April 2, 2012 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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Like a tenacious bulldog, Roche Holding AG continues its determined effort to acquire Illumina, Inc., the company that makes gene sequencing systems. Last week, Roche increased its offer from $44.50 per share to $51 per share for Illumina stock. That raises the price Roche says it will pay to $6.5 billion, which is 15% greater than its original offer. It was on January 25, 2012, when Roche announced its tender offer for Illumina, at a price of about $5.7 billion. (See TDR, January 30, 2012.) For its part, Illumina has not warmed up to the proposed acquisition.

 MORE ON: Illumina

Two things are most likely to happen. First, Roche has a history of making unwelcome takeover offers, then raising the price to aggressive levels. This was the case back in 2008, when Roche ended up paying $3.4 billion for Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a histopathology company with annual revenue of about $290 million. Second, should Roche successfully acquire Illumina, it would give Roche a commanding position in the fast-evolving market for next-generation gene sequencing and whole human genome sequencing. As the world’s largest in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturer, it can be assumed that Roche wants to maintain that position even as molecular and genetic technologies transform the clinical lab testing marketplace.

DEMAND FOR MT SCHOLARSHIPS GROWS 70%

Since 2003, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) have worked together on an annual scholarship program directed at undergraduate and graduate medical laboratory students. In announcing the 100 winners of scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year, the two organizations noted that the number of applications for these scholarships has increased by 70% in the past 24 months. This statistic reflects a growing interest in laboratory medicine degrees and may be an auspicious sign that a career in laboratory medicine is gaining favor among young people of college age. Siemens and ASCP awarded a combined total of $182,000 for this year’s scholarship winners. Eligible students in the U.S. who are pursuing associate, baccalaureate, or master’s degrees in medical laboratory science can qualify for these scholarships.

Dark Daily Update

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…

…how the American Hospital Association (AHA) says Medicare’s value-based purchasing program could put hospital revenue at risk. This could cause hospital lab budgets to be further squeezed.

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