HyTest takes biotech industry lead


HyTestSHUTTERSTOCK In celebration of its jubilee year, HyTest will present a Cardiac Marker Award of 20 000 US dollars for remarkable scientific work with cardiac markers. 


Turku has grown into a centre of expertise for the Finnish biotech industry. One of the success stories is HyTest, a leading biotechnology company worldwide. The company, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, has been a pioneer in cardiac markers, in particular.


The Turku-based company produces monoclonal antibodies and antigens for use as raw materials in the diagnostics industry. Even though the terminology might sound complicated, the products made from these raw materials are quite familiar, according to HyTest’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Jukka Lehikoinen.


— Our work benefits everyone who has ever been ill. We develop and supply raw materials for lab tests that are used, for example, in clinics to diagnose possible illnesses. One of the best-known is probably the CRP blood test, which tells a person with a cold whether their illness is caused by a bacterium or a virus.


A good reputation worldwide


Established in 1994, HyTest has gained a strong foothold in the diagnostics of cardiac diseases, in particular. The company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Troponin I and I-T-C reagent suppliers.


— During a heart attack, the body rapidly produces high levels of troponin, a protein found in the muscle structure, which can be detected by a lab test. Good diagnostics saves a lot of money thanks to early detection and appropriate treatment, especially in the case of diseases caused by the excesses of modern life.


Lehikoinen views diagnostics as a field of the future: heart disease is one of the fastest growing diagnostics areas, as populations are ageing and lifestyle diseases are increasing also in developing countries. Therefore, the sector faces fierce competition, according to Lehikoinen. — We have been at it for a long time, largely leading the way in the industry, so we have acquired solid expertise in research and development. We enjoy a good reputation worldwide: a small Finnish supplier, we have proven to be a reliable actor.


Steady growth and exports


Instead of reveling in past glories, HyTest continuously focuses on enhancing its expertise and invests in product development. A good product is not enough – the whole palette, including delivery reliability, must be spot on. — Our position gives us an edge. Our customers will not easily switch their proven raw materials supplier, as lab tests must be approved by the national authorities. Switching suppliers is a long, hard and expensive process, and there must be weighty grounds for customers to embark on it. This brings continuity to our operations. However, we must remember that our business is largely dependent on the resources available in the healthcare sector, and they are affected by the global economic situation. So far, we can look back on a solid and steady performance, with a growth rate exceeding the industry average.


The group turnover for the 14-month financial year ended last December was EUR 15.4 million. The operations have always been international, with exports accounting for about 96 per cent. HyTest is doing business all over the world, in over 40 countries. The parent company is officially headquartered in Turku, but the company has locations in China and in Russia as well.


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