Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Next Big IVD OP? Developing World

 Rapid tests that are easy-to-use and that can provide results in high-temperature and scarce water conditions may be the next big growth opportunity in in vitro diagnostics, according to a new report by Kalorama Information.  The healthcare market research publisher describes a quarter-billion market in the next five years for tests that can detect malaria and TB – but also rarer disease like leptospirosis and chikungunya in its new report, Point of Care Diagnostics for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats, co-authored by Kalorama diagnostic market analyst Shara Rosen and Diagnostic Consulting Network President Brendan O’Farrell.

Of the seven biggest killers worldwide, TB, malaria, hepatitis, and, in particular, HIV/AIDS continue to surge, with HIV/AIDS and TB likely to account for the overwhelming majority of deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries by 2020 and the response of the international community towards the problem has created a market.  The report cites a 13% growth rate for sales of tests that treat these the most pressing health needs.  This is greater than Kalorama forecasts for most areas of the point of care diagnostics market. 

“Now that neglected diseases have come onto the radar the supply of money to deal with it has increased,” said Shara Rosen.  “For the past 10-15 years politicians and aid agencies have come to understand that infectious diseases are not merely causes of suffering and death but are also significant barriers to economic development.”

Increased funding for infectious disease diagnostics by groups such as the Gates Foundation, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH, Seattle, WA) and The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND, Geneva, Switzerland) is helping to develop a new generation of sophisticated test platforms that are designed to meet the needs of low resource environments (electricity, water, refrigeration, etc.).   These efforts may go a long way to improving the detection of pathogens that are found primarily in developing countries (malaria, Chagas, Dengue and others). 

“However, the same platforms are sorely needed everywhere,” according to Rosen. “There is a huge need for user-friendly, highly specific and reliable technologies for rural and underserved communities, worldwide, and that is where the opportunity is.”

While it is a growing market, it is not a market without competitors.  Kalorama’s market research finds that there are at least 75 vendors worldwide that market rapid test kits for emerging infectious diseases.  The current market leaders are companies that have invested in sophisticated new technologies and those that have established relationships with governments and international aid agencies .

More specific market categories as well as trends and detailed company information can be found in Kalorama Information’s Point of Care Diagnostics for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats.   The report is available from Kalorama Information at http://www.kaloramainformation.com/Point-Care-Diagnostics-6429399/