Cytyc: Transforming Cervical Cancer Testing
The case relates the growth story of a transformative medical diagnostics company as it moves from idea to maturity at a critical time when leaders must determine what to do about the falling stock price. As the case unfolds, it shows how an idea for transforming cervical cancer testing was converted to a proof-of-concept, followed by years of scientific and technological research to create products. The case portrays gaining FDA approval while short on resources, persuading skeptical insurers to pay for a new diagnostic test, and managing the challenges of subsequent growth, profit, and maturity while facing the emergence of new technologies and competitors. Students are asked to adopt the role of a newly hired vice president of business development to decide how to address the company's situation. They must identify and frame the problem, generate alternatives and evaluate them critically, then prepare recommendations for an upcoming board meeting. Students take into account industry and company data as well as strategic realities. They examine what makes creating, growing, and managing a science- and medicine-based company different from doing so with other technology companies, especially consumer hardware and software with which students tend to be most familiar. Color printing of the case is recommended for clear interpretation of exhibits.