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May 18, 2015 10 TO WATCH

Jeffrey Duchemin - President and CEO, Harvard Bioscience

There is a science to the work of Harvard Bioscience CEO Jeffrey Duchemin. And acquisitions are an important part of the formula.

Duchemin has been with Harvard Bioscience since 2013, coming from Corning Life Sciences, where he was global business director. He spent 16 years with Becton Dickinson in progressive sales, marketing and executive leadership positions across the three business segments. Duchemin has an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett.

Two acquisitions were completed last fall by the life science equipment and instrument manufacturing company. Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH, of Germany; and Triangle BioSystems Inc. of Durham, N.C., were competitors who were unaware that the other company was being acquired by Harvard Bioscience as well.

“(They were) acquired on the same day,” said Duchemin, also the company president, who has spent more than two decades in the life sciences and research industry.

“We knew the two companies would complement each other; they just happened to be competitive.” Duchemin said both firms were “very surprised” when the acquisitions were announced. Harvard Bioscience further spurred its growth in the electrophysiology market this past January, with the acquisition of HEKA Electronik of Germany, expected to bring $4 million to $5 million in additional revenue. The company's revenue was at $30.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 — a 9-percent increase over Q4 of 2013 — and a company record.

Electrophysiology is the study of electric activity in the body. “We sell equipment that can translate information … measuring electrical impulses of cells,” and is sold to researchers, said Duchemin. “I ventured … into life sciences because we can ultimately impact a human, change a life,” Duchemin said, of those with conditions such as dementia, seizures and epilepsy.

Duchemin welcomes the challenges. “It's competitive, globally, maybe the highest of any industry,” he said. Growth will continue, he says, with reinvigorated R&D, mergers and acquisitions, and added operational efficiencies. “We've added jobs where life sciences is growing. For example, in China today we have five sales and marketing people,” where there was previously just one, he said. Twenty to 25 new employees will be added to the 100 or so that work at the Holliston facility by the end of this year, according to Duchemin. “The great thing is, it's constantly moving. Innovation is how we exist, it's how we grow.”


10 To Watch 2015 - Jeffrey Duchemin, Harvard Bioscience

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