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.
Corgenix, in the news recently for its Ebola virus test, will sell itself to a competitor based in Germany for about $16 million. The news comes 5 months after the Denver company revealed it might seek to become an M&A target, in part, to reduce costs and boost efficiency and market reach.
AbbVie's waiting for FDA approval on a hepatitis C combo therapy. OraSure makes a rapid test to detect the virus. And professional truck drivers in the U.S. are more than 5 times as likely as other Americans to have it.
Seventh Sense Biosystems has been quiet these last several months. But now the maker of painless blood collection and diagnostic tech is making some noise, having scored a healthy new round of venture financing.
This summer, venture investment trends have given the medical diagnostics industry reason for at least a little optimism.
Roche's Ventana Medical Systems is linking up with Arizona State University to launch a diagnostics-focused master's degree professional program at the school.