Thomas P. Joyce, Jr., President and CEO
Daniel L. Comas, Exec. VP and CFO
William K. Daniel, Exec. VP, Diagnostics and Dental
Amir Aghdaei, President and
Group Exec., Dental Platform
John L. Bishop, CEO, Cepheid
Chris Riley, President, Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
Melissa Aquino, President, Leica Biosystems
Henrik Schimmell, President, Radiometer
Hans Geiselhöringer, President, Nobel Biocare
Matt Turner, President, Ormco
Tom Stratton, President, Implant Direct
NO. OF EMPLOYEES: 67,000 (total)
GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C
Hurricane Harvey, the 280 mile-diameter Category 4 August 2017 catastrophe that broke single storm rainfall records in the United States, was the strongest storm coastal Texas had seen in many years. A few unfortunate statistics from CNN about the behemoth: It dumped 26 inches of rain on the coastal cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur in 24 hours, caused $75 billion of estimated damage, and drove 30,000 people out of their homes to seek temporary shelter once the storm had petered out. Huge swaths of Houston—the fourth-largest U.S. city—were underwater following the storm, and many areas of the city were uninhabitable for weeks.
Leaving many Houstonians with nothing but the clothes on their backs, an organization called Operation BBQ Relief worked tirelessly to provide hot meals to those in need. And one of those helping the cause was Jon Hansel, a territory manager for Nobel Biocare, a business within globally diversified conglomerate Danaher Corporation that manufactures dental implants and personalized prosthetics.
Jon landed in Houston on Sept. 2, and immediately set up and started grilling over 800 pounds of North Carolina style BBQ. His pace increased as time went on, as Hansel cooked around 1,600-1,800 pounds of meat over 12 hours. His following week was spent feeding and assisting those in need.
“We’ve cooked everything we could and it was wonderful,” Jon said. Jon’s day job as a Nobel Biocare territory manager has nothing to do with cooking, but in his spare time, he’s a pit master for competition and charity.
“When you hand somebody a plate of food you see it in their eyes that this is something important to them,” he said.
ANALYST INSIGHTS: Watch for Danaher to surprise us with an M&A play in 2018/2019. While they have been aggressive with bolt-on acquisitions, it’s been a while since Danaher has executed on a larger portfolio play. This may be the year that happens.
—Dave Sheppard, Co-Founder and Principal, MedWorld Advisors
The multinational conglomerate already extensively contributes to public health through diagnostic and dental offerings, but it’s nice to see company representatives in the field offering a service that doesn’t contribute to revenue gains. Not that Danaher needed a gimmick to boost business—the firm earned $8.6 billion in 2017 diagnostics and dental sales, rising a respectable 10 percent over the previous year.
Danaher’s Diagnostics business, which makes up the majority of its medical device returns, achieved $5.8 billion in 2017 sales, rising a remarkable 16 percent over the previous year’s proceeds. The late 2016 acquisition of diagnostics firm Cepheid was an enormous driver for the impressive gains—in Cepheid’s first full year with Danaher, core revenue rose about 20 percent. Provoking this was a strong commercial execution and bolstered installed base of molecular diagnostics instrumentation.
In the clinical lab business, core sales rose over the previous year, prompted by increased demand for immunoassay products. These were partially offset by declines in the Western European and Japanese markets. The acute care diagnostic segment also flourished in 2017 as a result of strong global diagnostic consumable sales. Meanwhile, amplified global demand for advanced staining, core histology instruments, and related consumables stimulated revenue growth in the pathology diagnostics business.
Rather than marketing its product portfolios under the Danaher name, each separate business brands and markets its own products. Danaher’s Diagnostic business operates under four brands: Beckman Coulter Diagnostics (BEC Diagnostics), Leica Biosystems, Radiometer, and the recently acquired Cepheid.
Brea, Calif.-based BEC Diagnostics develops products to advance and optimize the clinical laboratory. The firm’s diagnostic offerings, scalable instruments, clinical data management tools, and process management solutions help healthcare professionals assess, diagnose and monitor conditions from cardiac disease to metabolic functions, blood disorders, infectious disease, cancer, and more.
Last June, as a result of a partnership with cGMP and ISO 13485 certified medical device manufacturer Diazyme Laboratories, the company achieved FDA clearance for a procalcitonin (PCT) assay to manage bacterial infections and sepsis. It is the first homogenous PCT assay for use on Beckman Coulter’s AU model chemistry analyzers and removes the need for costly dedicated instrumentation. The assay features a latex-enhanced immunoturbidimetric methodology, which uses multiple monoclonal antibodies for enhanced assay sensitivity and specificity.
A month later, BEC Diagnostics launched its DxOne information management solution, a cohesive and integrated system of products to improve workflow efficiency, provide insight into operations, and gain a more comprehensive understanding of laboratory performance. DxOne contains an automatic and electronic inventory manager, a command center to monitor multiple instruments, and insights for greater access to cloud-based analytics.
Last November, the firm’s high-sensitivity troponin (hsTnl) assay earned EU approval. The hsTnl assay helps diagnose myocardial infarction for patients experiencing chest pain or other ischemic systems by measuring cardiac troponin, a biomarker that aids in heart attack detection. The hsTnl assay can detect lower levels of troponin than previous tests, and allows clinicians better confidence in interpreting emergency room chest pain cases.
Last December, the FDA cleared the automated Access AMH (Anti-Müllerian Hormone) immunoassay for in-vitro diagnostic use. Access AMH is a paramagnetic particle chemiluminescent immunoassay for the quantitative determination of AMH levels, which help assess a woman’s ovarian reserve to guide clinical management of women struggling with fertility or those planning to become pregnant later in life.
Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based Leica Biosystems develops and supplies clinical diagnostics to the pathology market. Last March, Leica introduced RNAscope, a reagent for use with the BOND-III clinical instrument. Born out of the partnership between Leica and Advanced Cell Diagnostics, the automated technology detects RNA that fits into the existing anatomic pathology workflow.
Last September, Leica released the HistoCore Peloris Premium Tissue Processor, the world’s first tissue processor incorporating an easy-to-use solution for track and trace. An integrated bar code scanner and onboard reporting module associate samples with the correct processing program, reagent details, and user information, helping to eliminate manual records and increase specimen safety.
Brea, Calif.-based Radiometer is a developer of blood sampling, blood gas analysis, transcutaneous monitoring, and POC data management equipment. Last March, the company launched the ABL90 Flex Plus point-of-care blood analyzer, the latest in the ABL90 Flex family of analyzers. It can measure 17 parameters in 35 seconds using only 65 µL of blood and comes equipped with an automated intel to minimize manual processes.
The recently acquired Sunnyvale, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics firm Cepheid won FDA clearance for its Xpert Xpress Flu and Xpert Xpress Flu/RSV tests last February. Designed to deliver reference-quality molecular results to diagnose influenza and respiratory syncytial virus infection in 20 minutes, the tests are Cepheid’s first Xpress branded products, all of which produce results in a half hour or less. The new tests employ multiple targets for each virus and feature built-in redundancy to reduce the impact of seasonal genomic drift.
In collaboration with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and FIND, last March Cepheid released the Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra test to diagnose tuberculosis (TB) and resistance to rifampicin, a critical first-line TB drug. In a World Health Organization (WHO) evaluation, the Ultra test showed better performance than Xpert MTB/RIF in detecting TB in difficult-to-diagnose and vulnerable populations, such as children and people living with HIV, and in those with extra-pulmonary TB. However, as a result of the test’s increased sensitivity, Ultra’s use also exhibited a higher rate of false positives. A WHO expert group then identified the need for further discussion on implementation challenges, which will explore the willingness to balance increased test sensitivity with decreased specificity in different settings.
Danaher’s Dental segment is comprised of the KaVo Kerr, Nobel Biocare, Ormco, and Implant Direct businesses. The Dental franchise’s 2017 revenue change was relatively flat compared to the previous year, rising a paltry 1 percent to $2.8 billion. Several high-growth markets like China and Russia were not able to compensate for lower demand in the United States and Western Europe. Specialty consumables—which consist of implant solutions and orthodontic products—demonstrated strong year-over-year growth.
The Dental business grew double digits in China core revenue for the fifth straight year, extending its position in 2017 by acquiring a digital lab service company that provides implant, orthodontic, and prosthetic treatment planning to Chinese dentists. The segment has also increased R&D spending as a percentage of sales by 100 basis points over the last two years to position it for growth.
The KaVo Kerr business was formed as a result of the October 2017 merger of KaVo (which develops dental instruments, imaging solutions, and dental treatment units) and Kerr Corporation (a developer of restorative, endodontic, and restorative dental products). Last February—prior to the merger—Kerr Endodontics launched OptiDam, a three-dimensional, low radiopacity rubber dam that helps dental professionals position the device more freely and is more comfortable to patients.
Last February, KaVo brought its Estetica treatment unit line—the KaVo Estetica E70/E80 Vision and KaVo Estetica E50 Life units—to the North American market. Both tout integrated functions that optimize dentists’ workflow with features like an integrated sanitation function to quickly clean suction hoses and lines. They also share ergonomic design, facilitating natural, intuitive movement to assist in keeping health posture while performing dental procedures.
Last August, KaVo introduced the Electromatic line of electric systems to help dentists more easily transition to electric handpieces without compromising performance. In combination with KaVo handpieces, KaVo electric systems provide stable control from 2-200,000 rpm, an intuitive user interface, and simple adjustment of speed on the control system display for a wide range of indications. A plug and play system also connects to standard air tubing and automatically adjusts to the air pressure of the existing dental unit.
A month later, KaVo released the entry-level 3D imaging system KaVo OP 3D. With programs for both panoramic and 3D imaging, general dental practitioners, craniofacial surgeons, and airway specialists can find use with OP 3D. The OP 3D also offers efficient tools for optimizing patient dose by allowing the clinician to select the best resolution, fields of view size, and region of interest.
Kloten, Switzerland-based Nobel Biocare manufactures dental implants and CAD/CAM-based individualized prosthetics. The company posted mid-single digit core revenue expansion that Danaher attributes to a 20 percent R&D spending increase, 25 new products launched, and a 15 percent increase in its sales force over the last two years.
Last March at the International Dental Show in Cologne, Germany, Nobel Biocare and KaVo Kerr unveiled the DTX Studio, a single digital platform connecting diagnostics and treatment for dental patients. The open system launched in fall 2017. DTX Studio connects to not only KaVo imaging devices, but also has the ability to import images from any X-ray device, intraoral scanner, or desktop scanner. The system’s diagnostics module features multiple workspaces, and the implant module facilitates visualization of critical information for precise implant planning according to the desired prosthetic outcome.
Last October at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the European Association for Osseointegration (EAO), Nobel Biocare launched the Trefoil system, which treats edentulous patients and patients with failing dentition, enabling the fixed, definitive, full-arch restoration of the mandible in one day. A passive fit is made possible with a fixation mechanism that compensates for deviation in implant placement, enabling shorter time-to-teeth and reduced chair time in comparison with conventional treatments that require provisional restorations.
Nobel Biocare also launched a new metal-free, two-piece ceramic implant solution at the EAO congress, in partnership with ceramic implant maker Dentalpoint AG. Dentalpoint AG is the developer of the first completely metal-free two-piece bone level implant system with internal connection that is not dependent on cement. Screw-retained with a metal-free screw, the two-piece nature of the system means clinicians can treat patients with a zirconia implant using protocols similar to those they are familiar with for traditional implants.