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Leica Biosystems acquires Aperio
October 2012
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author


VISTA, Calif.Leica Biosystems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aperio, a leading provider of ePathology solutions. Aperio will be integrated into Leica Biosystems, a broad-based provider of anatomical pathology solutions.

Leica Biosystems is represented in more than 100 countries, with manufacturing facilities in seven countries, sales and service organizations in 19 countries and an international network of dealers. The company is headquartered in Nussloch, Germany.

According to the announcement, "the two businesses will leverage each other's strengths to grow and expand digital pathology into the global life-science and healthcare markets. The integrated business will provide industry leading solutions in each step of the anatomical pathology workflow, from sample preparation and staining, to imaging and reporting. The company will continue to offer both the Aperio and the existing Leica portfolio of digital pathology solutions, so that customers will enjoy more freedom to choose a solution that meets their individual needs."

As is common in the case of pending acquisitions, neither company responded to requests for additional details about the deal. But Aperio claims its ePathology Solutions have been cited in more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, and that the company has more systems installed globally than all other providers combined.

"We were the first to develop the technology to transform microscopic glass slides into whole slide digital images, eSlides, and were also the first company to develop a proven cloud-based, multisite, multisystem solution," the Aperio website states.

Earlier this year, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology concluded that "Virtual slides represent an acceptable methodology for central review of breast cancer histopathology and can circumvent the need for either travel to view material, or the potential problems of sending it by post."

By the end of this month, Aperio expects to be shipping units of its new NETWORK, a solution that enables remote, real-time viewing and easy distribution of images for peer review, collaboration and consultation among pathologists and the care team.

"Healthcare organizations are embracing ePathology, taking digital images into clinical use," says Dr. Jared N. Schwartz, Aperio's chief medical officer. "The Aperio ePathology NETWORK delivers a software solution that makes it easy to adopt ePathology into routine patient care by effectively connecting the care team across disparate hospital locations."

"The Aperio ePathology NETWORK raises the bar in patient care by enabling very quick access to sub-specialty expertise for difficult cases. The patient has access to the right sub-specialist and the pathologist has peace of mind," adds Dr. Olga Ioffe, professor of pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "An additional benefit of the NETWORK is that those pathologists covering surgery centers can interpret intraoperative consultations remotely, reducing or eliminating travel."

At roughly the same time, Aperio will also launch its newest ePathViewer, an easy-to-use application for viewing eSlide images anywhere, at any time, via an iPad or iPhone. The Aperio ePathViewer will connect to the NETWORK and also supports several pre-configured websites including the Rosai Collection, Aperio eSlide Hosting and Aperio eSlideShare. The Aperio ePathViewer was scheduled to be available in mid-September for download at the App Store.

"We are excited to acquire Aperio because of its leadership in digital pathology, innovative product portfolio and its very experienced global team. We share the commitment to advancing cancer diagnostics to improve lives. This acquisition positions us to better address the growing demand for personalized medicine and the increasing challenge of staff shortage in the global pathology market. Together, we offer the market an end-to-end solution from the time that the specimen is collected to the time that the results are delivered, to help our customers improve workflow efficiency and diagnostic confidence," says Arnd Kaldowski, president of Leica Biosystems.

"We believe that Aperio will benefit from the heritage, deep pathology expertise and strong brand recognition of Leica Biosystems," says David Schlotterbeck, CEO of Aperio. "The combined product offerings and improved reach into the diagnostic market will make our ePathology Solutions more widely available. We see our goals as synergistic, and together we can address the regional and global imbalances of pathology expertise available for patient care and research."

Code: E101210



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