“September 20, 2004 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. now has access to Qdot® nanocrystal technology for in vitro diagnostic applications in anatomic pathology and cytology. Ventana recently licensed the technology from Quantum Dot Corporation (QDC), based in Hayward California. It will use Qdots to create “next generation rapid, quantitative, and multiplexed assays for cancer diagnosis and disease management.” Qdots have the potential to support a multiplexed assay with a surprisingly large number of analytes. Some scientists conjecture that Qdots might prove feasible for use with in vivo testing, once their safety in the human body is demonstrated.

MORE ON: Qdots

Clients of THE DARK REPORT with long memories will remember our coverage of Quantum Dot in its emerging phase. The company developed nano-sized semiconducter crystals with unique properties. A single light source will light up all sizes of Qdots, which produce sharp colors at specific frequencies. Qdots have great potential for multiplex assays, both in research and clinical diagnostic applications. (See TDR, February 14, 2000.)

15 DISEASES CAUSE HALF THE ANNUAL RISE IN HEALTHCARE COSTS

Here is a provocative finding that puts laboratory testing front and center in the battle to control spiraling healthcare spending. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) studied the health- care costs incurred by 60,000 patients. It determined that just 15 medical conditions accounted for one-half of the inflation-adjusted growth of $200 billion in healthcare spending between 1987 and 2000! The cost increases were driven by one of two main factors: increased costs of new drugs and/or new medical technology to treat the ailment; or, increased prevalence of the conditions among the population.

ADD TO: 15 Diseases

Five diseases were responsible for the largest cost increases. They are heart disease, asthma, mental disorders, cancer, and hypertension. Heart disease is an example of “increased cost to treat” due to new drugs and new technology. Cost per case increased by 70% between 1987 and 2000. Mental illness is an example of increased incidence. The rate of treatment for mental disorders almost doubled during the same 14 years, reaching 8,575 cases per 100,000 people. Lab testing is expected to play a key role in minimizing health costs by aiding early detection and guiding appropriate therapies.

TRANSITIONS

LabOne, Inc. announced that Chief Financial Officer John W. McCarty resigned his position, effective March 31, 2005. McCarty plans “to travel abroad and pursue other interests.” McCarty will aid LabOne in its efforts to recruit a new CFO.

•There is a new Laboratory Administrator at Avera McKennan Healthcare, a four-hospital health system based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Leo Serrano joined the organization in August. Serrano was formerly Administrative Director of Laboratory Services at West Tennessee Healthcare, located in Jackson, Tennessee.

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