Covid-19 reshapes microfluidics market

Covid-19 reshapes microfluidics market

Market news |
By Nick Flaherty

Unsurprisingly this rise will be driven by point-of-care diagnostics and clinical, lab-based diagnostics as a result of high demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result of this reshaping and maturing of the microfluidics market the market researcher is predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for microfluidics of 14 percent over the period 2019 to 2025.

Polymers are the most widely used materials for manufacturing devices but semiconductor materials like silicon are increasingly used. Yole’s analysts see eight areas where the things are moving: DNA sequencing, CMOS sensors, veterinary testing, MDx for PoC/PoN applications. Diagnostics giants usually don’t outsource their production, but recent microfluidic fab acquisitions could change the situation, said Yole. In a statement, Sébastien Clerc, an analyst at Yole, said microfluidic volumes are ramping up in most application areas.

Microfluidic market forecast by product type, 2019 to 2025. Source: Yole Developpement.

Besides point-of-care testing, the market is driven by tools for pharmaceutical and life science research. These include DNA sequencing, other genomics and proteomics tools. Veterinary testing is also enjoying growth, with several significant new entrants. New applications include liquid lenses, which enable miniaturized and enhanced optical actuation. These are now reaching commercialization and show tremendous potential for industrial and consumer applications.

However, pandemic demand has not been an easy win for microfluidic vendors. There was an initial shortage of tests and it took time to develop appropriate solutions and to scale production lines, said Yole. “Numerous companies of all sizes including Abbott, Cepheid and bioMérieux have therefore had the opportunity to place many instruments at new customers’ places because they were among the first to offer COVID-19 tests,” said Clerc.

Next: Insatiable testing demand

The result was a spike in revenues in 1Q20 that went even higher in 2Q20. This appears set to continue in Q3 and Q4 and at least in to 1Q21 due to continually increasing demand and a second wave of the pandemic.

Once the pandemic is over, these instruments will remain in place and be used for other tests that these companies offer. This will take their consumables sales to a higher level than before the pandemic. Demand appears almost insatiable with testing in more and more locations, including work, travel hubs and transportation set to be introduced. This could amount to billions of potential tests every year needed to help restart the world’s economy.

The diagnostics industry may therefore make the best of this bad situation and turn it in a springboard for growth. The pandemic could eventually push point-of-care testing to be killer application of microfluidics, Yole argued.

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