InterviewIssueJuly 21

Steady Growth

Voxtur Bio is emerging as one of India’s largest medical diagnostic companies, Dr Veeraal Gandhi, Chairman and Managing Director talks about the recent success

How has the diagnostic testing kits industry evolved over the years?
A robust diagnostic industry is the mainstay of a healthy society as it strengthens pre-emptive healthcare delivery and therapeutic response assessment mechanism. The growing importance of diagnostic services can be measured from the fact that almost 80% of the medical decisions across the world are based on diagnostic reports.

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Having said that, the effectiveness of such medical decisions while treating various infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, HIV, cancer, etc. entirely depends on early detection through early diagnosis.
A majority of the life-threatening diseases are curable thanks to the rapid strides the healthcare eco-system has been making over the years. Early diagnosis plays a critical role in enhancing the chances of recovery immensely, thus curtailing the prolonged impact of the diseases on life. In a way, the diagnostics service delivery has transitioned from investigation-focussed approach to solution-driven outlook and as a result of that transition, the industry has been witnessing an accelerated growth.

According to a research report published in 2020 by Edelweiss Research, the domestic diagnostic industry which was pegged at $9 billion is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~10% over the next five years. The key drivers for such growth would be a growing awareness among people of wellness and preventive healthcare, expansion of healthcare and diagnostics service network across the country, among others.

The diagnostics industry has been on a steady growth path thanks to an enabling role being played by the diagnostic kit manufacturing companies. Driven by the motto of patient empowerment, the diagnostics kit manufacturing companies with their diversified portfolio of solutions have been supporting all diagnostic service
delivery formats such as stand-alone labs, hospital labs, national chains and regional chains in meeting the growing demand.

With technology integration, unwavering focus on research and development, stringent quality control mechanism and enhanced manufacturing capacity, the diagnostic kit manufacturers have been able to enhance the patient comfort and patient-centricity even for the high-end tests by ensuring wider availability and faster turnaround time. The manufacturers have been investing heavily in research and development to ensure accuracy and eliminate pre-analytical errors, thus enhancing patient satisfaction. Complying with the global standards, the diagnostic kit manufacturing industry has been strengthening the healthcare delivery in India.

COVID-19 has opened a huge market base for the diagnostics kits industry. How did it impact your business?
COVID-19 has altered the healthcare and diagnostics narrative in India and across the world. It has amplified
the importance of adding accuracy and speed in diagnostics service delivery. Thus, diagnostic services have transformed from reactive to proactive while containing pandemic spread. That transformation has made the idea of care testing (POCT), self-testing and self-monitoring acceptable to a certain extent. In fact, the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) will turn out to be the prevalent process to detect viral infections, going forward.

All in all, the efficiency of IVD solutions in patient management and outbreak control have opened up the huge market opportunities for IVD kit manufacturers.

The trend has impacted our business positively. Being a prominent IVD test kit manufacturer with FDA license, GMP, ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 accreditation, we have not only ramped up our manufacturing output but also enhanced our product portfolio with new solutions approved by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). Few more solutions are also in the pipeline. On the business front, demand for our solutions
has been increasing significantly. Our market reach has been steadily growing riding on the back of that robust
demand.

You have set up a 40000 sq ft facility ‘state-of-the-art’ manufacturing infrastructure facility. What type of diagnostic kits are manufactured at the facility?
We have been rolling out a diversified range of diagnostics solutions from our manufacturing facility in Vasai on
the outskirts of Mumbai,. Our product portfolio comprises rapid diagnostic testing solutions for communicable
diseases such as, HCV, HBsAg, COVID, HIV, etc. as well as for non-communicable diseases such as Chickungunya, malaria, dengue, etc.

Moreover, we have introduced Blood Grouping Sera, Latex Reagents, ELISA testing kits, blood collection tubes
and a range of laboratory plastic consumables. We’ll soon be coming up with point-of-care testing (POCT) solutions and haematology analysers. Moreover, to strengthen our IVD solutions for COVID-19, we have received our licence for COVID-19 IgG/IgM rapid antibody test, COVID-19 IgG ELISA and Viral transport medium (VTM) whereas COVID-19 Antigen self-test kit is in pipeline.

Do you plan to set up any more facilities in India? Any plans for the global market?
We have already developed a robust manufacturing capacity in Vasai capable of meeting the growing market demand. Our annual manufacturing capacity of rapid test kits at the facility is approximately 120 million. Our focus is now to ensure full capacity utilisation of the manufacturing facility. So, we don’t have any immediate plan to set up a new manufacturing facility.

In the global market, we always explore market expansion and customer acquisition opportunities. Thanks to our
enhanced manufacturing capacity, we are better placed to aggressively grow our reach in the global market.

What will be your growth plans for the next five years?
The IVD segment is growing at a rapid pace banking on increasing health consciousness among people and rising demand for point-of-care testing. To cater to that demand, we’ll be rolling out a new range of technologically advanced IVD solutions which will redefine patient comfort and centricity. We are working towards becoming one of the largest IVD manufacturers in the country with regard to daily production. Simultaneously, We also aim at emerging as one of the largest OEM manufacturers in the IVD segment.

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