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Ron Zwanziger

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Ron Zwanziger (born 1954, Tel Aviv, Israel) is an American businessman.[1] He is best known for founding and leading the diagnostic test manufacturer Alere.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Zwanziger was born in Israel in 1954 and raised on the island of Cyprus, after his family moved there in 1956.[2][3]

He earned an engineering degree from Imperial College London in 1975 and an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1981.[4][2]

Career[edit]

Medisense (1981-1991)[edit]

Along with three HBS classmates, Zwanziger co-founded Medisense Inc., a maker of glucose meters used in diabetes home care, in 1981.[3][5][2] He served as CEO until 1991.[2]

Originally, the company pursued 13 disparate biotechnology ideas, hoping one or another would pay off.[3] By 1984, 10 of the projects had been scrapped, 2 (which concerned Dutch elm disease and metabolic engineering) had been sold or spun off, and the company focused on the remaining one, which concerned electrochemical biosensors.[3]

In 1987, Medisense introduced the ExacTech, which was the first electrochemical biosensor-based glucose meter for home use.[6] This technology required less blood to obtain a reading, and by 2008 was used in a majority of the 6 billion home blood glucose tests being performed annually.[6] In his textbook on electrochemistry, Alan Bond of Monash University opines that the commercial success of electrochemical home glucose monitoring "predominantly can be attributed to the introduction of the ExacTech system."[7]

Medisense was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 1996 for $876 million.[8]

Alere (1991-2014)[edit]

Zwanziger founded Alere Inc. (then called Selfcare Inc.),[9][4] a diagnostic test manufacturer, in 1991.[2] He served as CEO until 2014.[10][11][12]

Alere's diabetes unit was sold to Johnson and Johnson in 2001 for $1.3 billion.[13][9] With the 2001 acquisition of the subsidiary Unipath from Unilever, Alere became the leading manufacturer of ovulation and pregnancy tests.[3] Alere acquired San Diego-based Biosite Inc. in a $1.7 billion hostile takeover in 2007.[14]

Abbott acquired Alere in 2017 for $5.3 billion.[15][9]

LumiraDx (2014-present)[edit]

Along with longtime partners[3] Drs. David Scott and Jerry McAleer, Zwanziger co-founded the diagnostic test manufacturer LumiraDx in 2014, and he currently serves as CEO.[16]

Venture capital trade websites show LumiraDx closed several funding rounds including for $270 million in 2018 and $302 million in 2020.[17][18] In March 2020, LumiraDx partnered with New York-based Chembio Diagnostics, in order to develop tests for COVID-19, with a focus on what Chembio CEO Richard Eberly called "tests with the ability to scale based upon market demand."[19]

References[edit]

  1. Douglas, Craig M. (11 August 2008). "Boston's barbarian?". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 28 December 2017. Sign In Required
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Pederson, Jay; Grant, Tina (2004). "Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc". International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Isenberg, Daniel (2006). Inverness Medical Innovations--Born Global (A). Harvard Business School Publishing. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Ron Zwanziger: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg. May 11, 2001. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  5. Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value. Harvard Business Review Press. 2013. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4221-8699-2. Retrieved December 28, 2017. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 Heller, Adam; Feldman, Ben (2008). "Electrochemical Glucose Sensors and Their Applications in Diabetes Management". Chemical Reviews. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  7. Bond, Alan (2002). Broadening Electrochemical Horizons: Principles and Illustration of Voltammetric and Related Techniques. Oxford University Press. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  8. "Abbott Laboratories to Buy Medisense for $876 Million". The New York Times. 30 March 1996. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Cyran, Robert (January 1, 2016). "Strategy of Alere Board Paid Off With Buyout by Abbott". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  10. "Alere chief executive Ron Zwanziger resigns, effective immediately - The Boston Globe". bostonglobe.com. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  11. "Alere Inc. CEO Zwanziger, Other Top Executives Resign In Overhaul". BioSpace. July 2, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  12. contributor (December 28, 2017). "Alere's' Ex-CEO plans $3.82 billion offer for health company". www.ohio.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  13. "J&J acquires Inverness unit - May 23, 2001". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  14. "Inverness wins Biosite with bid of $1.68 billion". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  15. Ignorance, Out of (27 October 2017). "Abbott's Inviting New Allure". seekingalpha.com. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  16. "Who We Are". LumiraDx. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  17. "LumiraDx Overview". PitchBook. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  18. "LumiraDx". Owler. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  19. Solnik, Claude (1 April 2020). "Chembio Distributing 15-Minute COVID-19 Test in U.S." Long Island Press. Retrieved 5 June 2020.



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