How Venture Capital Is Fuelling Innovation In Molecular Diagnostics In India
Molecular diagnostics, involves the detection and analysis of specific molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins in order to diagnose diseases and conditions with greater precision and accuracy.
Some of the key advantages of this Molecular diagnostics are
- Higher sensitivity and specificity
- Early detection
- Personalised treatment
- Cost, sensitivity and speed mix
According to Suraj Nair, Project Lead and Researcher, Deep Science Technologies at Ankur Capital, “Early detection of infectious diseases is key to ensuring appropriate treatment and safeguarding the health of individuals. Molecular diagnostics tools with very high sensitivities and specificities are best suited in this regard and are expected to see widespread adoption over the next decade.”
The global molecular diagnostics market was worth $9.2 Bn in 2020 and is expected to reach $23.9 Bn by 2030, with a CAGR of 9.86% from 2021 to 2030. On this side of the globe, the Indian molecular diagnostics market was valued at around $920 Mn in FY 2020 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of approximately 10% until FY 2026
8X Ventures conducted research to consolidate the prime areas where different stakeholders need to play their part in building the molecular diagnostics infrastructure in the country.
- Increased Startup Activity: VC activity was comparatively lower in India when the first-generation companies such as Medgenome and Molbio Diagnostics started, hence scaling has taken time. On the other hand, new-age startups such as DNome have a comparative advantage of scaling things faster with funding support and the push from the ecosystem.
- VC Investment: Both large and small VC players have set up the precedence, and a lot of unconscious VCs will follow suit. Though they will have to catch up with the mechanics of this space — diagnostic lab developers, care staff, intermediaries, government regulators and more while providing strategic guidance to the startups.
- Customer Adoption: With widely available solutions, the customer adoption J-curve is expected to activate. This could lead to increased demand for better and cheaper technology, such as LAMP MDx, which is currently underutilised. Additionally, there is a need for improved point-of-care diagnostic infrastructure.
- Government Support: The power to develop the infrastructure and resources required for molecular diagnostics, such as laboratory facilities, a skilled workforce, and funding for research and development, lies with the government of India and its collaboration with the private sector and academic institutions
Given the demography of India, VCs need to step up their game and understand the holistic development of molecular diagnostics, keeping all levels of stakeholders involved in their studies. The initial and follow-on capital for R&D is critical to the success of the early-stage capital-intensive phase of molecular diagnostic startups in India