Together with measures like social distancing and self-isolation, quality testing is an essential part of efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. With testing strategies adopted by different countries under intense scrutiny, it’s also crucial to analyse the global molecular diagnostics industry and the changing regulatory landscape.
Enter the EU-funded CANCERSCREEN project that has built a comprehensive global data set of over 800 companies in this field, including more than 300 firms producing/developing tests for COVID-19. The companies in the database are based primarily in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. The data includes information on the size, location, ownership, and technological and clinical focus of these companies.
As noted in a blog related to the database, the global molecular diagnostics industry has three main clinical markets. Their tests focus on different issues, where “genetic disease testing involves looking at what is called germline DNA—the genes that the individual inherits from their parents; cancer genomics generally involves looking at what is called somatic DNA—the genetic make-up of the cancer tumor (but sometimes it also involves testing the patient’s germline DNA); infectious disease testing involves identifying an infection by looking at the DNA of the invective agent (mostly a virus).”
Asia Pacific leading
In a European Research Council news item, Dr. Stuart Hogarth from CANCERSCREEN project host the University of Cambridge summarizes the trends in the development and commercialization of COVID-19 tests. “Asia Pacific has more molecular diagnostics firms (40 % of all firms) than either U.S. (29 %) or Europe (28 %), but the region is even more dominant in the COVID-19 market, with 55 % of all firms.”
He says that the Asia Pacific countries’ dominance is also observed in the number of firms with a test on the market. “In Asia Pacific 90 % of