Carlos Hernández
Director General
Beckman Coulter
/
View from the Top

Beckman Coulter’s Serological COVID-19 Test Identifies Antibodies

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 09:05

Q: How has Beckman Coulter boosted its presence in the Mexican market?

A: Over the past two years, we were able to dabble in the public sector. We have had an important number of product releases and our unique technology has opened new opportunities for Beckman Coulter. We have launched the new hematology platform DxH 900 which includes an innovative early indicator for sepsis, which is one of the most aggressive and dangerous ailments during hospital stays. Beckman Coulter is focused on patient-centric solutions and these kinds of tools have increased our presence in the market.

Q: What has been the reception for Beckman Coulter’s diagnostic test for prostate cancer?

A: The product has attracted interest from the public sector, mainly from Hospital General de Mexico, Hospital DR. Manuel Gea Gonzalez, INCMNSZ and Centro Medico Naval. Using this test might reduce the number of patients that require invasive prostate biopsies. Although the benefit of the product is clear, we still have a major opportunity to generalize adoption of this novel test at public and private institutions.   

Chronic degenerative diseases worsen with age, meaning the patient will require follow-up and attention. For these groups, going into a biopsy is already a risky decision. With diagnostic tools such as our test for prostate cancer, the hospital reduces operation room occupation. Due to its increased specificity phi (Prostate Health Index) has potential to reduce unnecessary biopsies by 30 percent. The test also reduces diagnostic wait times as the results are returned in just a few days.

Q: Based on your work in Mexico, what trends are shaping clinical diagnostics?

A: Sepsis is an important trend shaping clinical diagnostics, which is why we developed the Early Sepsis Indicator for our hematology platform DxH 900. This endemic problem for hospitals has recently worsened because patients are arriving in more critical condition. Sepsis is an often-difficult condition to be detected early and sepsis shock is one of the most expensive and dangerous conditions for hospitals to treat. Antibiotics are highly expensive and hard to access, in addition to the increased risks generated by antibiotics resistance. Additionally, risk of death for a person with sepsis rises after every hour without a precise diagnosis. While this is a common issue, the current diagnostic tools are highly uncertain and even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a great deal of work and developments related to this.

Of course, COVID-19 is and will be the major clinical diagnostic trend for the market. We are developing and will soon launch serology tests to determine if the person shows antibodies and could have developed immunological response to COVID-19. Beckman Coulter has worked on an assay that detects antibodies against the virus spike protein that may be more likely to confer immunity, delivering higher sensibility and specificity in the early days of infection and also not impacting on laboratory regular workflow.

Q: How is Beckman Coulter improving access to its solutions and bringing its technology closer to Mexican patients?

A: It is very important to gather clinical and pharmacoeconomic evidence generated at the hospitals where we are present. This allows us to prove to clients that the investment they are making is actually contributing to their practices and saving them further costs, increasing patient’s quality of life and safety.

Beckman Coulter is very interested in working with more public hospitals as this has been the most effective way to increase access to treatments at lower costs. Budget savings can then be used on more complex unexplored ailments.

Q: What are the short-term goals for Beckman Coulter?

A: Our goal is to reach a wider audience with our new clinical tests and equipment. As new assays are directed to specific diseases, our challenge is to make sure related clinical specialists know about them, to understand their use and value for better, faster, more accurate patient diagnosis.  In the short term, we have a very specific goal to use technology platforms to reach, through our Marketing department, these healthcare practitioners.

The pandemic has accelerated our migration to digital channels creating webinars and content that could explain the value of our innovations. This new way of reaching clients will become more efficient as we are able to reach  higher number of people at the same time.

We are also determined to develop more technology and take advantage of it to produce more solutions through a test menu that matters, and laboratory process automation.

 

Beckman Coulter is a US manufacturer of analytical and diagnostic solutions that automates and innovates complex biomedical tests. In 2011, it merged with US-based Danaher Corp, which includes companies focused on tests and measurements

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst