Medical Plastic Data Service Magazine



Our 29th Year of Publication
Page  2 of 9

Cover Story

Opportunities In The IVD Industry Post Covid

Mr. Abhinav Thakur
Secretary, ADMI & Managing Director,
Accurex Biomedical (P) Ltd.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health.

One of the most used strategies that can be used to control the spread of COVID-19 is the 3T (test, trace, and treatment) strategy. Diagnostics has been the backbone of the COIVD management strategy.

COVID-19 has reconfirmed the importance of diagnostics in managing any disease, more so in a pandemic. A common person now understands what is an antigen, antibody or RT PCR test. Everyone now understands the lab and its staff’s critical role, in helping clinicians quickly with accurate diagnosis within the overburdened hospitals during this pandemic.

The world now understands the importance of diagnostics in our healthcare ecosystem. This is attracting investments into the IVD Industry at a scale never seen before.

New companies are entering the IVD market at a rapid pace. More than 200 products for COVID-19 (not including laboratory developed tests) have been authorized by the US FDA.

These are mostly small operations, but large companies have also entered IVD in some form or another this year, including Amazon, Eli Lilly, Ford, and the Mayo Clinic, along with wellknown life science names such as Sherlock, WuXi Biologics, Promega, and Agena Biosciences. Guardant Health and Biocept have moved from oncology operations to infectious disease testing due to the virus. Imaging player Fujifilm entered IVD with a recent acquisition unrelated to the pandemic.

In India also the COIVD 19 pandemic has at0tracted Tata, CIPLA and Serum Institute of India into the diagnostic industry.

Serum Institute of India has invested more than 100 crores in MyLab Discovery Solutions to fund advanced automation and increase production capacity of Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kits.

The investment made by Serum Institute of India made it possible for the production of the Covid-19 testing kits to be ramped up from 1.5 lakh tests/week to 20 lakh tests/week in a few weeks. This speed of upscaling was unheard of in the Indian diagnostics industry.

CIPLA has launched ELIFast(IgG Elisa test) for COVID-19 antibody detection.

Tata Medical Device company has launched a new test for Covid-19; ready with 10 lakh tests/month capacity.

Large companies like TATA entering the diagnostics space is good news for an import dependent diagnostics industry.

One success strory of Make in India due to COVID was in the Viral Transport Kit Manufacturing Industry of India. VTM kit manufacturers have been importing swabs from countries like China and USA. These imported swabs cost anywhere between Rs 30-Rs 40 per piece.

To counter the shortage of swabs and also bring down overall kit costs, several government departments -- health and textile -- have been working with domestic manufacturers to locally produce synthetic swabs. This resulted in Made-in-India Coronavirus test swabs to cost only one-tenth of imported ones!

Currently 70% of diagnostic products are imported in India. Products imported into India are designed for the developed world and not developing countries like India. The products are manufactured in high wage countries like Europe and America and sold to low wage countries like India. This makes the products unaffordable to the vast majority of our country.

With companies like TATA investing into indigenization of diagnostics it will make the tests affordable to the vast majority of our country.

Large companies such as the TATA’s can invest large capital into R&D and plant & machinery which will lead to an increase in manufacturing in India. Trusted brands like TATA will ensure that the quality standards of their products are also harmonized to global standards.

The entry of a few large players will help build the ecosystem that will benefit all the stakeholders.

A rising tide lifts all boats: The capital that the TATA’s and others invest into the diagnostics industry will develop the physical infrastructure as well as the skill of the workforce in the diagnostics industry.

The investments will create more jobs in the IVD manufacturing industry. Some of these employees over time will leave and join other companies or become entrepreneurs. This will lead to creation of more companies. As more companies are created the supply chain also gets created and over a period of time the entire manufacturing ecosystem is created.

If the TATA’s succeed in building a large diagnostics company in India it will lead to many more successful companies coming out of India.

Affordable diagnostics products manufactured in India can be supplied to the rest of the developing world also.

This will help improve access to diagnostics for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

From pharmacy to the world we could also become the lab to the world.

Abhinav Thakur, Managing Director of Accurex Biomedical is a graduate of world renowned University Of California- Davis. He has completed his PGDM from NMIMS University, Mumbai. He is the Managing Director at ACCUREX since 2004.

Due to Abhinav’s dedication and passion, the company has grown 4.2 times in revenue and team strength has increased from 90 to 200 employees since he has been appointed as the Managing Director of the company.

Previously he has worked with California Diabetes Prevention Program in California, U.S.A. Abhinav is an active member of the Association of India Medical Devices (AIMED) as the Jt. Coordinator and Secretary for the Association for Diagnostic Manufacturers of India (ADMI). He has spoken at various industry forums such as Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Voice of Healthcare, CLIN-LAB & Dun & Bradstreet.

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