Meridian develops, manufactures, and distributes a wide variety of rapid tests and technologies to help clinical labs accurately diagnose acute infectious diseases. We serve hospitals and clinical reference lab customers in more than 65 countries. In addition we have a Life Science business unit that develops and distributes essential biologicals and related components that are used by our customers in developing and manufacturing commercial diagnostic tests as well as tests for academic research.
Meridian’s diagnostic tests enable more rapid detection and diagnosis to reduce the time required for selecting appropriate treatment This is better for the patient, and it significantly reduces the costs of healthcare. In addition, we offer a broad variety of testing platforms that are simple to perform and are tailored to fit any laboratory regardless of size or workflow requirements.
John A. Kraeutler
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Bioscience, Inc. since 2008; joined Meridian in 1992 and held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer until appointment as CEO.
Undergraduate degree in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University; MS in Biology and MBA, Marketing from Seton Hall University.
Served on the Board of the BIO/START incubator and is a past member of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission; sits on boards of two local healthcare companies, AssureRx and Union Springs Wellness; currently serves as president of the local Boy Scout Council; and “When I can make the time, I relax by traveling to my cabin in Maine.”
Products and solutions have evolved to meet the changing needs of clinical laboratories. In the past, when it came to diagnosing acute infectious diseases, the tests performed by the clinical lab were often time-consuming and therefore served to confirm a diagnosis that already had been made empirically by a physician. Today, the lab’s output is a more integral part of the diagnostic decision, and a rapid test result often helps to determine the selection of treatment for the patient. In addition, as pharmaceuticals become more specific and therefore targeted to an exact clinical diagnosis, the need for highly accurate and rapid tests in the laboratory becomes even more relevant. Meridian has focused its innovations on technologies that can lower overall costs through earlier diagnosis and/or increase hospital revenues by attracting ambulatory patients with acute infectious disease symptoms.
Processes have been developed to provide outstanding technical support and customer service that are so critical to clinical labs. Our laboratory customers are vitally important to us. Throughout our history we have focused on providing up-to-date scientific information to our customers, responding immediately to their questions and unique needs. For example, with the introduction of illumigene®, our newest molecular amplification technology, we utilize a combination of skills including specialists that assist new users with installation of the system, a strong Technical Support team in Cincinnati that is on call, regional specialists, and our well-trained field sales specialists.
FDA clearance for the illumigene® Group B Streptococcus test helps protect newborns. Group B Streptococcus is a dangerous pathogen that can cause serious harm to the newborn if the bacteria are passed to the baby during vaginal delivery. The CDC recommends that Group B Strep tests should be performed as part of normal prenatal care between the 35th and 37th weeks of the pregnancy. If the mother tests “positive” her physician will typically treat with prophylactic antibiotics at the time of delivery. For years a bacterial culture has been the standard of care. There is strong scientific evidence that a molecular amplification method, like illumigene®, will detect more true Group B Strep colonization versus culture. The primary benefit of Meridian’s illumigene® Group B Strep test, therefore, is that it offers the highest confidence to the expectant mother and her physician that with appropriate therapy, administered at the time of delivery, the newborn will be born healthy and without complications. Because of this added value, the labs’ reimbursement will be higher and the costs of complications following birth will be drastically reduced. This is a win for the hospital, the mother, and most importantly, the newborn baby.
Other assays to be added to the illumigene ® pipeline. Shortly, Meridian will launch three new illumigene® tests. illumigene® Group A Strep, which detects bacteria responsible for strep throat has recently been FDA cleared. Two additional illumigene® tests for respiratory infections are expected to be available by year's end. illumigene® Mycoplasma will be submitted for FDA clearance in the near term. M. pneumoniae causes “walking pneumonia.” The second additional test is illumigene® Pertussis for the bacteria that cause “whooping cough.”
Solutions provided by the Meridian Bioscience Proficiency & Controls Business Unit. As a part of maintaining certification and technical accuracy and consistency, clinical labs subscribe to various national and regional proficiency programs that provide unknown testing samples in a variety of categories based upon the types of testing that the lab performs routinely. The largest program is operating by the College of American Pathologists. Meridian has been a long-term supplier of these “unknowns” to the CAP and other proficiency organizations. The test samples are provided to the lab subscriber in the form of panels, e.g., respiratory viruses, gastrointestinal pathogens, etc. Once the subscribing lab completes its testing, the results are provided back to the proficiency organization, which compiles all of the data from its subscribers and issues a report of the individual lab’s score versus the universe of participating labs. Many local and regional certifying agencies reference these proficiency results when recertifying clinical labs.
Meridian won recognition as one of the Forbes 100 Best Small Companies in America for 2011. It is important to remember that recognition, while appreciated, is usually due to performance for a prior period. With respect to the Forbes accolade, Meridian has been recognized for its strong financial performance in growing revenues and profits. Our business is not run for the purpose of gaining awards and applause. Meridian is a leader in its industry because we have consistently provided innovative technologies that enable our valuable customers to improve their capabilities to diagnose diseases, especially those that are emerging in importance. Our goal is to develop tests and technologies that can always improve patient well-being, but do it in ways that offer simplicity to our customers while bringing down the overall costs of delivering quality healthcare.
Our culture is built to thrive on innovation, and we recognize the importance of innovation in all operating areas of our business…not exclusively product development alone. As a result, we are often recognized for our best practices in R&D, manufacturing, regulatory/quality, and financial management and control.
Most of our innovations are “home grown” and we celebrate our employees, working as individuals or in dedicated teams, that consistently challenge themselves and their peers to innovate and improve.
Meridian Bioscience has positioned itself as a high-value innovator within the healthcare industry, improving lives and maximizing good health and longevity. Our responsibilities are broad and they begin with providing solutions to today’s healthcare diagnostic challenges while reducing costs within the system. As a result, a primary responsibility is to provide education via key opinion leaders of scientific and economic advances in testing and technologies. We do this through symposia, workshops, webinars, and the various media outlets. A key challenge for Meridian and for the clinical lab industry is to help our customers sort and analyze all of the “innovations” that bombard the labs so that enlightened, confident choices can be made that will provide the best diagnostic solutions.
It is important to recognize the role of education and the importance of “healthcare consumerism” in today’s environment. The availability of information via the internet, including the various social media, means that the healthcare consumer can be and should be much more enlightened when seeking diagnoses and remedies.Meridian’s role is to make certain that timely information regarding current practices in, for example, hospital-associated infections, foodborne illness, gastric pathogens, etc. is readily available via our website and our social media portals.
Also, we work actively with our local educational institutions that are providing the training for tomorrow’s healthcare technicians and providers. Through scholarships, internships, honoraria and job fairs, we work to reach out to those considering a career in helping others via the healthcare system. Our executives give their time locally to support Ohio’s rapidly emerging biomedical start-ups and to support Ohio’s jobs initiatives for this industry.
Meridian and its individual employees are also very active in supporting local and regional social service agencies that provide needed care to the elderly and the disadvantaged.