News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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More Clinical Pathology Laboratories are Purchasing Digital Pathology Systems

Trend to Acquire and Use Digital Pathology Technology is Still in Earliest Stages

Anatomic pathology laboratories continue to purchase and deploy digital pathology systems at a brisk rate. It is confirmation that ever more pathologists are ready to adopt and use digital pathology systems.

Evidence in support of the digital pathology trend comes from a recent press release by one of the leading firms in this field. On December 15, 2010, Aperio Technologies, Inc. announced that it now has more than 700 digital pathology systems operating in 30 countries.


Genentech Scientists Zero in on “Liquid Biopsies” as a Way to Replace Tissue Biopsies in Breast Cancer

Surgical pathologists could gain new tool to diagnose many types of cancers

It might soon be possible to determine the HER2 status of breast cancer patients from blood samples rather than tissue biopsies. If this new technology proves feasible, it would give surgical pathologists and medical laboratories a different, and possibly less complex, methodology to use when assessing a case of breast cancer.

In its report about the study, Medscape Medical News, wrote that “HER2 status derived from circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from breast cancer patients was generally concordant with that derived from tumor tissue” and that “CTCs could prove to be an alternative to biopsies for assessing tumor tissue for biomarker status.”


Roche Pays $46.8 Billion for Genentech—Now Sole Owner of Herceptin!

When Roche Holding AG (RO) of Basel, Switzerland, announced last month that it had an agreement to buy Genentech Inc. (DNA) of South San Francisco, California, it was big news. Roche had pursued the innovative drug maker since July with the primary goal of gaining access to the drugs in Genentech’s pipeline.

On March 11, Roche got the support of Genentech’s board to pay $95 per share to buy the 44% of the company it doesn’t already own. One intriguing reason why Genentech was so attractive to Roche is that the California company has a line of products and biomarkers that fit almost seamlessly with what Roche already offers, including Herceptin, HER2/neu assays, and biomarkers useful for both companies.


Roche Announces $3 Billion Offer to Purchase Ventana Medical Systems

Yesterday, Roche Holdings (SWX: ROG.VX; RO.S) of Basel, Switzerland announced that it would initiate a tender offer to acquire 100% ownership of Ventana Medical Systems (NASDAQ: VMSI) of Tucson, Arizona.

Roche is offering $75 for each share of Ventana Medical. This is a 44% premium over Ventana’s closing price of $51.95 on July 22, 2007. It also represents a total cash purchase price of $3 billion for Ventana Medical Systems. For 2006, Ventana Medical Systems had revenue of $238.2 million. Roche’s offer is thus based on a large multiple of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization).

Roche’s offer is unwelcome at Ventana Medical Systems. Executives at Ventana have been tight-lipped since news of the Roche tender offer became public. Earlier this morning, Ventana Medical issued a press release recommending that its shareholders take no action in response to the Roche offer. In the press release, it further stated that its board of directors would consult with financial and legal advisors on the situation. Within 10 days, it will make a recommendation to shareholders.

In a conference call yesterday, Roche disclosed that it has approached Ventana Medical Systems numerous times since the first of the year to initiate discussions about acquiring Ventana Medical. These approaches were rebuffed by Ventana’s board and executive team. That is why Roche decided to launch a hostile tender offer to acquire all the shares of Ventana.

Lab directors and pathologists should not be surprised if another company enters the bidding for Ventana Medical Systems. It has a robust product line in histopathology, a worldwide presence, and there is great respect for the quality of its products and its corporate culture. Because molecular diagnostics is growing at twice the rate of the traditional in vitro diagnostics market, a company like Ventana Medical Systems becomes a highly-desirable acquisition candidate.

Stay tuned to Dark Daily. Not only will there be ongoing developments in this hostile takeover action, but it is likely that this story will take some surprising twists before it is resolved.
Related Articles:
Roche Makes Offer to Acquire Ventana for $75.00 Per Share in Cash

Roche Offers $3 Billion to Get Ventana Talking
Ventana Advises Shareholders to Defer Taking Any Action in Response to Roche Offer

Roche attempts hostile takeover of Ventana Medical Systems