Azenta Life Sciences, Biostorage, & Medical Lab Equipment

Former Director at Brooks Life Science Systems, Azenta

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Former Director at Brooks Life Science Systems, Azenta

The executive has 20 years life sciences experience and is the Former Director of Azenta's Academic and Government business and is now a customer of Azenta.Read more

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Why wouldn’t they have outfitted entirely with the Brooks model?

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The cost is one. A lot of it depends on the sample utility. If you’re storing a sample because the FDA says you need to keep it and you’re likely never going to touch that sample again, it's not as cost-effective to store it in a robot. Robots are really good if you need to move a sample around more. They did such a good job of maximizing freezer space. Again, some samples make sense to have in a robot, but a slew of samples don't make sense. That’s the model that they've evolved into over time. I think they've put a few biostores in Indianapolis, but I would guess it's probably still 80% mechanical freezers and 20% robot.

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Let's say you open a new facility. Would that mix be consistent, or would there be a higher mix?

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If you were to open a new biobank, I bet it would be closer to 50-50. Because, again, you'll still have samples you want to put in a mechanical freezer cheaply. Samples you're not going to be manipulating, so you don't need a robot to move them around if you're working off a bench or something like that. But also, there's the ability you see with what the VA built, this massive robot in Boston. There is a utility to robots. While the overwhelming majority of samples are stored because of their retention by the FDA, increasingly, you see biobanks like the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, where we want our samples used for research. So sample utility is really important. Ours are in mechanical freezers in Indianapolis, but if Brooks or Azenta were to go out and build a new space, I'd be willing to bet they would put samples like ours in a robot.

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How does the pricing at Azenta today compare with others in the landscape?

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The timing is good because we just did a landscape analysis at the foundation to determine where we would go. They are still very competitive from a pricing perspective; Fisher and maybe Precision price a bit differently. They leverage more billable time as opposed to a flat fee, which plays to their benefit because I'm sure their inventory management system is as accurate as Azenta's. But from a pricing perspective, we got a competitive price from Precision, which was significantly higher than the pricing we have with Azenta. Sampled in New Jersey has kept its pricing relatively the same. When it was Rutgers – and it was combined through a strategic alliance – we had one price across both partners. Since that split, following the acquisition of GENEWIZ, it was kind of redundant to have the services in New Jersey because that was a downstream lab with lots of storage capability as well; they spun that off. But our pricing has been relatively the same between the two companies. Surprisingly, Azenta is still very cost-effective, especially when you compare it against CROs. CRO pricing tends to be significantly higher.

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Azenta Life Sciences, Biostorage, & Medical Lab Equipment(December 3, 2022)

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