Bio-Rad Laboratories

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Bio-Rad Laboratories
Type Public (NYSEBIO)
Industry Life science
Clinical diagnostics
Founded 1952
Founder(s) David and Alice Schwartz
Headquarters Hercules, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people

Norman Schwartz (Chairman), (President and CEO)
Brad Crutchfield (Vice President and Group Manager, Life Science)
John Goetz (Vice President and Group Manager, Clinical Diagnostics)
Giovanni Magni (Vice President and International Sales Manager)
Christine Tsingos (Vice President and CFO)

Sanford S. Wadler (Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary)
Revenue IncreaseUS$2.073 billion (FY 2011)[1]
Operating income IncreaseUS$295 million (FY 2011)[1]
Net income DecreaseUS$178 million (FY 2011)[1]
Total assets IncreaseUS$3.097 billion (FY 2011)[1]
Total equity IncreaseUS$1.744 billion (FY 2010)[1]
Employees 7,030(Dec 2011)[1]
Divisions Life Science Research,
Clinical Diagnostics,
Process Separations,
Spectroscopy,
Food Science,
Life Science Education
Website www.bio-rad.com

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1952 in Berkeley, California. The company was initially engaged in the development and production of specialty chemicals used in biochemical, pharmaceutical, and other life science research applications. Today, Bio-Rad manufactures and supplies life science research, healthcare, analytical chemistry, and other markets with products and systems used to separate complex chemical and biological materials and to identify, analyze, and purify their components.[2]

Bio-Rad operates in six industry segments: Life Science Research, Clinical Diagnostics, Process Separations, Food Science, Spectroscopy, and Life Science Education. All segments operate worldwide. Bio-Rad's customers include hospitals, major research institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and secondary and tertiary academic institutions. Bio-Rad's headquarters are in Hercules, California. The company has offices and facilities worldwide and more than 7,000 employees.[3] Bio-Rad had revenues of more than two billion dollars in 2011.[4] The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since October 24, 2008. Before that, Bio-Rad was listed on the American Stock Exchange.

Divisions[edit]

Bio-Rad DNA Engine Peltier Thermal cycler

Life Science Research Division[edit]

Life science is the study of the characteristics, behavior, and structure of living organisms and their component systems. Life science researchers use a variety of products and systems — including reagents, instruments, software, and apparatus — to advance drug discovery, biotechnology, food pathogen testing, and the study of life processes, primarily within a laboratory setting. Bio-Rad’s products are based on technologies used to separate, purify, identify, analyze, and amplify biological and chemical materials.

Bio-Rad ranks among the top five life science companies in the world and maintains a solid reputation for quality and innovation. The Life Science Group provides a wide range of laboratory instruments, apparatus, and consumables used for research in functional genomics, proteomics, and food safety. The company holds leadership positions in eletrophoresis, protein assays, BSE (or mad cow disease) and CWD (chronic wasting disease) testing, gel image analysis, DNA amplification, and biochromatography. The primary end users in Bio-Rad’s sectors of the market are universities and medical schools, industrial research organizations, government agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, biotechnology researchers, and food testing laboratories.[5]

Clinical Diagnostics Division[edit]

Bio-Rad is the number one specialty diagnostics company in the world. The Clinical Diagnostics Group develops, manufactures, sells and supports a large portfolio of products for medical screening and diagnostics. The company holds leadership positions in diabetes monitoring and quality control (QC) systems. Bio-Rad is well known for its blood virus testing and detection, blood typing, autoimmune and genetic disorders testing and Internet-based software products.

Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics segment encompasses a broad array of technologies incorporated into a variety of products used to detect, identify, monitor, and quantify substances in patient and donor blood, other bodily fluids, and tissue samples. The vast majority of these tests are performed in vitro (outside the body). The information generated by these tests helps physicians diagnose disease and guide therapy and treatment to help improve patient care.

The market is split into several subsegments consisting of clinical chemistry, immunoassay, microbiology, hematology, molecular, coagulation, blood banking, and blood typing. Bio-Rad has significant positions in blood virus testing (blood banking and immunoassay); immunohematology (blood typing); hemoglobin A1c testing for diabetes monitoring (clinical chemistry and immunoassay); autoimmune disease testing (immunoassay); and quality control (crossing all subsegments).

Consumers of Bio-Rad’s clinical diagnostic products are hospital laboratories, reference laboratories, physician office laboratories, government agencies, and diagnostic manufacturers.

One medically significant product is a rapid dengue test, called the NS1 antigen test, which allows for dengue detection the first day of fever, rather than when antibodies rise some five or more days later.

Spectroscopy Division[edit]

Bio-Rad's Spectroscopy Division (formerly Informatics) specializes in database and software solutions for the scientific community.

  • Spectral Databases: Bio-Rad is the leading producer and publisher of fully verified spectral databases, with a collection that contains IR, Raman, NIR, NMR, MS, and UV-Vis data covering pure compounds and a broad range of commercial products.
  • KnowItAll® Software: Bio-Rad specializes in software solutions to manage and analyze multiple types of spectral and chemical data in multiple file and instrument formats.

History[edit]

Bio-Rad Laboratories was founded in 1952 by husband and wife team David and Alice Schwartz. The couple first met in a class at the University of California–Berkeley, from which they both graduated.

The idea that launched the company came about unexpectedly during a game of bridge. During the card game, the players, including Dave and Alice, joked about products that were not but maybe should have been on the market. Someone suggested creating tobacco mosaic virus, a virus Alice was using for scientific research and one that required many days to prepare. Dave questioned why no one was manufacturing it. The following day, he and Alice searched their neighborhood in Berkeley for a place to launch a company with a mission to accelerate the scientific discovery process by providing products and tools to researchers.[6]

In the years that followed, the couple continued to expand their product line. They worked closely with their customers to gain a better understanding of what researchers were trying to accomplish and how.[5]

In 1967, Bio-Rad entered the field of clinical diagnostics with the development of its first test kit based on separation techniques and materials developed for life science research. Bio-Rad expanded into the field of analytical and measuring instrument systems through internal research and development efforts and acquisitions in the late 1970s and 1980s. In 1999, Bio-Rad acquired the stock of Pasteur Sanofi Diagnostics. This strengthened the company’s position in the HIV and infectious disease diagnostic product market. In 2000 and 2004, Bio-Rad divested its semiconductor, optoelectronic metrology, and confocal microscopy product lines. In late 2007, Bio-Rad acquired Switzerland-based DiaMed Holding AG, enhancing Bio-Rad’s position in the immunohematology market.

As Bio-Rad broadened its product line, it also expanded its geographical market. Bio Rad has distribution channels in more than 30 countries outside the United States through subsidiaries whose primary focus is customer service and product distribution.[2]

Marketing[edit]

BioRadiations magazine[edit]

BioRadiations is an online magazine from Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. that offers scientific professionals around the globe whitepapers, tips, techniques, and topics related to Bio-Rad products and services. BioRadiations originated as a print magazine that was launched in 1965[7] and was in continuous publication until 2011. Content typically includes new product information, technical and application notes describing experiments performed using Bio-Rad products, and interviews with researchers in the life sciences. The online version offers interactive content including product demonstrations in the form of system tours, videos, podcasts etc.

Viral videos[edit]

Bio-Rad has produced several musical advertising videos which have become popular on sites such as YouTube.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 38°1′23.52″N 122°16′40.35″W / 38.0232000°N 122.2778750°W / 38.0232000; -122.2778750