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Hologic is acquiring molecular diagnostics firm Mobidiag Oy in an approximately $795 million deal that will give the women’s health company the capability to offer testing closer to patients with technology that can rapidly detect multiple pathogens.

Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Hologic already offers molecular diagnostic tests. But diagnostics companies have been looking to add multiplex offerings—the capability to identify multiple pathogens from a single test sample. Multiplexing has become particularly attractive as the laboratories that use them, and the physicians who rely on the results, look for ways to sort out which microorganism among many is the cause of an infection.

Privately held Mobidiag, based in Finland, has commercialized technology that offers multiplexing capability. Hologic plans to expand that platform’s offerings. According to financial terms announced Thursday, Hologic will pay about $714 million cash to acquire Mobidiag. The deal includes the Finland-based company’s net debt, calculated at about $81 million.

Mobidiag was founded in 2000 as a diagnostics company. In 2003, it merged with diagnostics developer Genewave of France, and with stool-based assay company Amplidiag of Finland. Mobidiag currently markets two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing platforms, Amplidiag and Novodiag. Both are automated instruments that offer test turnaround times ranging from 50 minutes to two hours.

Mobidiag’s test menu for acute care conditions includes gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, antibiotic resistance management, and healthcare associated infections. In the past year, the company has added the capability to test for Covid-19. Hologic said that Mobidiag’s revenue in the 2020 calendar year was €35 million (about $42 million).

Hologic separates its operations into five segments: diagnostics, breast health, GYN surgical, skeletal health, and medical aesthetics. The diagnostics segment is the largest by revenue, accounting for more than $2 billion of the company’s $3.2 billion in fiscal 2020 sales. That total was 16.4% more than the prior fiscal year, an increase the company attributed to sales of newly launched Covid-19 tests.

Hologic’s main molecular diagnostic tests run on its instruments: Panther, Panther Fusion, and Tigris. The Panther instruments use PCR. The Aptima family of tests detects microorganisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases. Hologic also offers tests for acute respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2.

Though Mobidiag brings its own Covid-19 testing offerings, Steve MacMilllan, Hologic’s chairman, president, and CEO, said in a prepared statement that the acquisition will prepare his company for a post-pandemic world. Mobidiag will enable Hologic to enter the acute care market, which requires testing to be done close to patients. That market is expected to double in the next five years, MacMillan said.

Hologic isn’t the only company that has turned to M&A as a way of bolstering its ability to offer multiplex tests. Last month, Roche agreed to pay $1.8 billion to acquire Genmark Diagnostics, a Carlsbad, California-based company that has reported rocketing revenue growth due to demand for a multiplex respiratory test that includes SARS-CoV-2.

The Mobidiag acquisition is expected to close early in Hologic’s fiscal 2021 fourth quarter, which ends in September.

Photo: Kritchanut, Getty Images



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