Hologic Inc. beat expectations for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, posting net earnings of $137.9 million, or 53 cents a share, up 46.9% from the same period a year ago. Worldwide revenue declined 3.5% to $822.9 million, due to the divestiture of Cynosure Holdings Inc., but grew 7.7% organically (8.1% in constant currency), as demand for COVID-19 tests offset a slide in other businesses.
The U.S. FDA has rewritten the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings Inc. (Labcorp) COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to allow for diagnostic testing of those who are asymptomatic and those who have no reason to suspect they are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The latest U.S. FDA town hall for testing for the COVID-19 included a few updates on serological testing, but perhaps the most important take-away was when Tim Stenzel, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiology, advised attendees that performance expectations regarding next-generation sequence (NGS) testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus will closely resemble those of conventional molecular testing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world – and the face of diagnostics. In a matter of weeks, a host of companies has worked to develop tests to find those patients who currently have the disease, as well as those who have developed antibodies.
Hologic Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., is introducing another tool to help combat COVID-19, revealing the impending launch of a new Aptima molecular assay to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that will run on its Panther system. The company expects to be able to provide its lab customers with about 3 million Aptima tests next week. In addition, it anticipates producing about 1 million tests a week starting late next month.
The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the conversation regarding diagnostic and surveillance testing, but stakeholders nonetheless saw fit to populate the docket for the FDA’s proposal to down-classify tests for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to class II. One of the themes of the feedback was that the proposal excludes a few key items, such as quantitative nucleic acid tests and testing for viral load monitoring, leaving the FDA with some difficult decisions to make.
Assignor estoppel doesn’t enjoy the glamour of subject matter eligibility in the U.S. patent system, but a case heard recently at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has resurrected this relatively arcane bit of patent doctrine. The outcome of the case of Hologic v. Minerva addressed the less-than-princely sum of roughly $5 million, but Judge Kara Stoll of the Federal Circuit said this issue calls for a deeper examination by a 12-judge panel.
The past week has seen a lot of movement in terms of tests to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. “It is notable that the diagnostics community is coming together in a way we have not seen in our 20 years covering this industry,” wrote William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein in a March 14 note. “Regulators, lab professionals, and manufacturers are all in a frenetic fury to try and get testing up and running, and we generally see a sense of ‘in it together’ playing out.”
Despite the growing concerns about the potential for the community spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., the FDA-FTC public workshop on competition in the biologics marketplace went ahead as scheduled March 9, playing to a full house with some audience members sitting in an overflow room. And all the invited speakers and people registered to speak during the open public hearing session showed up.
Roughly two and half years after it picked up Cynosure, Hologic Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., has reported its intention to sell it to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) for a total purchase price of $205 million in cash, subject to certain closing adjustments. The company expects net cash proceeds of about $138 million. CD&R Partner Derek Strum expressed enthusiasm about the deal, noting that his firm expects “to continue to invest behind the company's strong brand and large global installed base to accelerate growth via expanded sales & marketing efforts and bring new products and technologies to market[.]”