By the end of 2021, the UK government had spent more than £1 billion on lateral flow (antigen) tests and globally, and the testing market for at-home tests had reached billions of dollars. Companies such as Innova Medical Group, Tanner Pharma, MedCo Solutions, and SureScreen Diagnostics saw their valuations skyrocket as demand for rapid disposable testing soared during the pandemic. But Covid-19 aside, miniaturisation is creating opportunities for self-contained point-of-care diagnostic devices, which could test for a wide spectrum of conditions. The multi-billion dollar question is, what type of test will turn out to be the next big opportunity?
Identifying the next key opportunity in rapid disposable diagnostics was our remit for a recent client engagement. The client, a global manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods, was considering the development of new rapid diagnostics products intended for home users. While the new opportunities created by these recent technological developments were numerous and varied, they were also located in an industry unfamiliar to our client. Moreover, the world of diagnostics is associated with high regulatory barriers. Accuracy is of the utmost importance, especially where there are serious implications for false positive or negative results.
The top priority is an objective analysis to prioritise the most promising opportunities. Specifically, those with the least amount of risk and the greatest level of commercialisation potential. At CamIn, we only work with experts who don’t have an agenda and will provide unbiased advice.
When looking for white spaces in any sector, it’s essential to cast the net as widely as possible: for us, this meant identifying opportunities across 10 specific healthcare-related areas, and then determining whether the market for each of these opportunities would be potentially lucrative. In total, our experts evaluated more than 1,000 products and 2,000 patents and the team’s work identified 12 white space opportunities for rapid diagnostics from the ten healthcare areas investigated. As part of the analysis, we also investigated market entry strategies for the most promising areas.
To assess opportunities in rapid diagnostics, it’s critical to assemble a team with broad enough expertise to be able to assess the entire potential market. We determined that we could achieve that by working with 13 leading experts, each of whom would evaluate one healthcare area by considering existing testing technologies, potential consumer markets, (along with relevant regulations).
Our experts were selected based on their direct involvement with a specific area of healthcare diagnostics. This ensured that they could provide objective and accurate advice regarding the optimal strategy to pursue when commercialising new rapid diagnostic technologies in each diagnostic area.
A key goal of the analysis was to determine the overall attractiveness of each of the potential markets for new rapid healthcare diagnostic devices and the potential pitfalls to avoid. To do this, we produced an analysis that considered the average margins, the potential market size for new rapid diagnostic products, the level of existing competition, and the potential for retaliation from major competitors against any new entrants to each market.
At the same time, the tech team completed a technology landscape and forecast new potential products. The team forecast the potential size of the market for new solutions and identified possible regulatory barriers for new products, to confirm which opportunities were most promising.
Targeted diversification strategies
The final result was an analysis of each of the ten target healthcare areas, including an evaluation of the markets, technologies, and potential competition and those with the highest level of commercial attractiveness and the lowest risks.
Based on our recommendations, the client could determine which opportunities were most compatible with their long-term strategy, so they could focus their efforts on the right diversification strategies moving forward.