Hot Growth Special Report 2006 >



Ventana Medical Systems (VMSI)

Based in Tucson, Ventana Medical is becoming a big player in the fast-growing market for diagnostic tools. The company makes machines that automate the process of preparing tissue samples to be tested for cancer and other infectious diseases. Profits have grown an average of 97% annually over the past three years, to $25.9 million, in the most recent 12 months, on sales that have risen 24% to $208.2 million. Investors who have ridden this growth wave are thrilled. No wonder: $1,000 invested in Ventana three years ago would be worth more than $4,500 today. Just launched in mid-May is Symphony, a new product for staining tissue samples.

Company Info

2005 Rank


Market Value*
($ Millions)


($ Millions)


Sales Growth
(3-yr. avg. annual)

23.8 %

($ Millions)


Profit Growth
(3-yr. avg. annual)

96.8 %

Return on Inv. Capital (3-yr.)

12.2 %

Share Price
12-Mo. Hi/Lo


Share Price
As of 4/28/06


Return on Equity

17.4 %

P/E Ratio


No. of Employees


Industry Life Sciences Tools & Services


Location Tucson, Ariz.
Phone 520 887-2155
*Trailing 12 months
Stock price data as of 4/28/06
DATA: Standard & Poor's Compustat

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Company Snapshot

Ventana Medical Systems engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of instrument-reagent systems that automate slide staining in anatomical pathology and drug discovery laboratories worldwide. Its clinical systems are used in anatomical pathology labs in analyzing human tissue to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. The company's drug discovery systems are used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to accelerate the discovery of new drug targets and to evaluate the safety of new drug compounds. In addition, it markets consumable products, including reagents and other accessories. Its products are used in immunohistochemistry staining to assist in the diagnosis of cancer and the determination of various treatment options; in situ hybridization staining to assist in the diagnosis of infectious diseases or genetic mutations that are associated with the presence of cancer; and special stains staining to assist in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The company's customers comprise hospital-based anatomical pathology labs, independent reference labs, the drug discovery labs of pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, government labs, medical research centers, and resellers serving these entities. It offers its products primarily in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Ventana Medical Systems was founded in 1985 and is based in Tucson, Ariz.

Data provided by Capital IQ
Christopher M. Gleeson

Christopher M. Gleeson, 56

Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Total Compensation*

$ 433,532

Total Options Value*

$ 22,654,458

* Fiscal Year 2005

Executive Bio

Christopher Gleeson became president and CEO and a director of Ventana Medical Systems in May, 1999. He joined Ventana in March, 1999, as executive vice-president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Ventana Medical Systems, Gleeson was senior vice-president of Bayer Diagnostics and general manager of the U.S. commercial operations for Chiron Diagnostics, and prior to that, the founder, owner, and managing director of Australian Diagnostics, a leading diagnostics distributor in Australia.

Management Team

Key Executives

Christopher M. Gleeson; Mark Tucker; Denise Van Zijll; Phillip Miller; Timothy Johnson; Hany Massarany; Nicholas Malden; Thomas M. Grogan; Kendall B. Hendrick

Board Directors

Thomas Brown; John Patience; Rod F. Dammeyer; Mark C. Miller; Edward M. Giles; Thomas M. Grogan; James R. Weersing; Jack W. Schuler; Christopher M. Gleeson

Executive Data provided by Capital IQ