems, has been a solution to improve efficiency. High-throughput screening facilitated by automated robots and workstations enables researchers to analyze the activity of numerous chemicals against specific biological targets quickly.
Among various end-users, the pharma & biotech companies segment held a significant share of 31.01% in the global liquid handling system market in 2021. This can be attributed to the extensive research, development, and commercialization of drugs by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, primarily derived from artificial sources. The drug development process involves rigorous R&D phases before market introduction, including approval from regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These companies invest billions of dollars in R&D and require sophisticated liquid handling systems to efficiently conduct tasks such as drug sample screening and analysis.
Geographically, the North American segment reported a substantial share of approximately 31.01% in the global liquid handling system market in 2021. This can be attributed to the growth in drug research & development, genomics & proteomics, and research activities in academic and research laboratories in North America. The presence of prominent laboratory equipment companies has contributed to the well-established liquid handling system market in this region. The demand for automated liquid handling systems has increased significantly in correlation with the rise in drug development. The United States is a major revenue contributor in North America due to the high demand for cell and gene therapy development, genomics, and proteomics. This reflects the growing awareness of personalized medicines and their benefits in treating chronic diseases.
Europe accounted for the second-highest share in the global liquid handling system market in 2021. The region has developed healthcare infrastructure and made significant contributions to research and development. Research laboratories in Europe are equipped with advanced infrastructure to conduct complex studies. Different types of liquid handling systems, such as electronic pipettes and automated systems, are widely used in these laboratories to meet their research needs.
The liquid handling system market is characterized by its dynamic nature, with a variety of global and local players offering a diverse range of liquid handling systems (LHS) and associated software. The market is primarily consolidated, with global players holding significant market shares. In 2021, prominent market leaders such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Danaher, METTLER TOLEDO, Eppendorf, Agilent Technologies, Tecan, and Corning Incorporated dominated the global liquid handling system market.
To maintain their competitiveness in the market, these global players place a strong emphasis on developing innovative products and expanding their product portfolios. They invest extensively in research and development (R&D) and prioritize product development activities to enhance their range of offerings. Manufacturers like Thermo Fisher Scientific, Danaher, METTLER TOLEDO, and Eppendorf consistently focus on product development, ensuring they provide advanced liquid handling systems that incorporate new technologies to further strengthen their presence in the market.
Key companies profiled in this report include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Agilent Technologies, METTLER TOLEDO, Tecan, Danaher, Eppendorf, Corning Incorporated, BrandTech Scientific, Borosil, BIOTEC, CELLINK, CooperSurgical Fertility Solutions, FORMULATRIX, Flow Robotics, Gilson, Greiner Bio-One International, HiTec Zang, Hudson Robotics, Hamilton Company, Ingersoll Rand, Metrohm, Orochem Technologies, PerkinElmer, HighRes Biosolutions, Sartorius, SPT Labtech, TOMTEC IMAGING SYSTEMS, Tianlong, Vitrolife, Wuhan Bonnin Technology, Waters Corporation, Integra Biosciences, Peak Analysis and Automation, Synchron Lab Automation.
Key Questions Answered
What is the market size of the global liquid handling system industry?
The estimated market size of the global liquid handling system industry is projected to reach USD 5.17 billion by 2027, up from USD 3.49 billion in 2022.
What is the growth rate forecasted for the global liquid handling system market?
The global liquid handling system market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.79% during the period from 2022 to 2027.
What are the main driving factors influencing the liquid handling system market?
The liquid handling system market is driven by several key factors, including the increasing role of liquid handling in genomics and proteomics research, a surge in demand for liquid handling workstations, and the growing importance of laboratory automation integrated with software and liquid handling equipment.
Who are the major vendors in the global liquid handling system market?
The leading players in the global liquid handling system market include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Agilent Technologies, METTLER TOLEDO, Tecan, Danaher, Eppendorf, and Corning Incorporated.
Which region holds the largest market share in the global liquid handling system market?
North America currently holds the largest market share in the global liquid handling system market, accounting for approximately 31.01%. This is primarily due to the significant growth in drug research and development, genomics and proteomics research, and increased R&D activities in research and academic laboratories in North America.
What is the expected growth rate for the electronic method segment in the liquid handling system market by 2027?
The electronic method segment in the liquid handling system market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.82% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2027.