The market for DNA-based tests used for clinical diagnostic purposes has exceeded previous forecasting, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Mid 2019, Kalorama Information’s report projected the market size (all DNA-based tests, revenues to IVD companies) would reach 10.1 billion.  We also estimated cancer would be the driver.  Instead, Kalorama now projects that market to be $28.6 billion dollars in 2021.   That’s a huge difference; well out of line with a normal variance.  The reason is not surprising. Tests for the detection and severity of COVID-19 that continue to show high volumes in 2021.

Almost two-thirds of that is molecular tests for COVID-19, the IVD market researcher said in its latest report The Worldwide Market for Molecular Diagnostics 10th Edition (

The overall market market includes all tests for molecular targets conducted by PCR, other NAAT systems, as well as in situ hybridization and next generation sequencing that are used for a diagnostics purpose. The market figure represents revenues earned by IVD companies selling test products, instruments, reagents and directly related supplies.

Infectious disease is driving the revenues, as are cancer, and transplant diagnostics. A detailed analysis of each of these application segments is presented in the report.
Infectious disease testing segments are driven by the COVID-19 crisis (not only detection tests but related rule-out respiratory tests and HAIs).  Later in the year cancer and transplant tests will also drive revenues. The demand will come from advanced markets such as North America and Europe.

Our previous estimate of 10 BN is still important to note.  If COVID-19 testing is reduced or eliminated in the future, our previous estimate represents more of the “norm” in molecular testing.  Of course new infectious disease threats or greatly increased testing volumes could change that.

Diagnostic testing companies should do a better job of turning around biomarker test results for lung cancer patients, according to a survey reported at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting on June 4.

Out of 170 clinicians polled, the vast majority (98%) said that they felt it was important to get biomarker test results back in from one to two weeks, but while 63% reported that they get results in this time frame, 37% said that from three to four weeks was the average.

Delays run the risk that a nontargeted treatment will be given instead of a targeted drug, according to Dr. Kathryn Mileham, thoracic oncology director at Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC.

“Respondents also suggest that biomarker testing companies should strive to expedite results,” Mileham noted in a video presentation at the meeting, which is being held in a virtual format this year from June 4-8.

Utilization and turnaround times for biomarker testing results have been concerns for the lung cancer treatment community, as genetically targeted treatments are associated with better outcomes. The treatment landscape has dramatically improved for lung cancer patients in recent years, with multiple targeted drugs available, including Amgen’s recently approved KRAS inhibitor sotarasib (Lumakras).

Yet a global survey published in 2020 found that molecular testing was underused for a variety of reasons, including lack of awareness and slow test turnaround times.

The survey just reported was conducted by an ASCO task force on lung cancer, which includes the American Cancer Society and lung cancer advocates. It assessed ordering and treatment patterns of specialists and general oncologists who regularly treat lung cancer patients. Out of 2,374 ASCO members contacted, 170 completed the survey.

Researchers noted that respondents included clinicians working in academic (59%) and community settings (41%), so the results should be generalizable.

Genetic testing was common for nonsquamous nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common type of lung cancer, with 95% of respondents reporting that they order multigene biomarker panels. Among those, 61% were in academic settings and 39% were in community practices. Similar results were seen for patients with the squamous type of NSCLC (see table).

The survey showed that concern about delaying the start of treatment was a factor for those who were not ordering testing. If results were not available within two weeks, those in community practices were more likely to start with a nontargeted systemic treatment rather than wait for a targeted drug compared with their counterparts in academic practices, 59% versus 40%, a statistically significant result.

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The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) released guidance on lab testing for acute kidney injury (AKI) patients that proposes new diagnostic thresholds for whether a patient has AKI with creatinine testing.

One of the major recommendations is to propose that clinicians use the 20/20 AACC acute kidney injury criteria to determine whether a patient has an injured kidney using creatinine testing. This was recommended due to recent evidence that has linked the 2012 Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes guidelines for creatinine testing with high rates of false positives

Total global sales of reagents, test kits, and related products based on kidney disease biomarkers are expected to reach just over $1 billion in 2027. Improvements in the predictive, detection, and prognostic capabilities and overall sensitivity of tests for acute and chronic kidney disorders will underlie growth. Additionally, an expanding worldwide base of vulnerable increase will increase the need for testing. Risk factors for acute and chronic kidney disorders include elderly age, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.  This is per Kalorama Information’s report o bio markers:

There are currently 76.1 billion in vitro diagnostics (IVD) procedures annually worldwide.  Global IVD procedure volumes are forecast to grow by several billion more through 2025, as revealed in IVD Procedure Volumes 2020-2025: Immunoassays, POC, Chemistry, Molecular, Microbiology and Other Tests, a recent report by Kalorama Information.

IVD procedures range from glucose to procedures including point-of-care and laboratory tests that are categorized according to the testing technology employed. Approximately 20 different technologies have been adapted to IVD applications. Clinical chemistry, hematology, and immunoassays comprise the top three disciplines based on number of tests performed worldwide. Molecular assays are expected to command the fastest growth in global procedural volume but will continue to make up only a small portion of total IVD activities. Among other IVD testing technologies, conventional microbiology, coagulation (hemostasis), histology, and cytology are the most widely employed.

IVD companies extending their reach in developing nations is among several notable growth factors reported by Kalorama Information’s recent report

Looking ahead, Kalorama Information anticipates the United States will account for the largest volume of IVD procedures implemented worldwide in 2025. The country will maintain a high, diverse level of tests based on its advanced medical delivery system, high healthcare spending intensity, and widespread health insurance coverage of the population. Moreover, its volume of IVD procedures will rise as patient care strategies place an increasing emphasis on early disease detection.

Kalorama Information highlights several areas of growth outside the U.S. and despite the maturation of IVD markets in developed countries. For one, the market’s aforementioned prominence in developed nations has IVD companies continuing to cast their nets in developing countries where rising incomes and standards of living are anticipated to spark a new health-conscious population with growing demands for quality medical care.  While once the focus was on the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, IVD companies now prefer to look at secondary markets of interest for IVD companies including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Colombia and Vietnam.  But the primary focus is on the top seven emerging markets:

  • China
  • Brazil
  • Turkey
  • Korea
  • India
  • Russia
  • Mexico

Global sales are the source of growth for the industry, but not without considerations.  Outside of the U.S. and Europe, there are dramatic fluctuations in the stability of financial markets and economic systems and governments in global IVD markets, which has companies shifting resources every few years, finding the new fast-developing markets.

This begs the question, “where are the best markets?”  As a starting point – one of the major aspects of commercial potential is to look at available market, which Kalorama Information suggests is implied by the percent of the population that is urban, since urban populations usually have more access to healthcare in the way of physicians, hospitals, and clinics.  As the governments in developing countries increase the healthcare infrastructure to rural communities, there is expected to be a significant enlargement of the market for diagnostics.  These diagnostics would cover many of the primary care segments related to diabetes, anemia, hypertension, infectious diseases, sexually transmissible diseases and cancer screens.

Beyonds location, other notable growth trends for IVD procedures identified by Kalorama Information include, but are not limited to:

  • Steady population growth and aging, which will increase the number of individuals vulnerable to acute and chronic medical conditions.
  • Evolving epidemiological patterns, which will keep major diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis major threats to human health.
  • The expansion of healthcare cost containment initiatives, which will encourage medical providers to broaden the use of IVD tests to detect serious diseases in early stages when treatment is less costly and more likely to succeed.
  • The adaptation of new and existing IVD procedures to point of care (POC) sites in hospitals, outpatient facilities, retail clinics, nursing homes, and other near patient markets.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic.

Modern developments in cell and gene therapy products are transforming the treatment of cancers and genetic diseases, and in the process they have helped create a multi-billion dollar global industry that is poised to more than double over the next ten years, according to 2020 estimates by leading medical market research firm Kalorama Information as reported in Cell Therapy and Gene Therapy Markets. Therapies for cancer generate almost half of the cell and gene therapy market total, led by oncology drugs including Kymriah, Provenge, and Yescarta.  Now a new entrant into the market aims to join the ranks of these notable cell and gene therapy products for cancer.

In March 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new cell-based gene therapy idecabtagene vicleucel, which will be sold as Abecma. The new therapy is for adult patients with relapsed myeloma (myeloma that returns after completion of treatment) or refractory myeloma (myeloma that does not respond to treatment) who have not responded to at least four different types of therapy. Abecma is the first cell-based gene therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma that has been approved by the FDA. The safety and effectiveness of Abecma were established in a study of 127 patients with relapsed myeloma and refractory myeloma who received at least three prior antimyeloma lines of therapy.

Multiple myeloma is one of several areas in the oncology sector that Kalorama Information identified as having strong development pipelines, alongside hematologic cancers (leukemia, lymphoma), brain cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Though the exact cause is unknown, multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells help people fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications, including damage to the bones, kidneys, and immune system.

Multiple myeloma is not curable but is treatable and patient outlook is often dependent on age and the stage of the condition when diagnosed. Myeloma accounted for approximately 1.8% (32,000) of all new cancer cases in the U.S. in 2020, according to the National Cancer Institute. For people with multiple myeloma who require treatment, several treatments are available to help control the disease—now including Abecma. Multiple myeloma is one of several areas in the oncology sector that Kalorama Information identifies as having strong development pipelines, alongside hematologic cancers (leukemia, lymphoma), brain cancer, and ovarian cancer.

In the case of Abecma as a treatment option, the therapy is a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed genetically modified autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. Abecma doses are customized treatments created using a patient’s own T-cells, which are a type of white blood cell, to help fight the myeloma. The T-cells are collected and genetically modified to include a new gene that facilitates targeting and killing myeloma cells. Once modified, the cells are infused back into the patient.


A recent deal in the news cements the viability of the respiratory segment and the use of small molecular systems to test for them.  First introduced in 2013, PCR and other NAAT-based molecular systems have become a central part of testing for ailments such as flu, strep, RSV and COVID-19.  They remain in competition with immunoassay systems which on the whole still field better installed base numbers.  It was though antibotic resistance would be the key issue to propel these systems, but COVID-19 has proved to be the situation where they were best suited, as we had predicted when COVID-19 was not yet present in the United States last year.

As Roche has inked a $1.8 billion acquisition agreement with GenMark Diagnostics, the case for mPOC has been moved forward.   The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.  GenMark designs molecular diagnostic tests that identify multiple pathogens from a single patient sample, Roche said. Its syndromic panel testing portfolio will complement Roche’s molecular diagnostic portfolio, according to the firm.

Kalorama’s mPOC report can be found here:

Once the transaction is complete, GenMark Diagnostics will continue to operate out of its current location in Carlsbad, CA.

What’s obvious about the deal is that it is not just about the company’s current business.  The deal is multiples of the company’s revenue.  But it’s about the future, and a future that was evident in the companies fourth quarter.   Just shy of 10 percent of the company’s new systems came from the last quarter of 2020.   For example, the company placed 70 net new ePlex analyzers in the quarter, which the company said was out of 792 total systems.
We think it’s the end year success and not so much the past business is what Roche is betting will continue.   Clearly you are seeing COVID-19 influence strategy, if not for this wide scale infection, then possibly to be in position for the attractive respiratory market, or for the next pandemic.
GenMark’s ePlex system also has a Blood Culture Identification (BCID) Panel product that can provides broad coverage of organisms that can lead to sepsis along with their resistance genes. This broad coverage means that about 95% of currently identified bloodstream infections can be detected early with the ePlex BCID Panels, compared to other panels that detect significantly fewer sepsis-causing bacteria and fungi.  The original goal of many of the molecular point of care systems were to get to a faster syndromic test.

There are currently 76.1 billion in vitro diagnostics procedures annually. Procedure volumes will grow to 111.3 billion in 2025.The chart below depicts the current global estimate and forecast of IVD procedures, including glucose and excluding COVID-19. Population, aging, insurance levels and new test development are factors in the growth of procedures.


Global volumes of various IVD procedures are presented in millions and reflect the evaluation of a single analyte, marker, or other variable of interest. It should be noted that some IVD tests involve more than one procedure as they provide for the analysis of multiple analytes.

Global sales of IVD products are expressed in current United States dollars and reflect sales for the year 2020 and forecasts for each year in the 2021 to 2025 period. A table that measures the total amount of IVD product sales against the total volume of IVD procedures is presented for each major testing category. The report also includes estimates of average fees paid to clinical laboratories and medical establishments for specific groups of IVD procedures.    The global volume of IVD procedures is forecast to increase 7.9% annually to 111.3 billion in 2025.

Procedure Volumes by Type Are Covered in Detail in Kalorama’s
IVD Procedures Volume Report

The IVD landscape in 2020 has shifted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is impacting the world economy and creating uncertainty in the stock market and affecting supply chains all over the world. However, the IVD testing market is center stage for the fight against the Coronavirus. In vitro diagnostic (IVD) products continue to see positive sales growth in many categories, although several categories have experienced a temporary drop due to the uptick of COVID-19 testing. New products, changes in global health spending, regulatory changes in major markets and disease trends are among the factors that produce a constantly changing market picture. There are some growing segments in the market that have attracted industry attention. Among these are next-generation sequencing (NGS), cancer testing, and companion diagnostics technologies. Immunochemistry, point-of-care (POC) testing, and molecular diagnostics are also segments of great market interest, anticipated to be a big part of the future of IVD.

Several trends and factors will underlie growth including:

Steady population growth and aging, which will increase the number of individuals vulnerable to acute and chronic medical conditions.

• Evolving epidemiological patterns, which will keep major diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis major threats to human health.

• The expansion of healthcare cost containment initiatives, which will encourage medical providers to broaden the use of IVD
tests to detect serious diseases in early stages when treatment is less costly and more likely to succeed.

• The continuing widespread coverage of most developed world residents for basic and essential diagnostic procedures.

• Gradual improvements in the availability, accessibility, and diagnostic capabilities of developing world medical delivery systems.

• The periodic emergence of new infectious and viral disease threats, which will create a need for related IVD tests.

• Widening acceptance of routine health screening procedures in basic inpatient and outpatient care.

• Stepped up efforts by hospitals and other medical facilities to reduce the incidence and mortality of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and other inpatient complications.

• Advances in novel molecular and other advanced IVD technologies, which will increase disease detection capabilities.

• The adaptation of new and existing IVD procedures to point of care (POC) sites in hospitals, outpatient facilities, retail clinics, nursing homes, and other near patient markets.

• COVID-19 pandemic

IVD tests include well-established and newer, emerging technologies. Over the next several years, traditional tests based on clinical chemistry, immunoassays, hematology and conventional microbiology will account for the largest share of global procedural volume, or more than 83.3% of non-glucose tests in 2025. These older technologies will continue to build up patient volume based on low cost, broad applications, improving methods, and increasing availability in POC laboratories.

Molecular systems that can test at the point of care was always expected to be a factor in COVID-19.   Last year, when our report published, the novel coronavrius was limited in most news accounts to a disease affecting Wuhan, China, we said this: “As presented, the revenues for this segment are forecast to increase from $360 million to $852 million between 2019 and 2024, with a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 18.8%.”  

The spread of the disease in the United States and developed world would prove us wrong.  Molecular point of care systems were in great demand, and eclipsed our projected market size estimate for 2024 was already exceeded by the end of 2020. 

In our latest report, The Market and Potential for Molecular Point of Care ( Kalorama estimates a market of $900 million dollars, with the lion’s share of that instruments and consumables purchased for COVID-19 testing purposes.

It’s not a surprise.  Molecular point-of-care (mPOC) diagnostic solutions offer improvements in the sensitivity and specificity of existing near-patient and rapid tests while expanding the diagnostic capabilities at points of care such as hospital critical care units, physician offices, outpatient clinics, and community health posts in the developing world, and are used to assess conditions or admit patients. The concept of molecular point of care is to mix the accessibility of POC testing with the accuracy of molecular technology.

Molecular point-of-care (mPOC) diagnostic solutions offer improvements in the sensitivity and specificity of existing near-patient and rapid tests while expanding the diagnostic capabilities at points of care such as hospital critical care units, physician offices, outpatient clinics, and community health posts in the developing world, and are used to assess conditions or admit patients. The concept of molecular point of care is to mix the accessibility of POC testing with the accuracy of molecular technology. Kalorama has covered molecular point-of-care on a yearly or biyearly basis since 2013.

We projected 18% growth each year in molecular POC systems and consumables revenues.  The spread of the disease in the United States and developed world would prove us wrong.

We  define molecular point of care as near-patient PCR, sequencing or other NAT systems that offer small instrument size, near patient placement as well as fast turnaround of tests and that offer tests that are CLIA-waived or tests that require a lower threshold of operational training so that they may be in the next five years.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert, Abbot’s IDNOW, Roche’s Cobas Liat and bioMerieux’s BioFire are examples of mPOC systems.
COVID-19 has resulted in a huge acceleration in both system installations and spending on consumables per system. Cepheid’s installed base increased by around 30% in 2020 and bioMerieux’ systems sales increased from around 600 per quarter to around 2,000. Spend per system was reported by many companies to have increased around 50%-60%.

The molecular point-of-care market is overwhelmingly in the respiratory category, with most of that dedicated to influenza testing. Other tests include HAIs and STIs, among other diseases.

From Lab Pulse , a sister publication to Kalorama Information –

Experience with COVID-19 has cast a bright light on the state of healthcare and the great need for change, which has already begun, said panelist Rahul Dhanda, co-founder and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences, a pioneer in diagnostics based on CRISPR gene editing technology. At the start of the pandemic, tests were not widely available and had to be rationed; diagnosis and treatment were focused on symptoms, which is not atypical in the healthcare space, Dhanda noted.

But as time went on, there was a shift in thinking about the distribution of diagnostics outside standard structures — both in terms of how samples are accessed and how results are delivered, he said. Sherlock’s CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 lab-based test kit received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May. Designed for use in CLIA-certified laboratories, the molecular testing product delivers results in about one hour.

Sherlock, which is based in Cambridge, MA, is also developing products based on its internal splint-pairing expression cassette translation reaction (INSPECTR) platform. The firm’s synthetic biology technology supports instrument-free handheld testing, including paper-strip diagnostics and over-the-counter disposable rapid molecular tests for COVID, much like the well-accepted home-based pregnancy tests, according to the company. In December, the company announced that it received a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance development.

What’s needed now is appropriate management of a new set of tools, in Dhanda’s view.

“We are seeing a trend toward self-testing that pre-COVID was a great dream of anybody who had spent their career in diagnostics and now is a reality that we all want to see happen and are developing technologies to get there,” the executive said.

The goal of bringing molecular diagnostics anywhere and everywhere becomes easier with the variety of applications now available, Dhanda added. Sherlock plans to make point-of-care diagnostics products available, with the ability to deliver results in developing as well as well-developed countries.

“If we are going to make these strides forward and we are committed to healthcare, we have to be committed to the equitable distribution of those healthcare solutions,” Dhanda said.

We are now seeing a surge of technologies get to the market that enable point-of-care testing in less resource-intensive environments, including at home, said Jeff Hawkins, CEO at San Diego-based Truvian Sciences. That’s a trend that contrasts with the lack of rapid testing at the start of the pandemic; the change was made possible by public and private investments, Hawkins noted.

Don’t mess with Mr. In Between

Truvian has developed a blood-based point-of-care platform with the aim of introducing “something as disruptive as humanly possible.” Point-of-care diagnostics should offer the quality of a central lab, yet be easy to run sitting on a countertop, Hawkins suggested.

Truvian’s EasyCheck immunoglobulin M and G (IgM/IgG) COVID-19 antibody test received an EUA in July. The company is looking to partner with global healthcare players to take the platform into regions across the world, including areas where people don’t have access to healthcare unless they live near a major city center and where — if diagnostics are available — they are typically of very low quality.

Infectious disease diagnostics is a key area of investment focus at Artiman Ventures, said panelist Ajit Singh, PhD, a partner with the firm. Furthermore, the company values the ability to diagnose infections quickly, at low cost, and with no need for a high level of expertise in administration — all achieved without sacrificing accuracy.

One of the companies in Artiman’s portfolio attracting attention in the last year is Visby Medical (formerly called Click Diagnostics). Visby, which was founded by Stanford University professor Adam de la Zerda, PhD, developed a handheld disposable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 that it said requires only two minutes of hands-on time for testing and delivers results within 30 minutes.

The company’s single-use personal PCR test received an EUA from the FDA in September 2020, paving the way for use in moderate complexity lab environments. Per the EUA, swabs may be taken by a healthcare professional or self-collected by a patient under supervision.

Founded in 2012, Visby had originally developed the technology platform for use in diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases, but switched gears quickly in 2020 to apply it to the development of a viral RNA test for COVID-19. While the turnaround time from the start of the pandemic and EUA was fast, the concept for a simple test for infection was originally envisioned in 2010-2011 and development took several years.

The company has been producing about 50,000 devices per month, according to Singh. Funding granted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in October 2020 will be used to scale up manufacturing. While currently authorized for use in labs, the product is being positioned for over-the-counter use.

Addressing collateral damage

When considering the effect of the pandemic on diagnostics development, it’s important to see beyond the coronavirus itself and to take stock of collateral damage worldwide, suggested Madeline Repollet, PhD, head of clinical laboratories at Angle, which has offices in the U.K. and the U.S. Research suggests that as many as 20% of coronavirus cases in U.K. hospital patients were actually transmitted in the hospital setting.

Consequently, patients fear going to the hospital, and procedures deemed to be unnecessary have been scaled back, Repollet noted. This is driving a need for liquid biopsies in oncology, with blood drawn at home by a visiting professional or at a collection center, as an alternative to invasive tissue biopsies, she said.

Angle’s research-use-only (RUO) Parsortix technology is used for genetic testing of circulating tumor cells, using a 10-mL blood sample in an ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) vacutainer tube. The company is focusing on how to make this available to patients who have not received treatment during the pandemic, Repollet said.

The unpredictable events of 2020 might cause one forswear all prediction-making.  Yet for Science and Medicine Group, the publishing brands we offer (Strategic Directions International, Bioinformatics, Kalorama Information, IMV, Instrument Business Outlook) are in the business of prediction-making.  Thus once again, we offer our top ten predictions for 2021 based on our market research publications:

  1. Recovery in Academic and Lab Markets:2020 was obviously an atypical year, and in analytical and life science instrumentation markets (chromatography, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and other fields) 2021 will also be atypical as a year of recovery.  Academic and government lab budgets are expected to take more than one year to recover, since public funding has been so impacted by lower tax revenues and important spending to directly address the crisis.      This from Strategic Directions International, authors of the The 2020 Global Assessment Report: The Laboratory Analytical & Life Science Instrumentation Industry
  2. That Growth Will Be Weighted Toward Asia: The current resurgence of the pandemic in the US and Europe will delay the recovery of these markets in 2021, while many Asia Pacific countries that were more successful in suppressing the disease are already seeing increased demand for lab instrumentation and equipment.
  3. Boost in the M&A Market for Instrument Companies: Instrument Business Outlook, the premier newsletter for instrument executives, expects M&A activity to increase in 2021.  Although the COVID-19 outbreak may have slowed M&A activity across many industries earlier this year, that changed late in the year.   The largest deals for the cell-based instrument market came from 10x Genomics and Bio-Rad Laboratories and were focused on single-cell analysis. 10x Genomics purchased two companies in the spatial analysis space, including its  $350 million acquisition of ReadCoo), while Bio-Rad had its $100 million deal for Celsee.
  4. Radiation Therapy Capital Purchases Up in 2021: Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted this year’s capital budgets for radiation therapy equipment, it is likely that investments are being shifted to 2021-2022. This according to IMV Info’s RT Market Outlook –  Going forward, a higher 25% of the sites are planning to have capital budgets of $1 million or more in 2021 and 2022, compared to the current 18% of 2020 budgets. 10.
  5. Urgent Cares Provide Perfect Outlet for COVID-19 Vaccines: Urgent care locations have grown over the past decade, Kalorama estimates the urgent care locations in the United States to be 9,900, growing from nearly 7,000 in 2013.  That’s spectacular growth, driven by a need for more healthcare services, improved insured populations and resistance to physician office waiting times.  Now there’s opportunity with new COVID-19 vaccines.  “There is no better front-line for distribution of a widely utilized vaccine among a healthy population,” said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information.  “of course supplemented by traditional vaccine outlets such as governments and physician offices.  But urgent cares offer walk-in, no previous relationship service, which is ideal for a vaccine.”   The market research firm’s report The U.S. Urgent Care Center Market, says that what distinguishes urgent care centers is that they are a walk in clinic offering extended hour access for acute illness and injury care that is either beyond the scope or availability of the typical primary care practice but offer less services than an emergency room would.
  6. Customized Retargeted Ads Will Help Instrument Companies Advertise Their Products:If they use it correctly that is.  According to The 2020 Best Practices for Advertising to Life Scientists: Online and in Print a report conducted by Bioinformatics, part of Science and Medicine Group.  Watch age and demographic preferences, and keep ads simple and benefit messages concise.  They also will respond to retargeted ads, if they are done well.  There is also generational differences in how they will respond to ads.  This is one of the many insights in the report, which essentially asks life scientists how they prefer to learn about new products.      
  7. Antibody testing for COVID-19:will be on the increase, brought about by vaccine effectiveness.  This means both the official studies of vaccine effectiveness and the informal checking by concerned individuals.  Antibody testing was talked about last year in the midst of the heaviest part of the COVID-19 crisis as a test used to ‘return to work.’  That did not work out in great numbers, but expect resurgence.
  8. Growth in Applied Markets for Lab Instrumentation:Uses such as food and environmental testing are forecast to increase spending by 7%-8% in 2021 on average.
  9. New Instrument Entrants in Diagnostics “Stay In:”Expect more diagnostics investments by instrument companies as their COVID-19 solutions opened the door to clinical labs and partners they may not have worked with before.    Bruker, Perkin-Elmer, Fluidigm are among the makers also in diagnostics.  QIAGEN recently discussed in their investors day how the huge increase in instrument placements this year for COVID 19 testing will pay dividends for consumables sales in years to come.
  10. 10.   High Sensitivity Troponin POC Approval:Troponin can be a predictor of heart attack and a  marker of coronary disease status.  hsTn assays are able to accurately measure 10-fold lower concentrations of cardiac troponin than contemporary assays.   The use of high sensitivity troponin in point of care settings, particularly the ER has been showing promise, and it’s been used with COVID-19 patients to detect severity, but there are no FDA approvals.   A product from Quidel has CE Mark, and Abbott i-Stat’s test has shown high sensitivity levels, though there is no predicting which brand or test would be the first POC hsTN nor do we make one.

What about last year’s predictions?  COVID-19 certainly threw predictions for a loop – those about Asian markets, rising imaging volumes in the U.S. multiphotonics and sequencing prep sales were affected;  (we extend those predictions to 2021) others held, more or less, to be true:   CART-T therapy sales should near a billion with final results still out, AI remains most useful in imaging applications, mass spectrometry is being brought to bear even in COVID-19 detection.  Hematology handhelds, while limited by COVID-19, continued to grow within the category of hematology tests.