Company: Becton, Dickinson & Co.
Headquarters: Franklin Lakes, NJ
R&D spending fiscal 2011: $476 million
Priorities and Projects: The company ($BDX) known for its medical surgical systems, diabetes care products and diagnostic systems upped its R&D spending to $476 million in fiscal 2011, or 6.1% of revenues, versus $431 million and $405 million respectively in the previous two fiscal years. Take away $9 million from the 2011 spending--for a charge related to the discontinuation of a diagnostics system research program--and it is still a healthy increase year-over-year. According to a regulatory filing, spending at the company's R&D headquarters in Research Triangle Park, NC, and elsewhere targeted ongoing development of new products and platforms, including its BD Max and BD Viper molecular diagnostics systems.
Those new technologies enabled a push to expand molecular diagnostic test offerings. Becton, Dickinson's BD Diagnostics unit teamed up with the U.K.'s Lab21 in 2011, for example, to begin developing a diagnostics test for the Aspergillus fungus using the BD Max system. In late November, the company obtained a CE mark for its MRSA assay, also designed for the BD Max and a significant advance in diagnosing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in patients. Becton Dickinson's development focus also expanded through acquisitions. In 2009, Becton Dickinson snatched up Accuri Cytometers for an undisclosed amount, gaining access to a well-known developer and maker of personal flow cytometers for researchers.