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The Boston Globe

Business

Innovation Economy

Thermo Fisher looks to needs for sophisticated devices

Midway through my recent visit to the Tewksbury office of Thermo Fisher Scientific, my hosts broke the bad news: We don’t have any drugs. Evidently, this was a bring-your-own kind of meeting and no one had told me.

I was at Thermo, to be honest, because it is incredibly hard to understand what this enormous Massachusetts company does. Thermo has 39,000 employees, roughly $13 billion in annual revenues, and a stock you definitely should have bought five or 10 years ago. Yet, unless you wear a white lab coat at work, chances are you don’t run into Thermo’s products — like its $500,000 Q Exactive Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer — very often.

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