Quidel Lays Off ‘Small Number’ Of Athens Employees

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Just a month after Quidel — the parent company of Diagnostic Hybrids Inc. in Athens — announced it was moving jobs from other states to the Athens facility, the company laid off a “small number” of research and development employees in both Athens and San Diego.

Geoff Morgan, vice president and general manager of DHI, confirmed Tuesday that the company laid off a small number of employees last month.

“Some were relocated into other positions in the company; some were not,” Morgan said. He noted that while some research and development jobs were eliminated, the manufacturing operations are growing.

According to Morgan, the company has a lot of things going on and needs to focus on key research and development projects.

“There were affected individuals and no projects for them to work on,” he said, emphasizing that Quidel is not downsizing.

In October, Quidel announced it was moving molecular manufacturing operations from both Boston and San Diego to Athens. Also, Quidel closed its Special Products Group plant in Santa Clara, Calif., and moved it to the Athens facility.

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, according to the company.

Quidel leased an additional 22,000 square feet at the Stateside Technology Park on East State Street in August 2012 to make room for the additional operations. According to the company in October, the expanded facility had more than 160 employees, of which 97 have associate, bachelor’s, master’s and advanced degrees, including six PH.Ds and an M.D.

Morgan would not divulge how many employees were laid off in Athens and San Diego last month, stating that is “competitive information” that cannot be released.

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.

During his visit to the Athens facility in October, Quidel CEO Doug Bryant said, “You may have wondered if this California company was really committed to Southeastern Ohio. We were, and we are.”

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.

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