Last month, Strand Life Sciences, a Bengaluru-based specialty diagnostic company, bought the India operations of US-based medical diagnostic company, Quest Diagnostic. The takeover created ripples in the medical diagnostic industry in India.Quest had set shop some ten years ago and has an established routine testing business with many corporate clients.
Strand is actually a spinoff from IISc Bangalore as a bioinformatics company. It bought out HCG’s diagnostic business in January, with a focus on oncology testing and now with Quest, it is emerging as a sophisticated end-to-end operator. The Quest acquisition offers a new service line, of routine testing, which is 80-90 per cent of the diagnostic market. The deal could make Strand a leader in the testing business.
“Quest’s corporate wellness testing and women health segments are stronger than ours. Our oncology, advanced diagnostics and genomics are stronger. Quest was stronger in the north, we are strong in the south. We have a distributed presence in small towns in India, especially in the south and west. Their presence in Delhi and Ghaziabad will be complementary,” Says Ramesh Hariharan, CEO and Founder, Strand Life Science.
Arguably, diagnostics is a significant part of the healthcare growth story, with the vertical growing at 17 per cent consistently for over a decade. It was worth an estimated $5 billion in 2017, with 30 per cent of the market in radiology (X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans and such like) and the rest in sample testing. While Dr Lal’s, Metropolis, Thyrocare, SRL and Apollo Diagnostics have been around for a while, the sector has seen the entry of numerous players since 2010.
While the business is still unregulated, you still need to be registered under the Shops and Establishments Act to set up a pathology lab. But apart from that, you don’t need any specific registration with any regulatory body and there are no prescribed minimum quality standards to be met. Quality accreditation with NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) is purely voluntary. Currently only one per cent of the laboratories are so accredited. While the big labs operating at READ FULL ARTICLE HERE – BS / BUSINESS STANDARD