With the market for certain advanced medical testing methods poised for accelerated growth, many diagnostics companies must adjust their portfolios and their business models in order to position themselves for growth, according to a Scientia Advisors review of the global immunoassay market.

Immunoassays are laboratory tests used to identify and quantify blood components associated with particular diseases. Immunoassays are a key growth area within in vitro diagnostics (tests conducted in laboratories, as opposed to those carried out in living organisms).
“Most current immunoassay technologies focus on detecting one or several proteins in a patient’s blood/serum or other samples,” said Arshad Ahmed, a partner at Scientia Advisors. “However, novel markers and new technologies that can detect and measure multiple markers simultaneously will become increasingly available in the next several years.”

Such advanced technologies—already used in diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, cancer, and kidney injury—are faster, more accurate and more cost-effective than many “traditional” tests. As a result, they may command higher prices and are driving growth in the overall immunoassay market.

What is more, for diagnostics players, marketing and business models are changing, according to Ahmed.

Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to incorporate diagnostic tests into their sales processes. And certain diagnostics companies are adopting a “sole service provider” model—in which tests are marketed directly to physicians and performed in company-run laboratories.

In light of these changes, “it is crucial that companies in the diagnostics space re-examine their business strategiesin order to compete successfully in the coming years,” Ahmed said.

Review highlights include:

• The $7.7B immunoassay market, which comprises one fifth of the $37B in vitro diagnostics (IVD) market, grew approximately 6% a year between 2005 and 2007. The immunoassay market has since shown 9% compound annual growth — a rate that is expected to continue through 2012, largely due to technology advancements.
• Growth in the immunoassay market will be driven by the emergence of (1) ultra-sensitive platforms, which enable detection of analytes at minute concentrations; (2) multiplex technologies, which allow simultaneous analysis of multiple compounds and (3) novel biomarkers that increase the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis or treatment.
• Emerging economies, such as China’s, are experiencing robust immunoassay market growth.
• Personalized medicine and new business models such as the bundling of immunoassays with marketed drugs and the sole service provider areare changing industry paradigms.

Source: Scientia Advisors