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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Page 39 of 51

38 Clinical OMICs November/December 2018 Konica Minolta also aims to engage biopharmas through its High-Sensitivity Tissue Testing (HSTT). The advanced immunostaining technology uses fluorescent nanoparticles to detect and quantify proteins linked to disease, with the goal of offering greater precision and accuracy than con- ventional immunostaining techniques. Initially applied in oncology, HSTT is designed to determine the exact cellular location and amount of specific proteins in cells, enabling early-stage, precise diagnosis and insights into a patient's disease designed to inform research and clinicians' treat- ment plans. "We're hoping that we're going to be able to identify a broader group of patients that might benefit from cur- rent therapies, but more importantly, moving forward for pharma, that they're going to look at this technology as being more robust," Bloom said. Perspective and Pathology "The Konica Minolta precision medicine perspective is: We want to take care of people when they're ill. And more importantly we want to keep people healthy," Bloom added. Keeping people healthy has been Ambry's focus through its germline testing, while taking care of people when they're ill has been the concern of Invicro via is research ser- vices that aid new drug development, to get drugs to market quicker. "What we want to do," Bloom said, "is merge those two together." Konica Minolta also intends to build a pathology busi- ness whose operations can be aligned with Ambry's genom- ics services. Pathology services are now being handled at labs in Japan as well as in Boston, but Konica Minolta plans to add that capability as well in Aliso Viejo. How soon that will occur has yet to be decided, Bloom said. ¥100 Billion Goal Konica Minolta has publicly committed to growing its genomic or "bio-healthcare" business to at least ¥100 billion ($885.4 million) in revenue, and an operating profit of at least ¥20 billion ($177 million), by the 2021 fiscal year. The company finished its 2017 fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, with bio-healthcare revenue of ¥9 billion ($79.7 million), and was more than halfway to equaling that in the first quarter of its current fiscal year (April–June 2018) with ¥5.9 billion ($52.2 million) in revenue. For the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, Kon- ica Minolta has projected ¥35 billion ($309.9 million) in bio-healthcare revenue, or about 3% of the ¥1.08 trillion (about $9.6 billion) in revenue forecast for the entire company. "Konica Minolta is currently shifting business resources from its traditional businesses, which have involved devel- oping and providing X-ray diagnostic equipment, ultra- sound diagnostic systems, and medical IT solutions, to the field of precision medicine, where we can provide greater added value," Kiyotaka Fujii, the president of Konica Minol- ta's healthcare business, stated in the annual report. A key driver of Konica Minolta's precision medicine growth has been its desire to bring that medical approach to Japan. On October 1, the company launched a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to marketing high-end preci- sion medicine tools and diagnostic services in Japan. Konica Minolta Precision Medicine Japan will be led by president Ken Masuo, who has 30-plus years of pharmaceutical indus- try experience. It will be based in Tokyo with a launch team of 23 employees. Among precision medicine efforts Konica Minolta has identified for Japan is creating a database of genetic data gleaned from its diagnostics, with the aim of contiributing to genetic analyses based on the characteristics of Japanese patients. The company also plans to work with genetic research organizations to help advance Japan's national genome strategy. While Ambry has given Konica Minolta know-how on securing reimbursement for tests from private payors in the United States, the company's ability to apply that expertise in Japan faces a challenge. "Like many other emerging markets, Japan is also increas- ingly a self-pay market," Ravishankar said. "The cost of the tests as they are right now may not be affordable for this population. It will be interesting to see Konica Minolta's pricing strategy as they wade through the tough waters of price sensitivity." (continued from previous page) Konica Minolta

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