M&A wave for microfluidic foundries – Interview with IDEX Health & Science

Yole Développement (Yole) has calculated that the microfluidic device market was worth $2.5B in 2017 and forecasts that it will reach $5.8B by 2022, equating to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over this period of 18%. The industry’s swift maturation has profoundly impacted the entire supply chain, and a large number of acquisitions have happened. Since 2015, there has been more than $25 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions across the microfluidics industry, according to Yole’s report, ‘Status of the Microfluidic Industry 2017’.

IDEX’s growth strategy has led to the acquisition of two microfluidic foundries in 2015 and 2017. In this context, Yole Développement’s analysts interviewed Jeff Urbany, Director of IDEX Health & Science’s Global Marketing division.

(Source: Status of the Microfluidics Industry 2017 report, Yole Développement, May 2017)


Yole Développement: What is the strategic thinking behind IDEX’s acquisition of thinXXS?
Jeff Urbany:
Prior to IDEX’s July 2015 acquisition of Cidra Precision Services (CPS), IDEX Health & Science’s (IH&S) core business was exclusively focused on providing critical and differentiating fluidic and optical components and sub-systems for our life science partners’ instruments. The CPS acquisition bought complementary consumables to the IH&S portfolio. The acquisition of thinXXS expands technical capabilities in high precision molding, on-device reagents, high unit volume manufacturing and adds new markets in point-of-care (POC) and veterinary.

YD: How does thinXXS fit into IDEX H&S’ overall strategy?
By diversifying the business model beyond adding value to our customers’ capital equipment products into the high value consumables associated with them.

YD: How will you integrate thinXXS into your organization?
It will remain a stand-alone operation and will continue to be run by Dr. Lutz Weber. ThinXXS will report into our In Vitro Diagnostics and Biotech (IVD/Bio) business line led by Joe Rytell, vice president and general manager for IVD/Bio.

YD: Considering that much of the tooling expertise and the hardware is based in Zweibrücken, Germany, are there plans to move these to combine them with Cidra in Connecticut, US? Or does this offer you the chance to serve the European and the North American markets from two operations?
We find the two properties, CPS and thinXXS, very complementary. We do not intend to combine the two facilities into one. We value the teams in Connecticut and Germany and will focus on gaining strategic value in all geographies via cooperation, not site consolidation.

YD: Do you now need a similar business in Asia, say in Japan or Singapore? Or is the demand for diagnostics consumables in Asia smaller and/or growing less strongly than in Europe and North America?
We believe the Asian market’s needs for diagnostic consumables can be served via our new footprint of Germany and the US. That said, we are committed to the space and will take appropriate actions based upon market demands.

YD: What capabilities does thinXXS bring that Cidra didn’t have? How do the two businesses complement each other?
ThinXXS is highly complementary with our Wallingford, Connecticut-based CPS business. Without going into details, the competencies of each complement the corresponding gaps of the other. In our view the resultant synergies of the combination will be greater than the individual parts.

YD: What other capabilities within IH&S will complement these two additions?
Often, customers developing systems around microfluidic devices require the necessary reagent management fluidics and optical systems for illumination and detection. Given the breadth of technologies in the IH&S portfolio, we believe we can bring additional value to our customers in design and engineering across the entire platform.

YD: Where does this tie in with the planned optofluidics centre of excellence in Rochester?
The new facility in Rochester will be an optics-specific Center-of-Excellence. Fluidics will continue to be designed and manufactured in existing facilities in northern California, Connecticut, Washington, Massachusetts, and Japan.

Microfluidic Foundries acquisitions since 2015 Yole
(Source: Status of the Microfluidics Industry 2017 report, Yole Développement, May 2017)

YD: IDEX recently completed its second acquisition of a microfluidics company. Can you tell us about these acquisitions and the benefits they will bring?
The addition of thinXXS Microsystems supplements IDEX Health & Science’s microfluidic consumables capabilities that started in July 2015 with the acquisition of Cidra Precision Services (CPS). These capabilities diversify the IH&S business model beyond adding value to our customers’ capital equipment products and into the high value consumables associated with the hardware. As the market leader in providing differentiated optics and fluidics for our partners’ instruments, the addition of consumables is a logical extension that will speed customer time-to-market and allow for optimization of instrument and consumable designs as well as manufacturing.

YD: What has been driving IDEX’s expansion into the microfluidics marketplace?
Diversifying our business model beyond the instrumentation hardware into the associated consumables is the primary driver of our strategy. This strategy has evolved from specific customer requests for us to “do more” in the areas of fluidics and optics. Additionally, general market demands for suppliers to become more technology leaders and offer a wider breadth of capabilities is encouraging us to accelerate the strategy.

YD: Where do you see the microfluidics market heading in 2018? Which applications are most likely to benefit from advances in microfluidic technologies?
In such a dynamic space as life science it is difficult to predict winners or “killer applications”. Some areas we are watching closely are: organs-on-a-chip, synthetic biology, application-specific sample preparation and various areas of molecular diagnostics.

YD: What are some of the challenges preventing greater adoption of microfluidics?
We believe that customers will benefit from having a partner that can design and manufacture both the microfluidic consumable device and the associated instrumentation within a single organization. Currently microfluidic consumable providers are only able to address part of the overall analysis system. We are creating an organization that will eliminate this specialization “gap” and bring greater value to customers who wish to partner on integrated designs. Most notably, we see the combination of optics and fluidics as a key enabler of greater microfluidic consumables adoption.

YD: What are IDEX’s future goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
Our goal is to create an organization that is recognized as the leading global partner to the Life Science instrumentation marketplace. This will be achieved by focusing our attention and resources on areas where we can have the greatest impact in Life Science instrumentation. We aspire to create extraordinarily high value for our partners so that they simultaneously win in the marketplace and improve the lives of their customers.

Sources : logo yole petit – IDEX logo



Jeff Urbany

Jeff Urbany, Director of Global Marketing for IDEX Health & Science, LLC
Jeff Urbany is the Director of Global Marketing for IDEX Health & Science, LLC, recognized as the global leader in optofluidic solutions. Prior to joining IDEX in 2013, Mr. Urbany held various marketing, sales, and business leadership roles with Medtronic Spine & Biologics, Kimberly Clark Corp, and Abbott Diagnostics. He holds an MBA degree from Georgia State University and a BA degree from Princeton University.

Status of the Microfluidics Industry 2017

Diagnostics, point-of-care, and pharmaceutical research will drive the rapidly-expanding microfluidic products industry to a potential value of $23B by 2022. What will trigger the next growth spurt? – More


Related presentations

Login to access our presentations

Liked this post?

Share it on your social networks