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Innovative Acquisitions

This year's featured leaders illustrate medtech's ability to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business environment.

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Over its 111-year history, BD has been focused on both internal and external innovation. Over the past two years alone, the company has executed several acquisitions that have added significantly to its own core capabilities. Two examples of recent strategic acquisitions are as follows.

TriPath. BD expanded its presence in cancer diagnostics through the 2006 acquisition of TriPath Imaging Inc. (Burlington, NC), a developer of oncology management tools that span cancer screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy monitoring.

(click to enlarge)
The BD SurePath liquid-based Pap test collection method came to BD through its 2006 acquisition of TriPath Imaging Inc.

"Prior to acquiring TriPath, BD had some capability in cancer screening, particularly for blood-based cancers such as lymphomas and leukemias," says Edward J. Ludwig, BD chairman, president, and CEO. "TriPath brought a solid tissue cancer capability into our portfolio."

The TriPath platform provides BD with an effective tool for cervical cancer screening. The BD SurePath liquid-based Pap test uses collection devices that ensure all gathered cells are sent to the laboratory for analysis.

In the United States, approximately 90% of Pap smears are collected using liquid-based cytology. This approach is preferred because it produces a better picture of cellular-level conditions, BD reports. The company is currently working with physician thought leaders and government officials in other markets to encourage adoption of liquid-based cytology testing methods. In addition, BD currently has clinical trials under way to evaluate a product utilizing molecular markers aimed at improving the reliability of detecting cervical cancer. Over the longer term, BD is pursuing serum-based screening and monitoring assays for ovarian cancer based upon the detection of proprietary biomarker panels.

GeneOhm. In 2006, BD acquired molecular diagnostics company GeneOhm Sciences Inc. (San Diego), whose product portfolio includes nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostic tests for the rapid detection of bacterial microorganisms.

"BD had its own molecular diagnostic product, the BD ProbeTec system, which we added to the GeneOhm product line," Ludwig says. "Through the combined knowledge of BD and GeneOhm, we think we can accelerate the development process."

A natural complement to BD's core strengths in microbiology, the acquisition of GeneOhm has enabled BD to quickly expand its offerings in the emerging field of healthcare-associated infections with a growing menu of rapid assays. The BD GeneOhm methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) assay won a Medical Design Excellence Award in 2006. The test produces results in less than two hours, and serves as a valuable tool to help prevent the spread of potentially deadly and costly healthcare-associated infections. BD plans to continue expanding its menu of healthcare-associated infection assays and anticipates launching a new automated diagnostic platform in 2008.

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