Archive for the ‘ innovation ’ Category

Hologic Acquires Gen-Probe: A Commercial Analysis

by Greg Emmerich, UW Madison M.S. Biotechnology Program. Business of Biotechnology: Frontiers and Strategies. Final Paper. April 23rd, 2013.  Privacy Disclaimer; Figure Templates.

Executive Summary

  • Hologic closed a $3.97 billion deal to acquire Gen-Probe in August 2012.  Hologic must be able to create significant value in order to justify such a large purchase as it moves forward.
  • Molecular diagnostics is the fastest-growing segment of the in vitro diagnostic market, which is expected to reach $67.2 billion by 2016.
  • The overall analysis of the acquisition is favorable.  However, the market is fiercely competitive and reliant upon decreasing reimbursement plans.
  • Hologic has strong capabilities with its sales force, but is too dependent on single suppliers and very large customers.
  • Success in the market is dependent on ability to innovate and adapt to change.  Hologic’s internal R&D needs to strengthen in that regard.
  • Four action steps are recommended to Hologic to overcome these challenges. Continue reading

Demystifying Big Data: Skytree Brings Machine Learning to the Masses

by Greg Emmerich, UW Madison M.S. Biotechnology Program. Advanced Biotechnology: Global Perspectives. Thesis Paper. April 16th, 2013.


The Digital Revolution has created a knowledge-based society reliant upon a high-tech global economy.  The pace of innovation has been exponential, leaving some to wonder what possibilities the future may hold.

Big Data is the term given for collections of data sets that are too large and complex for traditional hands-on data management and processing.  The term comes from the realm of information technology, but across an increasing number of fields, scientists are encountering situations that fit the category of Big Data.  Astronomy, genetics, and proteomics are a few of the fields beginning to feel the pressure for managing their data effectively.

There are numerous technical challenges going into setting up a system to process Big Data in reasonable amounts of time.  Machine learning algorithms present great potential in their ability to tease out hidden relationships among data sets and make predictions, but these analyses require distributed computing clusters capable of communicating intermediate results between tasks.

Continue reading

Surface Plasmon Resonance: Technology Overview and Practical Applications

by Greg Emmerich, UW Madison, M.S. in Biotechnology Program, Early Drug Development Class. November 16, 2012


There is a remarkable moment in science that is best described as the “aha!” moment–the moment when some truth about the universe becomes revealed through precise measurement, observation, and deduction. A seemingly unlikely union between mathematics, physics, and biochemistry has given rise to a technology called Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR). The “aha!” moment for SPR came some 30 years ago when it was shown that polarized laser light shined upon a nanolayer of gold at a specific frequency can propagate that specific energy along the surface of the gold, and this propagation is extremely sensitive to any changes to the dielectric environment of the gold. That is, lasers were found to be useful as a lens to the world of the very small, able to detect molecular changes on the nanometer scale. The implications of this discovery continue to be felt as companies continue to improve the technology and tailor it to particular needs. Already SPR has proven useful in the drug discovery and molecular diagnostic fields, and the technology shows much promise in the future. Continue reading