May 10, 2010 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Just four years since its founding in June, 2006, Aurora Diagnostics, Inc., of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is preparing to go public. On April 30, the company filed stock registration documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO (initial public offering). Aurora Diagnostics says it wants to raise as much as $150 million. It plans to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol “ARDX.” The company says its net revenues grew from $63.4 million during its first full year in 2007 to $171.6 million for its year ending December 31, 2009.

MORE ON: Aurora

Aurora Diagnostics has been acquiring and operating anatomic pathology practices, with a particular focus on dermatopathology groups. It also operates several clinical laboratories. It says it has acquired “17 existing diagnostic services businesses” over the past four years. Aurora Diagnostic employs 73 pathologists and has contractual arrangements with 16 pathologists. The company is led by James C. New, who is Chairman, President, and CEO; and Martin J. Stefanelli, who is Vice President and COO. Both executives held leadership positions at AmeriPath, Inc., prior to and during its sale to Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe in 2003.


Here’s a deal which shows the premium prices buyers will pay for companies with high-value molecular assays. PerkinElmer announced on April 14 that it would pay $90 million to acquire Signature Genomic Laboratories, LLC, of Spokane, Washington. Signature was founded in 2003 by Lisa G. Shaffer, Ph.D., and Bassem A. Bejjani, M.D. It performs “diagnostic cytogenetic testing of chromosome abnormalities in individuals with unexplained physical and developmental disabilities,” using a microarray diagnostic technology. Signature also recently began to offer services for diagnosing patients with leukemia. Privately-held Signature did not disclose its revenues. Some financial experts estimate that the company does between $15 and $20 million per year in sales. That would mean the $90 million purchase price paid by PerkinElmer represents a strong premium for Signature Genetics Laboratories.

Dark Daily Update

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

…the new bachelor’s degree program in molecular diagnostics at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. It launches this fall and will accommodate 128 students when it reaches full capacity in four years.

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