Trends & Perspectives

Published: March 7, 2012
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Samsung Electronics Lengthens its Dx Reach

Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd., a globally recognizable brand of semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media, and digital convergence technologies based in Seoul, South Korea, has acquired the Nexus division of ITC Nexus Holding Company (ITC), a provider of cardiac point-of-care testing products.

By: Maureen Kingsley

Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd., a globally recognizable brand of semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media, and digital convergence technologies based in Seoul, South Korea, has acquired the Nexus division of ITC Nexus Holding Company (ITC), a provider of cardiac point-of-care testing products.
Nexus, based in San Diego and founded not quite three years ago, manufactures and markets the Cardiac STATus, DECISION Point, and VYENT lines of rapid test kits that aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of several cardiovascular diseases.
Jon Vance, CFA, Managing Director of MedDx Capital Advisors in Southern California and an industry analyst, told IVD Technology that Samsung’s acquisition of Nexus “represents the next step in Samsung’s well-signaled intent to leverage its consumer electronics design and manufacturing expertise into healthcare, and specifically medtech.” Vance pointed to Samsung’s recent purchase of Medison, a Korean ultrasound manufacturer, for around $200 million. Additionally, Samsung was “rumored to be in discussions with U.S. mobile-ultrasound manufacturer Sonosite,” Vance said.
In a prepared press statement, Yong-chu Bang, vice president of Samsung Electronics’ Health and Medical Equipment business team, explained the acquisition this way: “This investment represents an exciting opportunity to strengthen Nexus’ technological capabilities while enabling Samsung to compete in the cardiac point-of-care testing market. We welcome the expertise that Nexus brings and believe this partnership will play a vital role in helping Samsung to position itself as a global leader in healthcare technology.”
By buying Nexus from ITC, Vance said, Samsung obtains “key cardiac assets and tests necessary to commercialize a rapid testing platform ultimately at the point of care, but probably first alongside Medison’s echocardiography system.” In the long run, he speculated, “it’s not a stretch to envision a Samsung that pieces disparate technologies and imaging modalities in conjunction with advances in biosensors and molecular diagnostics to make innovative handheld point-of-care devices.”
Indeed, Campbell Graham of the Global Communications Group, Samsung Electronics, confirmed via e-mail that Samsung “will expand its own IVD business based on Nexus’s technology and Samsung’s brand-new point-of-care platform.” He added that the company’s Health and Medical Equipment Business team is focusing on both imaging and in-vitro diagnostics. “Samsung started activities in the IVD market in 2009 in the local Korean market,” Graham wrote. “In 2012, it will expand its IVD activities into Europe.”
As for Nexus, it “represented a rather small portion of ITC’s overall business and ultimately was deemed non-core,” said Jon Vance of MedDx. He believes the deal “makes perfect sense” for ITC because it “allows the company to monetize Nexus and reinvest in focusing in on providing its hemostasis line of products to its core hospital call point.”
Taking a similar point of view, ITC CEO John Sperzel said in a press release, “Samsung has a history of leadership and innovation in high growth sectors and has recently announced a commitment to invest in the medical device, diagnostic, and biopharmaceutical industries. We believe this divestiture will provide Nexus the resources and support to continue to develop and build its platform of cutting-edge rapid cardiac testing products and enable ITC to focus and build on its core hemostasis point-of-care testing and monitoring products that target the physician office and hospital markets.”
Nexus will continue to operate from its San Diego, CA headquarters and become part of Samsung’s Health and Medical Equipment division.
As part of long-term plans to develop “next-generation growth engines,” Samsung announced last year its goal to invest about $1 billion through 2020 in healthcare equipment. Its 2010 consolidated sales totaled $135.8 billion.

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