Companion Animal and Food Animal Diagnostics Demand Different Strategies from Vet Dx Companies

Companion Animal and Food Animal Diagnostics Demand Different Strategies from Vet Dx Companies

Lab testing performed as part of the veterinary care of food animals (livestock and production animals) and companion animals (pets) supports two distinct market segments. The combined veterinary diagnostics market is served by companies that predominately focus on one of the two segments: food animal diagnostics or companion animal diagnostics. With a major exception of IDEXX laboratories, the veterinary diagnostics industry is populated by companies that have pursued product development along the lines of either animal infectious disease tests or core test analyzers (e.g. clinical chemistry, hematology). Companies looking to introduce products in the veterinary diagnostics market or expand their offering in the market space should be familiar with the different dynamics between the two segments for companion animal and food animal diagnostics. Kalorama Information’s newly published The World Market for Veterinary Diagnostics provides thorough analysis and segmentation specific to both the companion animal and food animal diagnostics segments.

The strengthening human-animal bond and view of pets as family members have dictated rising standards of companion animal care in the United States and, to a lesser extent, other developed countries. The humanization of companion animals is evident in the diagnostics space; veterinary practices challenged by sustained market softness (in terms of patient visit volumes) have responded by encouraging routine check-ups and enhancing in-house diagnostic capabilities. With the significant role of in-clinic analyzers, non-infectious disease testing - led by chemistry and hematology - now represents approximately 75% of the companion animal diagnostics market. Recent market growth for companion animal infectious disease tests has been slight as relatively few threats exist for dogs and cats in North American and European markets.  Assay vendors have resorted to the standardization of infectious disease screening panels or multiplex assays to spur growth more in line with the rest of the veterinary diagnostics market.

While in-clinic testing revolutionized and ushered in a high-growth period for veterinary diagnostics, it has been a non-factor outside of companion animal care. The majority of the food animal diagnostics market is represented by infectious disease testing with individual food animal wellness and preventative care a relative non-priority compared to the companion animal space. Food animal diagnostics are used in industry-led passive surveillance (testing in response to symptoms, illness and livestock loss) and active surveillance (disease screening as part of eradication and herd health efforts). Infectious disease testing is critical to mitigating overall production loss by preventing disease spread. Appropriately, immunodiagnostics and molecular diagnostic test kits and reagents account for over 80% of the food animal diagnostics market. Molecular diagnostic test kits profile highly in food animal diagnostics due to their specificity and sample flexibility highly desired in the implementation of new disease surveillance and control programs.

An industry review reveals three predominant groups of veterinary diagnostics players: small specialist labs active in the development of test kits and reagent kits for emergent animal disease threats; larger life sciences companies with scale competitive in more developed test kit markets; and IVD and instrumentation companies able to re-purpose clinical human analyzers for the veterinary market or leverage existing strengths towards the development of a veterinary analyzer. The two former groups participate largely within the food animal diagnostics market that supports an infectious disease test kit and reagent market approximately two and half times the size of that found in the companion animal segment. The latter group provides veterinary analyzers largely predestined for companion animal clinics and hospitals; its members range from small specialists in IVD analyzers to mid-tier OEM suppliers and IVD leaders such as bioMérieux, Sysmex and Siemens Healthcare.

Kalorama Information’s 2014 edition of The World Market for Veterinary Diagnostics includes thorough market segmentation by diagnostic product area and leading country markets. The report also provides readers with market shares for over 10 of the world’s leading veterinary diagnostics companies, extensive profiles for 6 of those companies, and an overview of over 100 other companies participating in the veterinary diagnostics market.