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Motorola: Paging Diagnostics

Executive Summary

Motorola is developing an expertise in microarray manufacturing to use as the jump-off point for a new life sciences initiative it hopes will turn into a high-margin, high-growth diagnostics business. It has spent $500 million in external investments to support the venture, including the $280 million acquisition of a clinical diagnostics start-up. But with its investors concerned with the recent downturn in demand in its core high-tech manufacturing businesses, the company is understandably reticent about touting the possibility of life sciences being its next big thing. On the other hand, should Motorola gain momentum and demonstrate an ability to tap the clinical diagnostics markets, the biochip initiative could ultimately become a broad-based point-of-care play, with the company drawing on its expertise in wireless communications to produce interactive handheld devices that would capture and transmit data to a remote site for analysis.

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