Agilent is preparing two road show tours to Asia this spring, visiting Japan in April, and then taking another jaunt in May, with first stops in Guangzhou, and Shanghai, China, then heading to Taiwan and Singapore, before finishing in Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia.
The road show will include three presentations in half-day events, one from a customer and two from Agilent representatives, as the company makes an effort to promote its gene-expression lines in a marketplace that is regarded as under-exploited and perhaps primed for business.
Agilent already sells its gene-expression product suite — which includes chips, scanners, data-mining software, labeling kits, an RNA isolation kit, and its Bioanalyzer — in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Australia/New Zealand.
“The reason why we selected these countries is simply market potential and market size,” Naoto Kondo, Asia-Pacific marketing manager for Agilent’s life sciences business unit, said in an e-mail interview with BioArray News.
Kondo said the No. 1 market in the Asia-Pacific region is Japan, followed by Taiwan and Australia/New Zealand, then Singapore.
“For China, the market potential is huge,” said Kondo, “but not so big today.”
“Researchers in China are trying to develop their own microarray manufacturing tools and microarray system,” Kondo said. “This happened in Japan, four to five years ago. At the end, most researchers gave up trying to create microarrays by themselves and started to accept commercial microarrays.”
If that happens in China, Kondo said the China market will jump to the No. 1 position in Asia-Pacific.
For Agilent, Japan is overall its biggest market and, as the country does not have a big market share for homebrew technology, it represents 10 percent of the worldwide microarray market, said Kondo. Affymetrix is the leader in microarray market share there, he said, as well as in the other countries that the company tour will cover.
In Australia/New Zealand and Singapore, homebrew technology mirrors the US market in terms of adoption, Kondo said.
Taiwan, he said, is in transition from homebrew technology to commercial microarrays, with “potential strong local microarray vendors.”
“We don’t compete with them at the moment,” said Kondo, “but we may in the future.”