The glory years of microfluidics

By Clyde Midelet, Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group for IVAM – Microfluidic devices take multiple shapes. The applications are diverse, with diagnostics, life sciences, drug delivery, and manufacturing being the main ones. Players performing well in this market are mainly the big companies, not generally expert in microfluidics but IVD systems. Almost 91% of the market (in value) is held by 20 players. COVID-19 has boosted the global microfluidics market from US$9.9 billion in 2019 to US$18.1 billion in 2021 (a growth of 45%). This dynamic can be explained by the widespread adoption of point-of-care (POC) solutions and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies.

Medical approvals such as emergency use authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CE marking were simplified. Even during this chaotic period with lockdowns and supply issues, microfluidics players showed maturity in solving problems in their domains. Challenges are now to keep this dynamic by diversifying the portfolio of tests for POC solutions and extending the use of next-generation sequencing for predictive health care.

Microfluidics players experienced an unprecedented phase of economic growth

Several new players reached the commercialization stage of their products. lumiraDx and Cue Health are two good examples related to the pandemic crisis. After more than five years of prototyping, they have developed the right solutions at the right moment. lumiraDx has developed a non-expensive POC solution based on a polymer microfluidic module allowing an immunoassay test. And Cue Health has also developed its business on POC solutions based on polymer microfluidic modules allowing a polymerase chain reaction PCR in a few minutes. Both companies have since shown incredible revenue growth in only two years. lumiraDx had a 75% growth YoY2020-2021 in revenue and 3900% for Cue health. The post-COVID-19 challenges are coming for these players. Young companies have little underlying resources in comparison to big diagnostics companies. They now must find a way to stabilize their business…. Full article