Espicom View: Launching a low cost HPV test to India will satisfy the market's need for less expensive systems. For QIAGEN, this expanded offering enables the company to grow its HPV business outside of the US, a region that accounts for majority of QIAGEN's sales but is facing pressures. In order to fully offset falling US HPV sales, QIAGEN will have to expand the use of this test to other regions that require low cost devices.
QIAGEN has launched its careHPV test in India. It is claimed to be the only molecular diagnostic for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) designed to screen women in settings with limited healthcare infrastructure, such as areas lacking electricity, water or laboratories.
The careHPV test was launched in China in 2013 and has been used in several other countries, as part of QIAGEN's corporate social responsibility effort, QIAGENcares. The careHPV test for low-resource settings is highly complementary with QIAGEN's digene HC2 HPV test, a sensitive diagnostic test for detection of high-risk HPV. QIAGEN believes that the digene HC2 HPV test is recognised as the 'gold standard' in HPV screening and is widely used in developed countries and in large cities in emerging markets.
QIAGEN's careHPV test has colour-coded, menus and self-contained reagents. The test tolerates temperature variations that occur in rural clinics lacking refrigeration for sample storage due to limited electricity or water, and can reportedly provide results much faster than conventional test. The careHPV test was developed with support from PATH, an international non-profit organisation, and is manufactured by QIAGEN in Shenzhen, China.
Also as part of QIAGENcares, QIAGEN and the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute started a five-year-programme in 2010 to provide cervical cancer (CC) screening with the digene HC2 HPV test to 50,000 women in rural West Bengal. Screening is facilitated through mobile field clinics. This project has screened more than 36,000 women to date and has detected 216 cases of high-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions and 52 cases of CC. This project is the first HPV-based screening project in India.
In FY 2013 (ended December 31), QIAGEN's sales of HPV products declined by approximately 4% on a constant exchange rate (CER) basis and accounted for 16% of total sales. The decline was primarily due decreased US sales, down by approximately 10%, in line with expectations. US sales of HPV products currently account for approximately 10% of the company's total sales, and the revenues from this region are expected to decline by a further US$40mn in FY14. This will be due to ongoing competitor pricing pressures impacting pricing in contract renewals. However, the rest of the world has provided double-digit CER growth rates for QIAGEN's HPV products. The expansion of HPV tests into emerging markets will enable the company to offset some of the losses it is experiencing due to competitors.