“November 5, 2001 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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It’s a milestone in the Pap smear testing marketplace. Cytyc Corporation, in its third quarter financial report, now claims its Thin-Prep® product has 51% of the national market for Pap testing. Estimates are that 55 million Pap tests are done annually in the United States. A 51% market share translates into 28 million ThinPrep tests yearly.

Tenet & HCA

Public laboratory companies are not the only healthcare firms benefiting from keen interest by Wall Street. For- profit hospital corporations are also on a roll. Last week Tenet Healthcare Corp. went to market to sell $1 billion of debt securities. Response from the investment community was so strong, it decided to sell another $1 billion in bonds! Meanwhile, HCA, after reporting a 12% in-crease in third quarter earnings, announced that it will spend $250 million to repurchase shares.

VISIBLE GENETICS & GLAXOSMITHKLINE TO TEAM IN CLIN TRIAL

Many consider HIV typing and viral load testing to be the cutting edge of pharmacogenomics—the concept of using lab tests to guide therapeutic decisions. If true, the collaboration between Visible Genetics, Inc. (VGI) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) bears watching. Glaxo will use VGI’s TRUGENE™ HIV-1 Genotyping King and OpenGene™ DNA sequencing system for a large scale Phase III clinical trial of a new HIV drug. This is the second GSK trial to use VGI’s products.

ADD T0: VISIBLE GENETICS

Last month Visible Genetics received FDA clearance to market its TRUGENE kit and DNA typing system for routine clinical use. This is the first test kit for HIV resistance testing to receive clearance. In the testing continuum from esoteric to routing, some consider this an evolutionary step that will eventually make it possible for larger numbers of clinical labs to do such testing on site, instead of referring it to esoteric labs.

Kudos Are In Order

Maybe they should be called the “hardest working duo” in the lab business. For the third year in a row, CEO Larry Siedlick and President Pat Lanza have guided Sunrise Medical Laboratories to recognition as one of Long Island’s “25 Fastest-Growing Firms” for 2001. Sunrise was also honored as one of Long Island’s “Top 50 Private Firms” in the annual awards sponsored by KPMG LLP, Hofstra University, and Long Island Business News. Few companies are recognized in multiple years and even fewer are recognized in both categories the same year.

Here’s an illustration of how the rapidly evolving technology of genomics will have practical impact on diagnostics and therapeutics. The National Science Foundation awarded an emergency grant of $200,000 to the Institute of Genomic Research to map the entire genome of Bacillus anthracis, using the strain found in Florida. The work is expected to take a few weeks and will initially be used to support forensic investigation of the case.

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