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   | 2000 Globe 100 |

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The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com Boston Globe Online / Business / 2001 Globe 100

2. INVERNESS MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY INC.
Diabetes tests drive growth

5/22/2001

   

BEARS & BULLS

Old economy companies led Bay State Bulls
The shining lights of the local investment world were companies that sell sneakers, blood tests, clothes for middle-age women, and life insurance.
Continued

THE BULLS
1. J. Jill Group
2. Inverness Medical Tech.
3. Reebok Intl.
4. Bostonfed Bancorp
5. John Hancock Financial


THE BEARS
1. Aztec Tech. Partners
2. Engage Inc.
3. CMGI Inc.
4. Telaxis Communications
5. NaviSite Inc.


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nverness hit its stride last year, as sales of its line of blood glucose monitoring products took off.

Although the Waltham company has a healthy business in pregnancy tests and dietary supplements, its core business - and the driving force behind its growth - is its line of diabetes products.

The company is considered a leader in developing blood glucose monitoring tests that require less blood and less time, minimizing the inconvenience for the thousands of diabetics who test their blood sugar levels each day.

''Sales of test strips literally doubled last year, and that's what propelled us to such profitability,'' said chairman and chief executive Ron Zwanziger. ''We really started to gain momentum in late 1999, and it kept coming together.''

Founded in 1993, the company launched its Fast Take Electrochemical Blood Glucose Monitoring System in 1998 and its Excel G Blood Glucose Test Strips (used with a popular Bayer blood glucose meter) in 1999.

This year, the company launched another new testing system, One Touch Ultra. A glucose test, it uses the upper arm rather than the fingertip and returns a reading in five seconds.

''We are very optimistic about 2001,'' Zwanziger said.

''The first quarter set us up for a very good year.''

Inverness may now be concentrating on its other product lines in women's health and nutritional supplements. As of last Friday, a deal was in the works for Johnson & Johnson to acquire the company's diabetes business for $1.3 billion in stock.

NAOMI AOKI

   


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