Bartl Wimmer, chief executive of the Germany-based lab service provider Synlab, believes that genetic testing is going to be the next big thing in laboratory diagnostics. To get ahead of the field, the Synlab Group has already bought and built genetic diagnostic facilities all over the country, including the Center for Human Genetics in the southwestern city of Mannheim.
Mr. Wimmer, himself a doctor, sees particularly high growth potential in the area of cancer diagnosis. More and more cancer drugs are coming on the market that are adapted to the molecular properties of individual tumors. Companion diagnostics – the tailoring of diagnosis and treatment based on a person’s individual genetic content – is going to be the field to watch.
At the moment, statutory health insurance is not quite as forward-thinking as Mr. Wimmer and remimbursement for genetic testing not guaranteed. “We have been forced to offer services in advance if we don’t want to miss out on the trend,” said Mr. Wimmer.