Rajesh M Patel, Head-Business Operations, Meril Diagnostics

The Indian IVD market in stand-alone laboratories is predominantly ruled by Clinical Chemistry and Hematology segments, mainly because of the ease of use, demand from patients, and economic affordability. Other segments are generally restricted to bigger laboratories and hospitals. This is clearly reflected when we look at the percentage contribution of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology in the total IVD market size. But in the last decade, there has been a significant growth in other segments too, especially Immunology, which now contributes more than 35 percent to the total market. Similarly, the coagulation market is growing at a steady pace with increased awareness about blood disorders.

The coagulation market consisting of both laboratory and point-of-care-testing (POCT) continues to be one of the most important segments in in vitro diagnostics. The coagulation laboratory is an ever-changing environment populated by automated and semi-automated analyzers that offer advances in both volume and variety of tests. In the past, the routine coagulation test menu consisted of prothrombin time (PT) with INR, activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), fibrinogen, thrombin time, and D-dimer assays. Specialized testings were performed in reference labs; however, with the introduction of new instruments and technologies these can now be performed by even general laboratory. This has made coagulation testing more accurate, reliable, and affordable. However, technology has not advanced to the point of making coagulation a foolproof testing. Physicians must develop expertise in correlating critical results with patient diagnosis or conditions when monitoring antithrombotic therapy.

The Indian coagulation market in 2016 is estimated at approximately Rs.100 crore, and it has grown 11 percent over the last year. The reagent market dominates at Rs.75 crore and instruments market size is at Rs.30 crore. This is especially true since most of the fully automated coagulation analyzers are placed on reagent rental and do not account for in the market size.

Meril Diagnostics offers both semi-automated (2 and 4 channels) and fully automated coagulation analyzers and reagents. The semi-automated analyzers are based on optical measurement. The fully automated analyzer is based on optical and mechanical mode of measurement.

The microbiology market in India is coming of age with significant number of laboratories offering these services. The shift of such tests being performed only by big hospitals and chain laboratories to stand-alone laboratories has contributed to the sudden growth over the past few years.

Earlier, one was expected to do every step involved in infectious disease testing manually, from balancing pipettes on a tripod stand to making dilution in different size test tubes that were difficult to handle in between the Bunsen burners. Today, with the help of technology the tediousness of the process has been reduced. Thanks to microbiology reagents that are now available in the market.

Test tubes are now converted into micro tires plates, which utilize micro quantity of samples and reagents to spot infectious diseases. Invention of such reagents/kits has made infectious disease testing convenient for pathologists.

Meril in collaboration with the renowned company - Vircell - brings novel microbiological reagents to India in ELISA, CLIA, IFA, and DFA formats.

Even if some infectious diseases have a different gold standard, ELISA is by far the most preferred technique for detecting specific antibodies against a wide range of infectious agents. Meril offers wide range of ELISA reagents for testing various infectious diseases, be it common or rare ones.

A chemiluminescent immunoassay reagent of high quality and precision in monotest format meant for identifying antibodies against infectious diseases in humans is available, under the brand name - VirClia. It offers the ultimate solution for the automation of infectious serology as it adapts perfectly to the needs of any laboratory.

Indirect immunofluorescence assay, a familiar technique to detect antibodies against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, is also available in multi-test format.

Direct fluorescence assays for antigen detection in cell culture and clinical samples and staining and inoculation kits are available, which also include shell-vials of the appropriate cell line for the culture of the sample.

Meril Diagnostics promises to provide a solution to its customers via routine and specialized testing, thus making it the perfect partner for all laboratory endeavors.

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