Commercial COVID-19 Rapid Test Partners

Goals

To identify corporate partners for global commercialization of COVID-19 rapid tests. To build a list of large global partners with description of capabilities, competitive advantages, list of COVID-19 tests produced, and any existing partnerships with smaller companies as available.

Early Findings

Avalon Globocare

3M

  • 3M is a global applied science company developing solutions in healthcare, safety, energy and other industries.
  • The company has 96,000 employees around the world and boasts of $32 billion in sales.
  • On July 14, 2020, 3M announced its partnership with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a novel COVID-19 rapid test.
  • 3M will contribute its expertise in manufacturing global medical devices as well as in biomaterials and bioprocessing.
  • The company looks to scale production to millions of units per day as soon as the test is validated.
  • MIT and 3M will also avail of commercialization support from the U.S. National Institute of Health once the rapid test passes review from an experts panel.
  • 3M's Chief Technology Officer John Banovetz said, "We are seeking to improve the speed, accessibility and affordability of testing for the virus, a major step in helping to prevent its spread."

VH6 Partners

  • On June 29, 2020, three universities in the UK announced a partnership deal with GB Electronics (UK) Ltd, Inovo Robotics and Unique Secure to develop and commercialize a COVID-19 rapid test called Virus Hunter 6 (VH6).
  • GB Electronics is an electronics design company that manufactures electronic prototypes, components, and related products.
  • Inovo Robotics develops, manufactures and commercializes electronics and robotics.
  • Unique Secure is located in Surrey Research Park and manufactures innovative technology products.
  • Together, the three commercial partners will work to fast track development of the rapid test and make it available for public use as soon as possible.
  • Brunel University's Professor Wamadeva Balachandran said, "I am delighted that GB Electronics, Inovo Robotics and Unique Secure have joined us on this exciting project, their expertise will help accelerate the development of this test on a mass scale to minimise loss of lives."
  • Inovo Robotics' co-founder Henry Woods said, "We will be using our commercial experience in electronics design and manufacturing to bring a robust and scalable product to market as quickly as possible."

COVID-19 Rapid Test Market Leaders

  • The market report "COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits Global Market Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Implications and Growth" identified several major players as of July 21, 2020.
  • These are Thermo Fisher Scientific, Abbot Laboratories, BioMedomics, CTK Biotech, and F. Hoffmann-La Roche.
  • Other leading players include Cepheid Inc., Cellex Inc., Acumen Research Laboratories, and Biolidics, LabCorp.
  • Forbes also identified notable companies in the private sector which are leading the way in COVID-19 testing.
  • These include Abbott, Amazon, BioMérieux, Camtech Diagnostics, Cellex, Cepheid, Credo and Menarini, and CVS Health among others.
  • Other notable companies in COVID-19 testing include DiaSorin, Diesse Diagnostica Senese, Mesa Biotech, Puritan Medical Products, and Walgreens Boots Alliance among others.

Summary

While the initial hour of research identified potential corporate partners for commercialization of a rapid COVID-19 test, we found no definitive ranking or list of the best corporate commercial partners for this product. Market reports such as "COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits Global Market Report 2020-30" only list major players developing the tests and not corporate partners which commercialize the tests. Likewise, press releases as well as business news sources such as Forbes identify test developers and private companies leading the way in development of innovative COVID-19 tests and treatments. Therefore, due to lack of a definitive ranking or list of the best commercial partners for an innovative rapid COVID-19 test, we recommend the following proposals below.

Proposed next steps:

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