Clinical Laboratory Test Reagents and Equipment Business in Japan: Key Research Findings 2021
Business Size of Clinical Laboratory Test Reagents and Equipment at Leading Domestic Companies for FY2020 Declined by 0.9% on YoY Basis to Attain 1,085,500 Million Yen
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has carried out a survey on the business of clinical laboratory test reagents and equipment developed at leading 35 companies in Japan, and found out the related markets, the trends of market players, and future perspectives.
The business size of clinical laboratory test reagents and equipment for FY2020 at leading companies in Japan is estimated to have dropped by 0.9% from the previous fiscal year, generating 1,085,500 million yen (based on the sales at 35 leading domestic companies developing clinical laboratory test reagents and equipment).
When separating the said business into that for domestic use and for overseas, the business for domestic use grew by 0.7% to attain 554,400 million yen, while that for overseas fell by 2.6% from the previous fiscal year, 531,100 million yen. As people avoided medical checkup or refrained from seeking diagnosis for general medical treatment due to the spread of COVID-19, sales of clinical laboratory test reagents and equipment in general made a downturn; sales diminished at most businesses of clinical laboratory test reagents and equipment compared to FY2019. Nevertheless, the special demand for test reagents and equipment aiming at detecting COVID-19 infections was able to cover the fall of the entire business size.
Rise of COVID-19 Test Reagents and Equipment Market
There are two major types of tests for detecting novel coronavirus: genetic tests (PCR tests in particular) and antigen tests, and the antigen tests are classified into antigen rapid test kits (qualitative) and antigen quantitative tests. In Japan, as supply of test reagents and equipment for PCR test, antigen rapid qualitative test kits, and antigen quantitative tests stabilized from the middle of 2020, COVID-19 testing became widely available at medical institutions and private testing centers.
Based on the sales at leading market players, the domestic market of testing reagents and equipment for COVID-19 genetic and antigen testing is estimated to have reached more than 50,000 million yen in FY2020. Given that the number of tests related to COVID-19 in the first half of FY2021 is already exceeding a year’s worth of FY2020 levels, the special demand for COVID-19 testing is continuing in the industry of clinical testing reagents and equipment.
The domestic business size of clinical laboratory test reagents and equipment at leading companies for FY2021 is expected to grow by 5.8% from the previous fiscal year to attain 1,149,000 million yen, with the size for domestic use to increase by 5.6% and overseas to rise by 5.8% both from the previous fiscal year (based on the sales at 35 leading domestic companies developing clinical test reagents and equipment). In the first half of FY2021, the number of general specimen testing increased compared to the preceding fiscal year. In addition, in accordance with the expansion of COVID-19 infection in the summer of 2021, the demand rose sharply for the COVID-19 testing reagents. While the COVID-19 situation is expected to calm down from the latter half of FY2021, the growing demand for COVID-19 tests has a large impact on the annual growth of the clinical test reagents and equipment industry.
In anticipation of COVID-19 antiviral treatment pills starting to be distributed in FY2022, which may reduce the burden on healthcare systems in management and treatment for COVID-19 patients to the seasonal influenza level, clinical tests may become widely available (even) at small clinics. In the field of COVID-19 testing, the Point of Care Testing (POCT), such as pocket-sized DNA detectors and antigen rapid qualitative test kits, expects market expansion hereafter.
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