In case you were wondering: the 'rat model' market is worth $358 million globally

Projected to grow 9% (CAGR) through 2020

Laboratory rats are such a common element of drug research that the term is also used for those who work in the field. And while there are many, many drugs that showed promise during this form of animal testing but later failed (and despite the efforts of animal activists to restrict the activity), lab rats are still an essential tool for researchers. Marketsandmarkets, a Pune, India, market research firm, has just announced a study putting the overall business at $358 million in 2014, rising to $602 million by 2020.

And, just as, say, chromatographs come in varieties like liquid, gas, high-pressure and such, lab rats come in a growing variety of types: Inbred, outbred, hybrid, knockout, immunodeficient. Rat-related services include breeding, cryopreservation, quarantine, genetic testing, model in-licensing and others. Growth drivers include the introduction of transgenic rat models, ongoing preclinical activities in life sciences, personalized medicine and the biosimilars market. Major players in the US (the world’s largest market) include Charles River Laboratories, Taconic Biosciences and Covance.

Interestingly, the 9% CAGR is well above the 3-4% projected growth in human clinical trials—not sure what that implies! One other interesting take: the global rat-model market represents 1/1000th of the US pharma market. Information on the study is available here.

(Photo courtesy of Charles River Laboratories)