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With Pluck and Luck, Sysmex Tackles Hematology

Executive Summary

Sysmex's break in the US with distribution partner Roche frees it to reap the rewards of building its own brand. It's betting that a best-of-breed strategy can help it double revenues by 2006 and increase margins. It's got a stellar reputation but it's in a tough market that doesn't leave much room for error.

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Sysmex Bets on Best of Breed

Sysmex Corp. of America and Roche Diagnostics are ending their four-year-old hematology alliance a year early. Both companies say the alliance has been successful. But Roche wants to focus on its franchises in fast-growing segments of the laboratory, and Sysmex, with a series of hematology product introductions underway, wants to raise its profile in the US. The move also signals an about-face from the initial premise for doing the deal, one which was widely pervasive throughout the medical device and diagnostics sectors in the 1990s: that customers want one-stop shopping and the discounts that come from bundling one manufacturer's broad product lines. Sysmex instead is turning to a best-of-breed strategy, which has served it well in major European markets, and which, it believes, will ultimately be more lucrative.

Diagnostic Products Corp.'s Contrarian Bet

DPC has successfully transformed itself from a reagent to a systems company and carved out a niche in immunoassay systems, but has it gone as far as it can on its own in a consolidating industry that favors breadth of product lines across lab segments?

Plucking up Courage, Beckman Buys Coulter

Most people thought that the eventual acquirer for Coulter, which had been actively seeking a buyer recently--would be Johnson & Johnson or Roche. That it proved to be Beckman was something of a surprise. Beckman hopes that the combined companies will give it greater leverage with larger buyers and those seeking a broader array of tests from one supplier.

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