Despite what managed care is doing to clinical laboratories, money abounds to sell more goods. In this issue, you will read about how AmeriPath, Inc. is about to raise $71.7 million while Cytyc Corp. intends to generate $48.2 million in its second public offering in 12 months.
The list of laboratory-related companies which raised money during the last year is extensive. It includes specialty testing companies like UroCor, Inc. and Impath, Inc., as well as technology companies such as NeoPath, Inc. Even clinical laboratories succeeded with offerings. Universal Standard Medical Laboratories, Unilab, Inc. and Quest Diagnostics, Inc. all tapped public markets for additional funds during the last 12 months.
The practical impact of all this money will be seen when sales representatives from these companies call upon you at your laboratory and want to sell you this “hot technology.” Cytology provides a good example. Since FDA approval in 1995, both NeoPath (AutoPap 300) and Neuromedical Systems (PapNet) launched aggressive sales blitzes. As pointed out in our story on page 15, Cytyc will use $25 million from its latest offering to market ThinPrep in the United States. Cytyc already has as many as 50 sales representatives hired and prepared to hit the field. Expect them to be joined by sales reps from AutoCyte, Inc. and Accumed International, Inc. when both companies decide that their cytology products are ready for introduction into clinical usage.
If you feel beleaguered by all the sales representatives who stop by your laboratory to present their products, understand that they represent the future of laboratory medicine. Even as hospital laboratories consolidate and downsize, new jobs are opening up with these technology companies. It may be that one day, your experience and knowledge about laboratory practices gains you a lucrative position with just such a company. Headhunters told us in a recent issue (See TDR, November 4, 1996) that employment opportunities are abundant for laboratorians who look for work outside the laboratory.
That is the reason we keep you informed about the business plans of these emerging laboratory technology companies. Whether they succeed or not, their influence on laboratory operations and profits is immense, and their potential to transform clinical laboratory practices should not be overlooked.