Biomedical Company To Increase Presence In Athens

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Quidel, the parent company of Diagnostic Hybrids in Athens, is moving some of its operations from other states to Athens.

The company is moving molecular manufacturing operations from both Boston and San Diego to Athens. Also, Quidel is closing its Special Products Group plant in Santa Clara, Calif., and moving it to Athens, according to information provided to The Messenger on Friday by Quidel.

The Special Products Group is a $10 million business that develops research products in the fields of oncology and bone health, with potential point-of-care applications in the future, the company said.

Diagnostic Hybrids is one of the tenants in the former McBee building on East State Street. In August of 2012, Quidel leased an additional 22,000 square feet and began extensive tenant improvements. The newly expanded 94,000-square-foot facility integrates manufacturing, administration, and research and development. It includes a new $3.5 million molecular manufacturing suite and space for the Specialty Products Group.

Quidel has invested $8 million in the Athens facility since it acquired Diagnostic Hybrids in 2010, according to the company.

The expanded facility now has more than 160 employees, of which 97 have associate, bachelor's, master's and advanced degrees, including six PH.Ds and an M.D.

The company is expected to release more information Wednesday about the expansion.

Diagnostic Hybrids develops and manufactures cellular and molecular diagnostic kits for various medical applications. Quidel, based in San Diego, purchased Diagnostic Hybrids in early 2010 for $130 million.

Diagnostic Hybrids was founded in 1983 by biomedical entrepreneur Wilfred Konneker, in collaboration with former Ohio University professors Joseph Jollick and Thomas Wagner. Diagnostic Hybrids was housed in the OU Innovation Center for many years, before moving to the former McBee building on East State Street at the end of 2007.