Clinical OMICS

NOV-DEC 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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36 Clinical OMICs November/December 2018 www.clinicalomics.com B ack in 2003 when Konica bought Minolta, the merged company was expected to go toe-to-toe with Eastman Kodak and Fujifilm after a century of innovations in Japan that included the nation's first brand-name camera (1903), and color film (1940). Instead, the combined company sur- prised the industry in 2006 by withdrawing from photogra- phy altogether. More than a decade later, Konica Minolta aims to turn heads again. A corporate giant focused on digital, optical and elec- tronic technology, Konica Minolta last year bought Ambry Genetics for up to $1 billion ($800 million upfront, the rest in milestones), in a deal completed October 20, 2017. Six days later, Konica Minolta completed its purchase of Invicro, a contract researcher organization (CRO) that provides imag- ing services and software for biopharmas for research and clinical development. The deals gave Konica Minolta a beachhead in precision medicine, a market projected to more-than-triple by 2026 to $141.70 billion up from $43.59 billion two years ago, accord- ing to BIS Research. "Philips is the closest competitor that is focused on a digi- tal pathology and precision medicine theme alongside of its imaging device business. They chose the road of pathology as opposed to genomics, where Konica Minolta will take a lead," said Divyaa Ravishankar, industry principal, Trans- formational Health & Life Sciences with market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Earlier this year, Konica Minolta established a global headquarters in the U.S. for its new Konica Minolta Precision Medicine division to be based in Alisa Viejo, CA at Ambry Genetics. And in July, the company named John E. Nieder- huber, M.D., to chair its Scientific Advisory Board, a former director of the NIH's National Cancer Institute, and current EVP and CEO of Inova Translational Medicine Institute, and recently named President and CEO of the Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Institute, a joint venture between Inova Health System and the University of Virginia. Engaging Biopharma Expanding in precision medicine, Konica Minolta says, will entail both organic growth and acquisitions focused first on greater engagement with biopharmas. The company already works with most pharma giants through its CRO Invi- cro, but expects to generate more biopharma business for Ambry, reviving an area from which the company retreated several years ago to focus on clinical testing. Kenneth Bloom M.D., chief medical officer of Advanced Pathology and Genomic Services for Konica Minolta, said the company aims to meet the genomic need of biopharmas by showing them that its technologies can help de-risk their drug development, by identifying the right tar- gets for new therapies through the compa- ny's variety of technologies. "We've determined that pharma has a genomic need that we can fit," said Bloom. "Most of that is along the germline space. But we're starting to move out and look for somatic oppor- tunities as well." Among the company's goals in strengthening ties with pharma, he said, is to build a presence in companion diag- nostics (CDx) by helping customers determine if a CDx is necessary for their drug candidates. "Ambry was already working with pharma from the Konica Minolta Builds Its Presence in Precision Medicine via Acquisitions By Alex Phillipidis New Focus on Genomics "Ambry was already working with pharma from the genomic side, Konica Minolta from the nanotechnology side, and Invicro predominantly from the radiology side." —Kenneth Bloom M.D., CMO, Konica Minolta

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