Life Technologies Corporation (LIFE)
Barclays Global Healthcare Conference
March 13, 2013 11:15 am ET
Ronald A. Andrews - President of Medical Sciences
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Ronald A. Andrews
Yes, Greg has spent, and the team has spent, the last 10 years building arguably one of the top life science tool companies. And having been a customer of Life for years in my world at Clarient, we watched them really do an amazing job and put together some of the top brands in life science tools. My world is all about taking those tools and applying them to solve some of the unmet need, unmet questions left in the clinic. And I think the big opportunity for us is really to look at some of the key decisions that have to be made by physicians to manage these diseases and understand at that point when a physician and a patient meet to talk about a cancer, we call it that physician-patient moment, what information is necessary to make that decision to help that patient get on the right course early because everyone knows these complex diseases typically have a time limit to them. And so what we are doing at Life is really identifying the key unmet clinical questions and trying to focus our energies around taking the various platforms that we have at our disposal, everything from -- most of you don't know at Life, but we have IC, immunohistochemistry capabilities. We make a lot of reagents that are used in the marketplace today. We make a lot of the molecular probes that are used in FISH testing, and we have imaging, a nice imaging molecular -- or a fluorescent microscope for imaging those cells, all the way to what you hear most about from Life, which is next-gen sequencing and the Ion torrent. So because of that pallet of opportunity in terms of technologies, we really got the opportunity to sit back and take the lens from the physician-patient moment and look back at the value chain and say, what information does the doctor need right now? And what's the value of that information at that point in time in the patient event? What's the reimbursement most likely to be? And now, what platform do we have that's best suited to provide that information? So very different viewpoint in the medical sciences approach than you might see in life sciences, which is very product-oriented. We have a product, let's go find somewhere to sell it versus we have a problem that a physician's trying to solve and we got plenty of solutions, what's right solution for that moment in time. And so that's really sort of the genesis of what we're thinking about as we think about Medical Science, and our play into the medical sciences arena.
And when you think about some of the acquisitions that you've made so far, Compendia, Navigenics, is it -- was it wise to start there, or was that just opportunistic? Was it wise to start there to develop a portal, a way to actually transfer information first when you don't even really know what information you're transferring at least yet?
Ronald A. Andrews
Yes, it's a great question. If I look at the success we had in my previous world at Clarient, one of the things that helped us keep stickiness with customers was our ability to take very complex information, synthesize it, push it through our web portal and educate the consumer of the information, and in that case, it was an anatomic pathologist in a laboratory, in a hospital, and educate them on how to use that very complex information to manage that patient locally. So if you think about the importance of that -- and in that world, I had a 99% recurring rate of customers. We very rarely lost a customer. And other people got to the point where they were doing similar things that we were doing in terms of molecular mapping a cancer, but they weren't able to communicate it well and educate. And so we knew -- knowing that, the team that came with me from Clarient to start this initiative with Life, we realized that especially as the advent of next-gen sequencing in the clinic starts to take hold, the next-gen sequencing data is only as good as the relativity of that data to outcomes. And so we knew we had to go out and get a bioinformatics engine, and then in that engine, we had to be able to communicate it in a 10th grade level because candidly, as smart as these oncologists are and pathologists, when I'm with them, they tell me, give it to me simple. I'm seeing 40 patients a day. I don't have time to look this stuff up. Help me understand how to use it. So we decided somewhat opportunistically, these 2 assets were available last summer. Let's go and build out the bioinformatics engine while the Ion team and our genetic analysis team are working on the platforms, let's get the bioinformatic piece put together because we think we'll accelerate development of those platforms because in my world, it's less about the platform and way more about the content the platform produces, and that bioinformatics engine helps accelerate that content play for us.