Issue Date: August 23, 2004
GE Healthcare Lights Up Its Life Sciences
With organizational shifts and a new molecular diagnostics unit, GE Healthcare continues to assimilate Amersham Biosciences, which it acquired earlier this year, and to fortify its life sciences efforts.
Discovery systems researcher Christoph Hergersberg and his team—formerly at Amersham’s U.S. headquarters in Piscataway, N.J.—are relocating to GE’s global research center in Niskayuna, N.Y. Each GE business unit has a research team in Niskayuna as an interdisciplinary technology incubator of sorts. “It’s an environment that gets scientists talking to each other about science,” Hergersberg says. This particular move, he explains, integrates biotechnology that supports drug discovery with GE’s overall research.
On the business front, Joel McComb, the former CEO of liquid-handling instrument maker Innovadyne Technologies, is the new president of the discovery systems business, replacing Andrew Carr, who had joined GE from Amersham.
GE Healthcare is also establishing a new molecular diagnostics business unit in Piscataway headed by Trevor Hawkins. In vitro diagnostic-based tests, such as microarrays and sequencing applications, have a market, he believes, beyond their current research applications into the clinical world.
The field of molecular diagnostics is an “opportunity for the revival of what has been, for many years, a moribund diagnostics industry,” states a report issued earlier this year by analysts at Kalorama Information. According to Kalorama, the market for molecular diagnostics could grow at an average annual rate of 46% to reach $32 billion by 2013. Oncology, currently the smallest molecular diagnostics segment with $108 million in revenue, is growing the fastest and could reach $2.2 billion in revenue by 2013.
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