A science whiz, Beckman Coulter never saw a test it didn't love. The company makes more than 600 diagnostic testing systems and supplies, from simple blood tests to complicated genetic diagnostic tools. Its wares are used by hospital and other clinical laboratories to suss out diseases and monitor their progression. Its clinical products include immunoassay, clinical chemistry, and hematology systems, as well as products in the growing field of molecular diagnostics. In addition to its systems for diagnosing patients, Beckman Coulter makes life science products used by researchers to understand disease and develop new therapies. The company is a subsidiary of industrial automation firm Danaher.
Beckman Coulter markets its products in more than 130 countries, and sales outside the US have historically accounted for more than half of revenues.
The company operates in two segments: Diagnostics and Life Sciences. The Diagnostics segment has about 10,000 associates who serve the $41 billion Clinical Diagnostics market. It delivers more than 250 million tests every year, used by physicians to diagnose, treat, monitor and manage their patients. Its tests help diagnose diseases such as prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, leukemia, HIV, congestive heart failure and heart attacks.
The Life Sciences Segment has about 1,800 associates who assist customers with products and services that simplify complex processes, automate procedures, and integrate work flows to accelerate breakthroughs in scientific research, medicine, and industry.
Over the years, Beckman Coulter has installed more than 275,000 of its clinical diagnostic systems around the world. Along with instruments, it sells reagents and other consumable testing supplies (as well as technical support services) that provide recurring revenue over the life of a system. In addition to diagnosing diseases and medical conditions, the clinical systems are used to make decisions on how to treat a patient and to monitor the patient's treatment responses. Health care products range from single-use kits used in physician offices to high-volume laboratory processing systems for urine, blood, cellular, and molecular samples.
Sales and Marketing
Beckman Coulter's sales and distribution networks are being integrated into the Danaher organization. Prior to its acquisition by Danaher, the company primarily marketed products through its own sales force, but relied on independent distributors in certain markets. The company sells to individual hospitals and labs, as well as to hospital group purchasing organization such as HealthTrust. Additionally, the company is the North American distributor of Instrumentation Laboratory's hemostasis (blood disorder testing) products, sold mainly under the ACL brand.
Beckman Coulter is part of Danaher's Life Sciences & Diagnostics segment, which contributes about 36% of the parent's total company revenues.
Beckman Coulter tries to stay ahead of the competition by researching and developing improved and new systems that cost-effectively perform high volumes of tests for its health care and life science clients. For instance, Beckman Coulter is investing substantial resources towards the creation of an enhanced automated molecular diagnostic (genetic testing) system that will allow for complex molecular testing in clinical labs. It also launches improved versions of its centrifuges, slide preparers, flow cytometers, and other instruments. Some of its R&D efforts are conducted through partnerships with firms such as ImmunoSite (particle characterization instruments) and Vitrology (biosafety testing).
In addition, the firm is working to expand its test offerings, with a focus on the growing fields of flow cytometry, immunoassay, and molecular diagnostic products in targeted disease categories. To reduce manual review rates it launched a new hematology analyzer in 2013; it launched a pregnancy test in Europe in 2014.
Mergers and Acquisitions
As part of its strategy to expand in the growing flow cytometry field, in 2014 the company acquired Xitogen Technologies, a flow cytometer developer based in Suzhou and Dalian in China.
That year the company also agreed to acquire the clinical microbiology business of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, which has an installed base of more than 6,000 instruments around the world.
Beckman Coulter acquired the HIV-monitoring flow cytometry business of ReaMetrix India in 2013.