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Rapid HIV Testing: How Big a Market, Really?

Executive Summary

OraSure Technologies is first (with the exception of an outdated, complicated test sold by Abbott) to get coveted FDA approval for a rapid HIV diagnostic test, and it also won a hard-to-get CLIA waiver for the test after a one-day review by the Department of Health and Human Services; the waiver enables the test to be used in a much wider variety of non-laboratory settings. The company's opportunity looks huge, but the test's success is far from a sure bet.

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How Big Can Bio-Rad Get?

Bio-Rad's having a great year, thanks to its presence in the fast-growing life sciences business of protein analysis, and its surprise success with a test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Founder and CEO David Schwartz built the business based on a mix of eclectic product lines into an $800 million force in life sciences and clinical diagnostics. But as he nears 80, the company is grappling with succession issues, as well as a sense that it needs to better integrate its disparate businesses.

Carving a Niche in Saliva-Based Diagnostics

Given that most diagnostics deals are valued at one to two times sales, $150 million to $200 million may seem like a lot of money to pay for a company with less than $20 million in sales, but that's the value Epitope is placing on STC Technologies Inc. The stock deal aligns two companies who have been working together for some time, positioning them as a leader in the small but growing oral fluid and point-of-care diagnostics market.

Unmiring International Murex

Murex's loss to Chiron over the hepatitis C patent didn't kill it, but the company must establish its monitoring business--quickly.


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