Quidel Corp. completes acquisition of Diagnostic Hybrids in Athens, Ohio, for $130M

Diagnostic HYBRIDS logoATHENS, Ohio — San Diego diagnostic test maker Quidel Corp. has closed its acquisition of Diagnostic Hybrids Inc. for about $130 million in cash.

Announced in mid-January, the acquisition is expected to add depth and innovation to Quidel’s line of rapid, point-of-care tests for pregnancy, infectious diseases, cancer, bone health and autoimmune disorders.

Started in 1983 by a group of Ohio University professors, Diagnostic Hybrids was spun out of the university to commercialize sophisticated diagnostic tests used mostly by hospital and reference laboratories. It develops and makes cellular and molecular diagnostic kits for viral respiratory infections, herpes, chlamydia and other viral infections and thyroid diseases.

The Ohio University Foundation, which invested more than $1 million in Diagnostic Hybrids, will receive more than $35 million from the acquisition.

Quidel said in January it intends to operate Diagnostic Hybrids, which employs more than 230 people in Athens, as a wholly owned subsidiary. Diagnostic Hybrids also employs seven research and development professionals at an HIV research lab and office in Cleveland, where it is commercializing some tests based on technology licensed from Case Western Reserve University.

The Athens company had 2009 revenue of $51 million, up 34 percent from 2008, Quidel said in its Friday release. Up to 14 percent of the 2009 revenue came from demand for the company’s direct fluorescent antibody kits for the detection of Influenza A and B viruses, Quidel said. In 2009, Diagnostic Hybrids’ operating income was $9.3 million, or 18 percent of revenue. Excluding the impact of the H1N1 pandemic, the company’s three-year, compounded annual growth rate has been 20 percent.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Diagnostic Hybrids and extend a warm welcome to its employees,” said Douglas Bryant, Quidel’s president and CEO, in the release. “Our combined company offers the marketplace a continuum of diagnostic tests for triaging patients, confirming diagnoses and providing actionable results to improve patient care. We have begun an integration that is focused on maximizing Diagnostic Hybrids’ growth opportunities and expect a smooth transition.”

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