PDI gets out of the contracting biz and embraces diagnostics

PDI CEO Nancy Lurker

PDI, which long made its money helping drug companies outsource sales, is shipping off its banner business and shifting its focus to diagnostics.

The company sold off its contract sales services business to Publicis Healthcare Communications for $28.5 million in cash and plans to carry on under the name Interpace Diagnostics. In connection with the deal, CEO Nancy Lurker has stepped down, replaced on an interim basis by board member Jack Stover. Fellow director Stephen Sullivan, a veteran of CRO Advisors and Covance, is taking over as chairman.

Before selling off its contracting arm, the company reduced its workforce by 21%, and Lurker agreed to take a 45% pay cut to help drive down costs.

"With the completion of the transaction, we are now a pure play in the expanding molecular diagnostics industry, offering best-in-class solutions for determining the presence of certain cancers to clinicians and their patients," Lurker said in a statement. "We are excited about our prospects in this growing and technologically advanced field of medicine."

Buying PDI's capacity, Publicis now boasts a sales force of roughly 4,000 reps, the company said.

- read the sale statement
- here's the leadership release