C-reactive protein (CRP) is an immunoprotein synthesized in liver, and plays an important role in the activation of the complement system. CRP is expressed in very low levels under normal conditions, but increases 1,000 fold within 24 hours of infection or tissue damage. Main causes of increased CRP levels include trauma, infection, inflammatory arthritis, and certain types of cancers. Recent research has found that the level of CRP may rise in cases of arteriosclerosis in which damaged blood vessel walls initiate an inflammatory response. This research has received great attention and now used in monitoring cardiovascular diseases.
Consistent research and development in the field of biotechnology has made processes more specific and hence efficient. Newer test called high sensitivity C-reactive protein test (hs-CRP) was developed which is more sensitive as compared to standard CRP test. The hs-CRP test can measure CRP levels in mg/L of blood. According to an article published online on The Wall Street Journal, in 2012, the test has been endorsed by American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that annually around 17 million people die due to cardiovascular diseases globally. In another data published by European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics, cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 47% of all the mortalities in Europe. Similar conditions exist in other parts of the world, where early diagnosis of cardiac disorders can reduce mortality rates. CRP tests may also be advised in cases of autoimmune diseases, osteomyelitis, post-surgery infections and stroke. Strokes has also become a concern where around 1.1 million stroke survivors live in U.K. alone according to Stroke Association, U.K. Due to wide scope of application, large target population and increasing health awareness across the globe, the market for C-reactive proteins testing is expected to grow rapidly.
As the cost per test ranges from 15 to 25 USD, market is expected to be primarily driven by volume of tests performed. Thus better market penetration is expected to boost the market for CRP testing. Various ELISA, immunoturbidimetric, and chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) based assays are currently available for diagnostic purpose. Some of the major players in this market include Randox, Roche Diagnostics, Life Technologies, and EMD Millipore.