Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers can expect to see an expansion of genetic testing in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Myriad case
Pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals got a major victory on June 13. That’s when the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled 9-0 to end the 30-year-old practice of awarding patents on human genes. The unanimous decision invalidates certain hotly contested patents held by Myriad Genetics, Inc., (NASDAQ: MYGN) on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Moreover, this Supreme Court decision also opens the doors to other medical laboratories to develop their own diagnostics around the BRCA genes and compete for breast-cancer testing market share. (more…)
Medical laboratories and pathology groups can participate in national survey about changes in average revenue-per-requisition and average number of tests-per-requisition
Across the country, a number of clinical laboratory organizations have privately told The Dark Report editorial team that they have experienced a decline in the average number of lab tests-per-requisition over the past 18 months. Since the sample size is so small, it would be inappropriate to conclude that the experience of these labs reflects a national trend.
At the same time, even though this data is anecdotal and from a handful of lab organizations, it could be an early sign of an important shift in lab test utilization by clinicians. In recent years, employers, private payers, and the Medicare/Medicaid programs have initiated a variety of initiatives that have the common goal of encouraging physicians to more wisely utilize medical laboratory tests.
Medical laboratories and pathology groups lose access to tissue specimens when office-based physicians operate their own in-clinic pathology laboratory
One trend reshaping the profession of anatomic pathology with surprising speed is the growth of in-clinic pathology laboratories by specialist physicians. As each office-based physician group builds its own in-clinic pathology laboratory, local pathology groups and medical laboratories lose access to the tissue specimens these doctors now process in their own pathology lab.
This trend has significant consequences for the nation’s 3,300 pathology group practices, as well as those national pathology and clinical laboratory companies that compete for the biopsy tissue referrals of office-based physicians. Losing access to the tissue referrals of local physicians makes it tougher for local pathologists to develop a broad range of experience and skills.
Cancer Testing and Molecular Diagnostics Are Main Drivers in This Transaction
In a deal with implications for independent clinical pathology laboratories, pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NYSE: NVS) announced that it would acquire pathology testing company Genoptix, Inc. (NASDAQ: GXDX). Novartis will pay $470 million in cash to acquire all the shares of Genoptix.
Although the total amount of $470 million to be paid for Genoptix is nearly one-half billion dollars, one financial analyst who quickly responded to the news believes that Novartis did not pay a premium price for Genoptix. At William Blair & Company, Analyst Amanda Murphy, CFA, wrote that “…the valuation [of Genoptix] is below what esoteric/specialty labs have been sold for in the past (closer to 10 times or more), which might reflect the company’s recent operational issues and/or potential reimbursement pressure from a shift to in-network status with payers.”