Esposito leads Phadia's allergy-testing team

Oct. 1, 2010
Laboratories and clinicians are demanding ever-greater levels of detail and clinically useful information from allergy testing.
David Esposito
President and General Manager
Phadia U.S., Portage, MI


Executive Director, Respiratory Marketing Team
Executive Director, New Commercial Model Team
Merck and Co., Whitehouse Station, NJ


MBA, Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

BS, Civil Engineering
U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY


Husband; father of four active children.
Coach sports teams; spend leisure time
hiking, biking, camping.
Volunteer with local non-profits.
Inventor/developer of a program
series designed to improve character
development — for children

and adults, and a new board game “Abundant Harvest” marketed to families, schools, and faith-based programs to support more effective communication and action planning in dealing with today's often difficult and complex situations.

From battlefield to business world. My experiences in the Army (e.g., led an air assault rifle platoon with the 101st Airborne Division into combat during Operation Desert Storm) helped prepare me for leading teams in the business world. Outside of the obvious differences of life/death vs. profit/loss, many similarities exist between leading men in combat and leading a business for succeeding in both. Teams need a well-defined mission behind which to rally; clear and consistent communication; and strong teamwork to succeed. In addition, as all plans need to adjust after the “first shots are fired” or an unforeseen event happens in the marketplace, teams in both combat and business need to demonstrate the resilience to adapt to an increasingly complex environment.

Evolution of allergy testing. Since the discovery of Immunoglobin E (IgE) in 1967, our company has remained dedicated to advancing knowledge of allergic disease, and has created a legacy of innovation in allergy and autoimmune diagnostics. Laboratories and clinicians are demanding ever-greater levels of detail and clinically useful information from allergy testing. Identification of allergens is evolving and moving to the molecular level — with the ability to determine precise proteins within an allergen that cause a reaction. Today, physicians can pinpoint the allergic response to a specific protein within the allergen. For example, in peanut allergy, based on the current literature available, the protein Ara h 2 appears to be one key culprit in producing anaphylaxis. Sensitivity to other peanut proteins may not be as relevant to true clinical peanut allergy.

As a result, with our IgE tests — combined with a clear clinical history — we hope to reduce the misdiagnosis and the overdiagnosis of a range of allergies as the data from ongoing research studies becomes available to clinicians worldwide. We also have seen a demand for improved alternatives in autoimmune testing. Our EliA autoimmune-testing product line contains 43 moderately complex, high-performance assays that span all major disease areas, including connective-tissue diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, antiphospholipid syndrome, vasculitis, and autoimmune-thyroid disease. These products are used in Europe and are now gaining U.S. FDA 510(k) clearances.

Teaching tools. We use traditional approaches to clinician education through regular calls on customers in their offices, evening educational seminars, and society meeting presentations. We also have made significant investments in online education tools for clinicians and patients. The company has partnered with The Allergy and Asthma Network of America-Mothers of Asthmatics to support greater education on asthma and allergies in the community. We work with labs to raise awareness of the appropriate utilization of our products with their physician customers and to change clinician behavior to more effectively utilize in vitro diagnostic tools as an everyday part of patient management.

Attractive opportunities. One critical element in attracting young people to the laboratory field is driving awareness of the many opportunities available and the ability to make a significant impact in the rapidly growing field of healthcare. The laboratory industry is a critical component of successful healthcare reform, and it will present a wealth of opportunities for recent college graduates. We have several internship programs in both traditional marketing/finance roles and technical fields to encourage students to pursue careers in the laboratory/diagnostics industry. We also look forward to searching out new ways to encourage college graduates to participate in this growing field.