We came across an interesting report by Frost & Sullivan from September 2017 titled “Precision Medicine- Growth Opportunities for Genomics Technologies”. It summarized some of the expected growth opportunities in Companion Diagnostics (CDx), NGS, growth in Asia and particularly China, and new business models for “healthcare consumerism”.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the report outlines the fact that genomics will be powered by a combination of PCR, FISH and NGS, and that decreasing cost of NGS will increase the interest in using this technology for clinical use. It also explains how genomics is shifting from focusing on instruments and assays to focusing integrated and “intelligent” diagnostic solutions.
What do we make of it?
The report issues two calls to action (1) key investments in NGS focusing on de automation, multiplexing, and optimizing sample preparation and (2) a focus on oncology and infectious disease. At BioCeryx, we our experience has shown automation and optimized sample preparation are particularly necessary for genomics gains adoption in the clinical space. In the clinical setting having easy to use solutions that provide expedient actionable information is crucial.
Another factor driving easy to use solutions is the decentralization of healthcare delivery models, that will drive the proliferation of point of care solutions. Interestingly, Frost and Sullivan predict POCT platforms will follow NGS on the lifecycle curve. BioCeryx’s plaftform is an example of such a technology that will simplify the user requirements implementing NGS solutions at the POCT.
Why do we find it interesting?
For the industry
Just as FISH is progressively being replaced by microarray and NGS solutions, PCR is threatened by larger multiplex alternatives, although it still holds a fair share of the market. In our opinion the market should note the trend towards higher multiplex and content, as well as the push towards decentralized testing, which occurred with FISH, PCR and now is occurring with microarray and NGS.
Also interesting is the shift from focusing on instruments and assays to focusing on services (e.g..: an actionable clinical result, in the case of clinical genomics). This will likely not only need shifts in business models but also new technological solutions.
The bigger picture
The report, as well as the industry in general, spends a great deal of time speaking about different technologies (e.g.: FISH vs PCR vs NGS). However, the bigger picture point is to focus on what the customer really values. The truth is that the majority of customers don’t care about technology as much as the experience that technology can provide. In this sense, the consistent trend is not any particular technology, but rather that ease of use and increased actionable information are qualities that customers value. The challenge, and opportunity, will be to deliver a product and a business model that adds value to customers.