PAML Launches AION Laboratories Division
PAML’s long-awaited specialty testing program catering to the Baby Boomer generation was introduced last month, and its chief executive officer has high hopes for its first full year of operation. PAML’s AION Laboratories division (Greek for the word “eternal”) debuted at the Annual World Conference on Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Aesthetic Medicine held in Las Vegas […]
PAML's long-awaited specialty testing program catering to the Baby Boomer generation was introduced last month, and its chief executive officer has high hopes for its first full year of operation. PAML's AION Laboratories division (Greek for the word "eternal") debuted at the Annual World Conference on Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Aesthetic Medicine held in Las Vegas in mid-December. The new lab division will focus on the nation's 77 million Baby Boomers and offer a suite of tests intended to forecast and preserve their health in the long-term. "AION is dedicated to scientific excellence, a premium product line, and proactive client service protocols," said PAML CEO Francisco Velazquez, M.D. "We understand that discerning physicians and their well-informed patients have very high expectations, and AION is structured to deliver the rapid, reliable results required." AION Laboratories offers a dozen testing panels and about 120 assays in total that focus on establishing baseline health for the patients, hormone levels, inflammation levels, allergy risks and cardiac risks, among others. The panels range in price from about $15 for a comprehensive metabolic panel to more than $850 for a panel that gauges a patient's cardiac risk. There is also a $290 test that determines the length of telomeres, sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome. The length of the telomere can be an indicator of the cellular age of the patient and may be able to provide information regarding the remaining lifespan. Up to 80 percent of AION's patients are expected to be cash pay, with panel prices ranging from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars. PAML has contracted with a network of mobile phlebotomists that operate in the continental 48 states to perform in-home blood draws if requested. The service is being offered through about 15 medical groups and other providers, but that number is expected to grow fairly rapidly, according to Velazquez. AION has a single national sales person, although another may be hired in the near-term. Demand is projected to be most brisk in the Eastern U.S., Southeast and West. Velazquez has high hopes for AION. Along with the high cash-pay rate, he noted that the typical age management patient would utilize tests at a rate of about two to three times higher than a younger patient just engaged in wellness management. As a result, he projects AION will show a profit by the end of 2015, and that the net margin for the year will be around $1 million. AION's launch took a little longer than projected (PAML originally announced its introduction in the fall of 2013). "We tried to do a proof of concept test before we invested more time, money and effort, and we did that in the spring of this year," Velazquez said. "That gave us a really good understanding of the product." AION's launch also complements PAML's launch earlier this year of Cinch, another division that focuses on the testing of younger cash-pay patients. Cinch's panels focus on women's and men's health and chronic conditions such as diabetes. The Cinch concept focuses on younger patients who may be too busy to come in personally for testing, and provides in-home and office testing kits. Unlike AION, prices for each assay are posted on the Cinch website. The two divisions aside, PAML has been on a bit of a roll, with overall test requisitions between September and November up 14 percent compared to the same period a year ago, although revenue per requisition has been more of a challenge to grow. Takeaway: AION Laboratories launch appears to cement consumer product lines for PAML that service both younger and older patients, and will likely provide a consistent source of cash-pay revenue.