HIV diagnostics market size was valued at USD 2.9 billion in 2017 and is expected to witness 8.7% CAGR from 2018 to 2024. 2018 was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable years pertaining to the developments in the HIV diagnostics industry. The year witnessed a slew of technological advancements and collaborations aiming toward ending the AIDS epidemic, which is rightly touted as one of the most serious health concerns worldwide. HIV related causes, as per the World Health Organization, claimed approximately 940 000 lives in 2017 globally. At the end of 2017, 36.9 million people worldwide were diagnosed living with HIV, a disease that has claimed almost 35 million lives so far. In recognition of this alarming morbidity and mortality rate, the global health community in tandem with the regulatory bodies are striving hard to provide effective treatments and diagnostic approaches accessible to the HIV-infected individual’s world over.
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Low-and middle-income Economies are the most potential yet underpenetrated avenue for the HIV diagnostics industry players
As per UNAIDS, low-and middle-income countries have the highest ratio of people living with HIV. In 2017, 53% of the overall HIV-infected patient base were living in eastern and southern Africa, 16% in western and central Africa, 14% in Asia, and 6% in western and central Europe and North America. The statistics are a validation to the penetration scope of HIV diagnostics market participants in the low-and middle-income countries. These countries undoubtedly can be one of the most prominent recipients of the POC self-tests diagnostic approach, given a large pool of population in these countries burdened with either the unawareness of the epidemic or lack of treatment accessibility.
2018 Highlights of the HIV diagnostics industry penetration in low-and middle-income economies
Mylan’s collaboration agreement with Atomo Diagnostics
In 2018, Mylan N.V., the renowned generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company, made it to the headlines post its announcement of collaborative agreement with Atomo Diagnostics. The deal was announced as a strategy to make point of care rapid self-tests accessible in the low-and middle income economies wherein people can be more aware about their HIV status and seek treatment based on the results. As a part of the deal, Mylan received rights for the commercialization of CE-Marked in-vitro diagnostic tests in more than 100 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the CIS and Latin America.
Kenya Medical Research Institute’s (KEMRI) collaboration with Roche for establishment of an advanced HIV diagnostic laboratory
In a bid to achieve the elimination of AIDS and HIV from the country by 2030, KEMRI announced ITS collaboration with Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Roche to launch an advanced HIV testing laboratory. Dubbed as Cobas 8800, the new laboratory is claimed to test approximately 1 million people yearly. The launch is touted as one of its kind in terms of its rapidity, functionality, and accuracy. The deal also marked Kenya in the ranks of Uganda and South Africa which are the only African countries with Roche’s hi-tech HIV diagnostic laboratory.
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Innovative and technologically advanced product launches chiefly characterized the HIV diagnostics industry landscape in 2018
As per WHO, new HIV infections observed a decline of 36% between 2000-2017. During the same period, HIV related deaths fell by 38%, owing to ART (antiretroviral therapy). The numbers are undoubtedly a result of the conjoint efforts of the regulatory bodies as well as healthcare companies which are constantly developing accessible, convenient, and affordable POC tools to reach out to the HIV infected masses.
Innovative product and technology developments in the HIV diagnostics vertical that grabbed the spotlight in 2018
Abbott’s POC test for HIV Management, especially targeted toward remote communities
In a bid to provide easy and accurate management of HIV, Abbott announced the launch of its new point-of-care test, dubbed m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL. The new technique is said to be the first for POC based viral load measurement, delivering results within 70 minutes. The technique also supports decentralized programme management and can be used on the portable m-PIMA platform. The launch was another appreciable addition to Abbott’s rich HIV diagnostics solutions portfolio which spans across more than 120 countries worldwide, comprising all 55 African countries. The tool is claimed to play a significant role in achieving UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 goals.
Smartphone’s multifunctionality as a HIV detection tool
Toward the end of 2018, a new research from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital launched a tool to diagnose HIV with the help of smartphones, setting a new benchmark in the technology landscape of HIV diagnostics market. The tool which uses a cellphone and nanotechnology to identify the virus is highly portable, affordable, and accessible especially for resource-limited economies. As per reliable reports, the accuracy of the platform was within specificity of 99.1% and 94/6% sensitivity at the clinically relevant threshold of 1,000 virus particles per mL. Reportedly, the total cost of the entire setup was less than $5 per test, making it a highly economic tool in the low-income countries.