VISTA, Calif.—Leica Biosystems hasentered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aperio, a leadingprovider of ePathology solutions. Aperio will be integrated intoLeica Biosystems, a broad-based provider of anatomical pathologysolutions.
Leica Biosystems is represented in morethan 100 countries, with manufacturing facilities in seven countries,sales and service organizations in 19 countries and an internationalnetwork of dealers. The company is headquartered in Nussloch,Germany.
According to the announcement, "thetwo businesses will leverage each other's strengths to grow andexpand digital pathology into the global life-science and healthcaremarkets. The integrated business will provide industry leadingsolutions in each step of the anatomical pathology workflow, fromsample preparation and staining, to imaging and reporting. Thecompany will continue to offer both the Aperio and the existing Leicaportfolio of digital pathology solutions, so that customers willenjoy more freedom to choose a solution that meets their individualneeds."
As is common in the case of pendingacquisitions, neither company responded to requests for additionaldetails about the deal. But Aperio claims its ePathology Solutionshave been cited in more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, and thatthe company has more systems installed globally than all otherproviders combined.
"We were the first to develop thetechnology to transform microscopic glass slides into whole slidedigital images, eSlides, and were also the first company to develop aproven cloud-based, multisite, multisystem solution," the Aperiowebsite states.
Earlier this year, a study published inthe Journal of Clinical Pathology concluded that "Virtualslides represent an acceptable methodology for central review ofbreast cancer histopathology and can circumvent the need for eithertravel to view material, or the potential problems of sending it bypost."
By the end of this month, Aperioexpects to be shipping units of its new NETWORK, a solution thatenables remote, real-time viewing and easy distribution of images forpeer review, collaboration and consultation among pathologists andthe care team.
"Healthcare organizations areembracing ePathology, taking digital images into clinical use,"says Dr. Jared N. Schwartz, Aperio's chief medical officer. "TheAperio ePathology NETWORK delivers a software solution that makes iteasy to adopt ePathology into routine patient care by effectivelyconnecting the care team across disparate hospital locations."
"The Aperio ePathology NETWORK raisesthe bar in patient care by enabling very quick access tosub-specialty expertise for difficult cases. The patient has accessto the right sub-specialist and the pathologist has peace of mind,"adds Dr. Olga Ioffe, professor of pathology at the University ofMaryland School of Medicine. "An additional benefit of the NETWORKis that those pathologists covering surgery centers can interpretintraoperative consultations remotely, reducing or eliminatingtravel."
At roughly the same time, Aperio willalso launch its newest ePathViewer, an easy-to-use application forviewing eSlide images anywhere, at any time, via an iPad or iPhone.The Aperio ePathViewer will connect to the NETWORK and also supportsseveral pre-configured websites including the Rosai Collection,Aperio eSlide Hosting and Aperio eSlideShare. The Aperio ePathViewerwas scheduled to be available in mid-September for download at theApp Store.
"We are excited to acquire Aperiobecause of its leadership in digital pathology, innovative productportfolio and its very experienced global team. We share thecommitment to advancing cancer diagnostics to improve lives. Thisacquisition positions us to better address the growing demand forpersonalized medicine and the increasing challenge of staff shortagein the global pathology market. Together, we offer the market anend-to-end solution from the time that the specimen is collected tothe time that the results are delivered, to help our customersimprove workflow efficiency and diagnostic confidence," says ArndKaldowski, president of Leica Biosystems.
"We believe that Aperio will benefitfrom the heritage, deep pathology expertise and strong brandrecognition of Leica Biosystems," says David Schlotterbeck, CEO ofAperio. "The combined product offerings and improved reach into thediagnostic market will make our ePathology Solutions more widelyavailable. We see our goals as synergistic, and together we canaddress the regional and global imbalances of pathology expertiseavailable for patient care and research."