Shares of veterinary diagnostics maker Heska have doubled in the past year, as investors have rewarded the company for its efforts to generate higher revenues from recurring sources. It's clearly still a work in progress for the Colorado company though: Heska reported that sales in its first quarter rose just 10% year over year to $22.9 million.
Dog-lover Taro Franke, a tech entrepreneur and artificial intelligence researcher in Germany, was chatting with a veterinarian friend of his one day about a self-learning diagnostic system he had developed for use in human health. It dawned on them that the technology might be even more useful for pet owners trying to determine whether symptoms they spot in their dogs are serious enough to warrant a visit to their local veterinary clinic.
Veterinary diagnostics maker IDEXX produced mixed results in the fourth quarter, announcing disappointing revenues but beating analysts' earnings estimates on Friday.
Between the need to protect food animals from pathogens and the willingness of pet owners to pay top dollar for testing and treatments, the animal health industry represents a huge opportunity for diagnostics makers. In fact, animal-health diagnostics is expected to be a $4.2 billion market by 2018, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
Here's some statistical confirmation that awareness campaigns work--and that they can work well. During a three-month push for lung cancer testing in the U.K., primary care doctors referred more than 3,000 extra patients to get tested. About 700 were diagnosed with lung cancer.
Targeted drugs, personalized medicine, stratified therapy--whatever you call it, using biomarkers to identify particular patients for particular drugs has been hailed as a boon for patients and a savvy strategy for pharma.
The star of personalized medicine is just the company you'd expect: Roche, with its drug-plus-diagnostic approach to cancer R&D and its stable of blockbuster HER2-positive therapies, and a total of almost $20 billion in sales from its targeted drugs.
LabCorp is diversifying. The big diagnostics player has swooped in to buy the contract research organization Covance for $6.1 billion in cash and stock, confident that a combination of its expertise with Covance's approach to contract drug development will make for a successful merger.
Veterinary medicine researchers at Kansas State University and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have teamed to advance the development of diagnostic tools used to detect infectious diseases, including porcine-related afflictions.
For the medical diagnostics industry, 2014 is looking like a seesaw in terms of venture investment trends.