The Market

As discussed in the "Applications" section, many cluster of differentiation techniques are used to identify diseased cells. Since many diseases that are hard to fight with conventional methods, such as cancer, are still widespread, there is a large market for technology relating to cell surface proteins for identification purposes, often of the first steps in treating diseases such as cancer. The market is not just patients with these diseases; although they pay for many services involving immunophenotyping or CD identification, there is also a market for machines and programs that are helpful or necessary to the process. From collecting the raw data to analyzing and sorting the results, many companies offer services related to cell surface markers.

The Products

For example, one biotechnology company, SABioSciences, sells Cell Surface Markers PCR Arrays, which are used to profile genes relevant to many CD identification purposes. To see the exact description of the array, as well as uses of it (such as identifying leukemia cells and the extent of their growth), see here.

In addition to identifying disease cells, CD and cell surface proteins are related to stem cell research, as noted in the "Legal and Ethical Issues" section of this website. VistaGen Therapeutics recently used CD protocols to identify a cell surface marker that helped them purify stem cell-derived byproducts that they specialize in. For the article detailing the role of cell surface markers in their discovery, see here.

As discussed in the "Cell Identification" section about immunophenotyping and flow cytometry, these processes are important to identify proteins expressed in the surface of cells. Many companies specialize in these services; an example of a company that offers these services is Cytoquest Corporation. See below for their advertisement video, and see here for their website. 

Funding

So far, most of the funding is private. In an economy with many uses for cell surface protein analyzing and identification, most companies will make money offering these services. As such, the sector builds on itself, and the biotechnology companies fund further research and development.

A flow cytometry device at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics is pictured above.

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