Pioneering diagnostics

Our vision of innovation

Because in vitro diagnostics informs medical decisions, it is an essential link in the healthcare chain. Today the role played by diagnostics has changed considerably thanks to remarkable advances in medicine and the life sciences, coupled with the development of new technologies. For bioMérieux, innovation is essential to improve health worldwide. Explanations from Kirk Ririe, Chief Innovation Officer.

What role does innovation play at bioMérieux?

Innovation is not an option in the healthcare field, especially when it comes to in vitro diagnostics – it’s a requirement. Innovation is essential to meet public health challenges across the globe. At bioMérieux, where we have been groundbreakers and pioneers for more than 50 years, innovation is not an empty word. It is truly a part of our DNA, lived out every day by our 1,700 employees working at 20 research centers worldwide.

From the start, the Company has invested in sectors where our expertise differentiates us and generates real added value. This has enabled us to become leaders in several areas: clinical microbiology, the syndromic diagnosis of infectious diseases, and industrial microbiological control.

Our teams are working to develop diagnostic tests to maintain this standard of excellence and provide solutions to address new public health challenges – for example, the emergence of new infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, the fight against sepsis, microbiological quality control in the agri-food and cosmetic products and sterility testing for pharmaceutical industries. They pursue two priority objectives:

  • Increasing the medical value of diagnostics with tests that support decision making and generate clinical value for physicians by identifying and characterizing disease agents with greater precision;
  • Providing faster, more reliable results to improve health outcomes for patients and to protect consumer safety.

What are your drivers?

When it comes to clinical applications, for bioMérieux innovation means providing the information that patients and their doctors need at the right time. The patient is truly our core concern, everywhere in the world. Our approach is perfectly aligned with the concept of P4 Medicine, according to which the healthcare of tomorrow will be preventive, predictive, personalized and participatory.

What sets us apart is our holistic approach to diagnostics and our portfolio of complementary solutions. We are pure players of in vitro diagnostics, and as such, we develop solutions based on our expertise in its three key areas – microbiology, molecular biology and immunoassays – depending on the disease a patient may have.

As we draw on our three types of expertise, we seek to provide high medical-value solutions at the best cost. Take the case of sepsis, where every minute counts when it comes to diagnosing the infection and determining the response by the host, i.e., the patient. With our highly diverse, complementary product offering, we can give healthcare professionals the essential information they need to make the appropriate medical decision as quickly as possible and improve the patient’s health.

What projects are your teams working on right now?

One project that illustrates our ability to push back the boundaries of in vitro diagnostics is the BIOFIRE® FILMARRAY® Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel. Uniquely valuable from a medical standpoint, this panel addresses a currently unmet need for rapid, precise identification of central nervous system infections. It delivers results in about one hour (compared to several days with conventional techniques), testing cerebrospinal fluid for the 14 most common pathogens responsible for community-acquired meningitis or encephalitis. This is an innovation that saves lives! It is the kind of discovery that has been making bioMérieux’s heart beat for more than 55 years, and working on such a socially useful development is a source of great pride for our teams.

Information technology is already revolutionizing the healthcare field, and diagnostics in particular. We are conducting research projects on genome sequencing, ultra-fast microbiology that aims to continually reduce time to results while increasing precision. Metagenomics, all the so-called “-omics” sciences, and smart data will transform the diagnostics of tomorrow. Given the exponential growth in the volume of complex biological data, the challenge is to successfully exploit these data and make them easy to understand for healthcare professionals as they consider therapeutic options, all within the treatment timeframe.

In our domain, innovation must add medical value in order to improve patient care. The choice of our research projects is guided by listening to our customers’ needs as well as our technology watch and technical watch. To reinforce our know-how of cutting-edge technologies, we do not hesitate to turn to external growth through public and private research partnerships.

Relying on the best expertise is also pioneering!