Biocare Medical CEO touts multiplex solution for complex cases

June 1, 2011

“Personalized medicine will enable pathologists and oncologists to treat their patients more effectively in the future.”

Roy Paxton Yih

Co-founder, president, and CEO,

Biocare Medical,

Concord, CA.

Founded Biocare Medical with Gene Castagnini and David Tacha, 1997; sales manager, BioGenex Labs, 1993-1996; sales representative, trainer, SangStat Medical, 1991-1993; research scientist, Xoma Corp, 1987-1990; research associate, Medizone, 1985-1986.


MBA, University of Santa Clara, 1991;
BS, Biochemistry, University of California-Davis, 1985.


Board member, Seven Hills School, 2003 to present.
Hobbies include golf and rock climbing.

Life-saving solutions.
Originally, I wanted to be a physician; but after working internships in hospitals, I decided that was not the career for me, but I still wanted science to be part of my career. Biocare Medical was started to improve patient care, and we are pleased to provide innovative diagnostic products such as our Multiplex Immunohistochemistry (IHC) antibody cocktails and matched detection technologies for cancer and infectious diseases. Multiplex IHC allows for simultaneous testing of morphologically distinct markers and simplifies interpretation. We have used this technology to solve complex clinical problems, particularly focusing on differentiating early changes in cancer diagnosis; the most significant has been PIN-4 for differentiation of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) from prostate cancer. One of our most recent innovations includes PulmoPanel for differentiation of squamous vs. adenocarcinoma in three steps for confidence in non-small-cell lung-cancer diagnosis. The company's partnerships with laboratories led to the discovery of the need to differentiate squamous vs. adenocarcinoma; proper treatment with targeted therapies is a matter of life or death for patients.

Growth in molecular technology.
The rapidly emerging molecular diagnostic field brings significant clarity and benefits to pathologists and oncologists. Our passion to be on the forefront of technology led us to release the SPOT-Light HER2 CISH test and RISH (in situ hybridization simplified).

Automation answers.
As the emerging molecular pathology market grows, we will be looking toward automation for faster turnaround time and ease-of-use. Increased automation will help to drive lab efficiencies with the addition of extremely specific molecular and genomic tests that will strongly impact the face of lab medicine. Personalized medicine will enable pathologists and oncologists to treat their patients more effectively in the future. We have just signed a development program with a leading pharmaceutical company for a companion diagnostic test which has the potential to identify a personalized therapy specific to a single patient. Fully automated platforms will reduce the need for more highly trained personnel from operational standpoints. Histopathology labs will be put under considerable financial pressure to reduce costs. We are focused on developing automated products that address critical clinical problems — conserving tissue, saving time, and reducing costs.

Career considerations.
Young people are looking for an exciting, forward-thinking area with a defined career path; great products that help people; kind, ethical leaders who act as mentors/role models; and ways to sustain the environment for the future. We work with local schools and colleges, along with the local employment agencies, to recruit interns annually. Interns work in various departments to get a well-rounded experience about cancer diagnostics, which helps to propel them to their career path. We have participated in the California Society for Histotechnology Annual meeting to sponsor the “career day” by recruiting students from a local high school.

Community connections.
The company often gets involved in the local community. We provide educational workshops and seminars for national, state, and local meetings. The company has donated microscopes and reagents to local high schools. We also donated instruments and reagents to local hospitals following a “caring campaign” at National Society for Histotechnology (NSH), and United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) annual meetings. We also participate in charity events, such as walk-a-thons for Alzheimer's and other diseases.

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