Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roche / Illumina Take Over - How Will It Affect Sequencer Market?

There is a high value on companies that touch on personalized medicine, and that is driving the news today of Roche making a hostile takeover attempt of Illumina Roche highly values the technology to do sequencing in order to add to its research and clinical diagnostics offerings.

Most of the speculation (and probably warranted) as to the reasons for the attempt have to do with future capabilities with companion diagnostics products and new molecular testing tools. This adds extra value to Illumina for Roche. There is a present market as well for sales of the equipment for research lab sales, and any takeover would affect that market as well.

In labs around the world, Illumina sequencers compete with Roche's 454 next-generation system, as we reported on extensively in our report DNA Sequencing Trends, which surveyed sequencing lab managers and users. Illumina systems were a key target for future buyers. An open question would be what Roche does with its 454 line if the takeover is completed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Better Year for Retail Clinics

Retail Clinics had an easier go of it in 2011 than in the struggling years of 2010 and 2009, where the very concept was under attack. The number of clinics is increasing, as the firm Merchant Medicine indicates: According to the report as quoted in the New York Times.
The number of retail clinics jumped 11.2 percent to 1,355 in 2011 after slow growth in 2010 and 2009, according to a report by Thomas Charland, chief executive of Merchant Medicine, which tracks the growth of retail medical care services. The number of retail clinics rose only 3 percent in 2010 and had flat growth in 2009 when the financial crisis and the related poor real estate market caused some smaller operators to close their doors. This followed several years of rapid growth.

The potential for clinics is far from tapped. Even 1,300 stores, given the retail universe of the United States, is a small amount. In Kalorama's analysis on this topic, we've indicated that the retail clinic concept proved not to be recession-proof, and that it failed to expand much beyond the drug store arena. But in that arena it is succeeding well, and corporate decisions at major chains could lead to giant increases in this market.

Kalorama has been covering retail clinics since 2007. Our report on the subject which includes not only store growth forecasts but also business projections for retail clinics and supplier selling to retail clinics can be found at the Kalorama Information website. This is an industry which many see as benefiting from healthcare reform as it offers newly insured who may not have an existing provider a convenient option for care.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Abbott's LIMS Program Nets High Profile Customer

Abbott's LIMS system has won over a client that is likely to bring it a fair amount of attention in the marketplace. According to a Chicago Sun-Times news story, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to use Abbott's STARLIMS technology.

Starlims was acquired by Abbott in 2010 for $123 million. It is built from the ground up as an entirely web based LIMS application. The system leverages XML and other advanced Internet technologies to facilitate data management and decision-making within the lab and across the enterprise. It requires no client-side installation or maintenance.

Abbott is among several clinical diagnostic companies who have also moved into LIMS:

In March 2010, Thermo Fisher launched its software-as-a-service (SaaS),
enterprise-class LIMS. Thermo Scientific LIMS-on-Demand allows organizations to
leverage the benefits of a LIMS solution without the time and cost typical of on-premise software installation. With the on-demand offering, the software can be cost-effectively delivered as a service.

Roche acquired Swisslab in 2008. Swisslab LIS together with the Lauris module is targeted to large core laboratories and specialty laboratories in areas such as microbiology, blood banking, newborn screening, pathology, histology, transfusion management, genetics and HLA typing, as well as point-of-care integration and quality management.

We expect 1 billion dollars in this market by 2015, as reported among several findings in our LIMS market research report. Kalorama Information's report on this topic.