August 29, 2022 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

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Interesting things may be unfolding in the genetic testing marketplace. In the past few weeks, at least two high-profile genetic testing companies announced major layoffs. First was Invitae, a genetics testing company in San Francisco. At the end of July, it announced plans to eliminate 1,000 employees over the next year, SFGATE reported. That is one-third of the company’s roster. A CEO shuffle soon followed, with Kenneth Knight taking the helm to streamline business operations. 

MORE ON: Layoffs 

The second genetic testing company to announce layoffs was Sema4 in Stamford, Conn. It will eliminate 250 staff members (about 13% of its workforce) as part of restructuring to save money. The company will also shutter a clinical lab in Branford, Conn., at the end of the year, according to Sema4. The closure is a result of Sema4 exiting the somatic tumor testing business. It is believed that low reimbursement for genetic tests is a factor in the financial struggles at these two companies and a factor in the layoffs. 

LIGHTHOUSE LAB SERVICES ON INC. 5,000 LIST 

Lighthouse Lab Services in Charlotte, N.C., ranked at No. 999 on Inc.’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. in 2022. Lighthouse had 653% revenue growth from 2018 to 2021, according to Inc., making it the second fastest growing health services company in its home state. 

LITTLE SUCCESS IN FILLING OPEN LAB JOBS 

The number of people in the U.S. employed in medical and diagnostic laboratories remained flat from May 2002 through July 2022. Numbers posted by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showed there were 314,000 lab workers on payrolls as of July 2022, up just 800 people from May—a 0.26% increase. More than 9,000 med tech jobs remained open in the U.S. as of Aug. 26, according to Indeed. 

TRANSITIONS 

Jon Cohen, MD, is retiring from his roles as Executive Chairman and CEO at BioReference Laboratories in Elmwood Park, N.J., and Senior Vice President and Director at parent company OPKO. Craig Allen, President, and Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed Interim CEO. 

George Cardoza is the new CEO at AccuraGen in San Jose, Calif. Cardoza previosly worked at NeoGenomics Laboratories in Fort Myers, Fla., and at Quest Diagnostics. 

Erik Ranheim, MD, PhD, has been named the chair of University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Ranheim has been there for two decades. 

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. Look for the next briefing on Monday, September 19, 2022. 

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