FlexMedical targeting North America in expansion drive
Eyes on growth (L-R): Donogh Fitzgerald, Murray Whyte and Kevin Fallon of FlexMedical Solutions
Scottish diagnostics specialist FlexMedical Solutions is targeting the North American market after investing £1 million in equipment and creating five R&D labs and new office facilities at its Livingston headquarters.
The company, which offers design, development and manufacturing services to customers in human point-of-care testing, doubled revenue to £3 million in the year to 30 April and is on track for revenue of c.£4.5 million in the current year. It has doubled its headcount to 30 over the past year.
Customers range from start-ups and spin-outs to global corporates, supporting them in the development of tests for the management and diagnosis of multiple diseases and medical conditions, such as respiratory disease, sepsis, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and antimicrobial resistance.
About 70% of revenue comes from outside the UK and the company plans to target the North American market in 2022.
The global human point-of-care diagnostics market is estimated to grow from approximately $30 billion to $50 billion within the next four years, with the Covid pandemic’s impact on healthcare increasing the trend of managing patients at home or in non-hospital care settings.
CEO and co-founder Kevin Fallon says: “Human diagnostics is very much in the headlines due to the pandemic, with governments and investors alike having their eyes opened to the the power of diagnostics, particularly around point-of-care, and we’ve seen that impact positively on the business.
“If you look at the UK alone, healthcare economics now demand that more people are managed at home to lower the chance of the NHS being overburdened.
“Other than an initial lockdown wobble, we have been very fortunate to see continuing sustained growth since the pandemic started.
“While the manufacture and development of Covid tests is a relatively small part of the business, and in fact we were growing as rapidly pre-pandemic, what we think is more important is that we are definitely seeing an indirect upside in terms of increased investor activity and a greater appetite and take-up of point-of-care technology in general.”
Human diagnostics is FlexMedical’s primary market, though the company recently completed the development of a test for use in the food and drink sector, and is also eyeing other fast-growth sectors including agri-food and wearable technology.
CEO Fallon says FlexMedical will remain self-funded in the immediate term, although he is not ruling out external investment or acquisitions in the medium term.
“Our focus for the next twelve months centres on the significant growth opportunities we have in international markets. At the same time, if we spot value-adding growth by way of acquisition, then that’s certainly something we’re going to look at.”
FlexMedical was founded in 2015 by CEO Kevin Fallon and chief technology officer Murray Whyte, with chief scientific officer Donogh FitzGerald joining the company in 2019, with all three senior executives having formerly worked in the leadership team of Alere, which was acquired by US-based Abbot, one of the world’s largest diagnostics companies, in 2016.