DHI’s Parent Company Dedicates New Ohio Technology Center In Athens

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Diagnostic Hybrid Inc.’s parent company Quidel Corporation dedicated its new Ohio Technology Center at the Stateside Technology Park in Athens on Wednesday.

The facility will support the company’s research, development and manufacture of molecular diagnostic products, bringing jobs from across the United States to the Athens facility.

Quidel and DHI develop diagnostic tests used in the medical field for diseases such as influenza, Strep A, herpes, thyroid disease and more.

As The Messenger previously reported, Quidel is closing its Special Products Group in Santa Clara, Calif., and moving it to Athens. The company is also moving molecular manufacturing operations from both Boston and San Diego to Athens. The Special Products Group develops research products in the fields of oncology and bone health.

On Wednesday, a new Quidel sign was unveiled on the expanded facility on East State Street.

DHI was founded in 1983 by successful biomedical entrepreneur Wilfred R. Konneker, Ph.D., in collaboration with Ohio University professors Joseph Jollick, Ph.D., and Thomas Wagner, Ph.D., in Ohio University’s Innovation Center, an on-campus incubator. The company moved to the former McBee Building — now the Stateside Technology Park — in 2007.

Quidel acquired Diagnostic Hybrids in 2010 as part of its strategic plan to build a broader-based diagnostic company that delivers products throughout the spectrum of Point-of-Care. Since then, Quidel has invested more than $8 million in expanding and enhancing the Athens facility as well as recruiting talented personnel to the Southeastern Ohio area.

According to Quidel, the expanded Ohio Technology Center has more than 160 employees, of which 97 have associate, bachelor, master or advanced degrees, including six Ph.D.s and one M.D. Quidel leased an additional 22,000 square feet in the facility in August 2012 and launched extensive tenant improvements. Today, the newly expanded 94,000-square-foot facility integrates manufacturing, administration and research and development, including a new $3.5 million molecular manufacturing suite and space for the Quidel Specialty Products Group.

“The acquisition of Diagnostic Hybrids was exciting to us because of the strength of its reputation and the quality of its technology, people and products,” said Douglas Bryant, president and CEO of Quidel. “With the additional investments, we have created a truly world-class center for research, development and manufacturing excellence. Just as our employees here in Athens exemplify Quidel’s commitment to innovation, we believe the new Ohio Technology Center will also embody Quidel’s spirit of discovery, collaboration and progress.”

Roderick McDavis, president of Ohio University, also spoke during the dedication ceremony, highlighting the value of the OU/DHI relationships and the benefits to the community and the university.

Following the Quidel acquisition, the Ohio University Foundation, which had initially invested more than $1 million into DHI in 1983, received nearly $41 million from the sale. The funds were invested back into university facilities and scholarships designed to support faculty, students and local entrepreneurship.

McDavis said that DHI has come a long way, but he feels that so much more can be accomplished by working together.

“We’re committed to the success of DHI and Quidel,” he said. “We feel the best is yet to come.”

Since acquiring DHI, Quidel CEO Doug Bryant said the company set a goal of developing two to three new products a year. He said the company has exceeded that goal.

“You may have wondered if this California company was really committed to Southeastern Ohio,” Bryant said. “We were, and we are.”

“Our footprint has expanded considerably since 2010, and we now have the capabilities under one roof to execute three different manufacturing core competencies: cell culture, molecular reagent and device manufacturing and ELISA manufacturing,” said Geoff Morgan, vice president and general manager of the Ohio Technology Center.

Quidel’s initial capital investments in Athens have already resulted in new hires, training programs and technological advancements that position the company for long-term success, according to Quidel.

“The new Ohio Technology Center is vital to the future of Quidel’s growing molecular diagnostics business,” added Bryant.

Bryant said that it’s projected that Quidel will have profits of around $250 million by 2015, with a third of those profits being generated in Athens.