This Is Not Your Grandfather’s Big Diagnostics


February 7th, 2011
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Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) announced today (see San Francisco Chronicle story here) that it has entered into an agreement with Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE: BEC) to acquire Beckman for approximately $6.8 billion. When the acquisition is complete, Beckman will become part of Danaher’s Life Sciences and Diagnostics business segment.

This is yet another example of the diagnostics landscape’s rapid upheaval in which different players will clearly be dominating and leading the industry.

The diagnostics industry shake up is in full swing: As we wrote recently, sequencing technology (one critical part of the Dx space) is changing at an earth-shattering speed and today’s announcement is evidence of what is happening on the market level. Need more evidence? Check out this post by Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman on “diagnostics warming up.”

There’s little doubt that established diagnostics players will have interesting strategic responses to all of this change as they move to shore up their product positions and to maintain their channel franchises.

In all, it’s a great time to be in diagnostics and a broader variety of partnering and exit opportunities are emerging for small, innovative diagnostic companies. We’ll be writing about other diagnostics and device industry trends and changes in our blog (including a post later this week on the FDA’s recently announced 510(k) action plan). We’d love to hear what you think (so please leave a comment below) and we hope you’ll continue to read our views here.

About the Author: Caroline Popper has more than 21 years of hands-on biotech/life sciences operating experience. An internist and pathologist, she combines medical and scientific perspective with knowledge gained from managing a wide spectrum of life sciences businesses in diagnostics, devices and drug discovery.

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