Team:Ionis Paris/not entrepreneurship


I. Introduction

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital for human health. Many individuals get their vitamin B12 from meat, eggs, and dairy products, therefore it's impossible to get it on a strictly vegan diet. With the rising number of people interested in veganism and vegetarianism, as shown in the graphic below, it's more necessary than ever to monitor vitamin B12 levels. Similarly, Google search for ‘veganism’ has seen an increase of 580 percent, over the last five years. Veganism is not just a diet but a whole lifestyle, concerned majoritarily by their health, the environment and animal cruelty (Vegan magazine, 2021). And those concerns are willing to be more important and more taken into account in the next few decades.

Considering the actual tendencies and the fact that suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency can be very harmful for your health, the need to monitor your deficiencies easily is primordial (More info here).

A blood test in a laboratory is now the only means to determine the level of vitamin B12 in the blood. This approach is not always the most convenient because it necessitates visiting a doctor and traveling to a laboratory for analysis, or purchasing a kit online and mailing it to a laboratory. These methods of determining vitamin B12 levels rely on a professional's analysis and can be limited.

We developed Cobatect to assist people in quickly and accurately determining their vitamin B12 levels. Cobatect is a bacterial detection technique that measures vitamin B12 levels in the blood. The goal of this technology is for people to be able to take this test at home and have fast results, without the need for a laboratory technician.

II. Market analysis

Market oportunity

In the current market, demand for at-home in vitro diagnostic device kits is increasing. Certain markets, particularly those related to well-being and health, have benefited from the health crisis (xerfi). This is mostly owing to the current pandemic crisis, in which hospitals and laboratories were rendered inaccessible due to a lockdown that prevented simple procedures such as monitoring vitamin B12 levels from being performed.

There are various devices on the market that may be used at home to monitor blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and other parameters, but none that can assess vitamin B12 levels. It's critical to have a device on this since the vegan and vegetarian communities are growing (by roughly 600% in the US, 350% in the UK, and 400% in Portugal since 2006) and it's critical that as a vegan or vegetarian, he/she keeps track to avoid any health issues.

Several companies are believed to be developing self-tests, but these are still impractical and costly. These tests necessitate the collection of a patient's sample at home and then sending it to a laboratory for analysis, which takes about 2-3 days. Taking into account all of the issues, we developed Cobatect, which can be used at home to assess a patient's vitamin B12 level in blood and provide results in around 2-3 hours without the need for personnel (no laboratory analysis needed).

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the competitors:

  • Blood serum self-test:
    • LetsGetChecked $109
    • Everlywell $89
    • Cerascreen $45 Laboratory analysis of blood serum (chemiluminescence)

  • Orig3n (vitamin DNA test, set of personalized vitamins sent to the customer)

  • Urine test (metabolite test) between 40€ and 60€

  • Holo-Tc test, about 28€ at the doctor, 49€ online. Blood sample of a few drops on the fingertip Laboratory analysis

Potential clients & customers

Cobatect’s clients include professional people or organizations that can utilise cobatect. These include hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories. Potential customers include vegetarians, vegans and health concerned individuals. More than just a diet, vegans are often health and environment concerned people.

Most vegetarians and vegans are between 20 and 35 years old and often represented in superior socio-professional categories (manager, senior executive, CEO, liberal profession…) or inactive. (CREDOC)

The countries with the highest proportion of vegetarians/vegans are USA, Italia, India, Germany, England.

In France, approximately 5% of the population is vegetarian or vegan, according to several sources, including a survey conducted in 2017 by the marketing research and opinion poll institute Harris Interactive and the association L214.


To aid in the development of strategic goals, the SWOT analysis below identifies and analyzes internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats, that impact current and future operations of Cobatect.

Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats

First of its kind to detect vitamin B12


Results provided within a few hours

Can be easily scalable to detect other compounds

Good production capacity


New to the market

Waste management

Demand in self health monitoring

Rising of potential customers


New concept

Market competition

Slow market penetration

Hospitals & medical laboratories offering the same services


The PESTLE analysis below helps analyse and monitor the macro-environmental factors that can have an impact on Cobatect.

Political Ecocomic Social Technology Legal Environment

Job creation

Interest in innovative biotechno-logical product

Labor costs

Price fluctuations

Level of disposable income


Safety emphasis

Age distribution

Cultural barriers

Health consciousness

New technologies & innovation

Import-export regulations/restrictions

GMO restrictions

Restriction about data collection

Recycling standards

Attitude towards green products

Environment consciousness

III. Business model

Key Partners Key activities Value propositions Customer Relationships Customer segments
Medical Laboratories
State hospitals & clinics
Research & Development
Human Practice
Detection of deficiency
Easier to use
Cost efficient
Quicker results
More precise than most of the competitors
Personalized monitoring
Following of the diet and lifestyle
Health concerned individuals
Relatively high incomes
Key Resources
Human Resources: iGEM Team
Educationnal Resources: NCBI, SnapGene, Genially & Benchling
Financial Resources: Sponsorship, Grants & Investments
Physical Resources: Sup'Biotech Laboratory & Laboratory equipment
Pharmacies or Local drug stores
Advertising: Vegans association
Health and well-being revue
Cost Structure
Research & Development
Waste treatment
Revenue Streams

IV. Limitations

Like every other device on the market, Cobatect too has its limitations. These include:

  • Biohazard wastes

    Cobatect utilizes bacteria in order to measure the B12 level. This would create biohazardous wastes. Those wastes can not be treated like any other wastes and will need a special treatment that should be included in the offer proposed.

  • Analyse of vitamin B12 only, not its bioavailability

    Although Cobatect analyses the level of vitamin B12, it doesn't comment much on its bioavailability.

  • Fear of GMOs

    Many people are still in fear of GMOs and have not yet embraced it well which could pose a potential threat to the sales of Cobatect as Cobatect utilizes genetically modified bacteria for the detection of vitamin B12.

V. Conclusion & future perspectives

In conclusion, Cobatect is a technology that can accurately and efficiently detect the level of Vitamin B12 in blood. Cobatect is guaranteed to stand out among the many other competitors because it employs cutting-edge technology and a synthetic biology approach.

Consumers will be pleased with their purchase because the test results are delivered in less than 3 hours and include recommendations on if supplements are required.

In terms of future perspectives, Cobatect can be further developed in the future to detect not just the level of vitamin B12 but also other nutrients such as iron, folate, and even some types of cancer. The technology developed by Cobatect is for now dedicated to vitamin B12, but the whole bio-sensor can be used to sense a wide range of other compounds (see more in Integrated Human Practices)


[1] Stabler SP, Allen RH. Vitamin B12 deficiency as a worldwide problem. Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24:299-326. doi: 10.1146/annurev.nutr.24.012003.132440. PMID: 15189123.

[2] Elise Romane, vegan.magazine, 08/01/2021,

[3] N/A, XERFI, 18/12/2020,

[4] N/A, EXPO, 27/10/2014,

[5] N/A, Wikipedia, N/A,

[6] Gabriel Tavoularis et Éléna Sauvage, CREDOC, 09/2018,

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