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To really know a person IRIS International doesn't look deep into their eyes. Instead, the company manufactures automated in-vitro diagnostic systems that analyze bodily fluids. Beginning with urinalysis technology, the company has expanded to include blood (hematology) and other fluids. Its Iris Diagnostics, division develops the iQ family of automated imaging – more... systems used in urinalysis and microscopic analysis, as well as related consumables (reagents and test strips) and services. The Iris Sample Processing division markets centrifuges, small instruments, and laboratory supplies for specimen processing. The company was acquired by industrial and medical conglomerate Danaher in October 2012.

Change in Company Type

Danaher bought IRIS International for some $338 million to further expand its medical diagnostics business. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher, IRIS will be added to the diagnostics business of Beckman Coulter, which Danaher previously acquired in 2011.

Sales and Marketing

The majority of IRIS International sales occur in the US market, where the company uses a direct sales force. The company also maintains a direct sales presence in France, Germany, and the UK. Elsewhere the company relies upon independent distributors to represent its products internationally. International sales in some 50 countries account for about one-third of annual revenues.

Financial Analysis

IRIS has enjoyed steady revenue growth over the years, rising almost 10% to $118 million in 2011. However, that same year the company experienced a  a net loss of $1.2 million as a result of acquisition expenses. The company's net income had been softening prior to that loss due to international expansion efforts and foreign currency fluctuations.

While IRIS International's cool systems are big-ticket items, the company makes over half of its revenues from sales of the consumables that are used to process samples and the service contract to keep the big analyzers running smoothly. And, naturally, as more of the systems are sold, sales of consumables and services jump accordingly.

Strategy

IRIS has worked to expand its global operations by increasing its direct sales presence in new and existing markets, including through acquisitions and partnerships. IRIS is also expanding its product portfolio through internal development.

The company's iChem VELOCITY urine chemistry analyzer received FDA clearance for sale in the US in 2011. Other systems in development include the 3GEMS platform, which will analyze both urine and blood and the ThermoBrite automated system for processing fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) testing. Also, the company's Personalized Medicine segment developed the NADiA (nucleic acid detection immunoassay) platform that led to the 2011 introduction of a more sensitive prostate cancer test based on molecular detection of specific protein. 

In addition, the company is working on an automated urine bacteria screening device as an alternative to urine cultures, and it plans to expand into other fluid-based diagnostics, such as hematology (blood analysis). – less

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