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Hologic Opens 18,000-SF Diagnostic Lab

MEDTECH: New Facility to be Biotheranostics’ HQ

Global medical technology company Hologic is expanding its San Diego footprint.

Kevin Thornal
Group President, Global Diagnostic Solutions
Hologic, Inc.

On March 16, the Massachusetts-headquartered Hologic cut the ribbon on a new 18,000-square-foot diagnostic laboratory at its Genetic Center Drive building, which the company considers its “diagnostics global headquarters,” said Kevin Thornal, group president of global diagnostic solutions at  Hologic.

The expanded lab will be the new headquarters for Biotheranostics, a San Diego-based company acquired by  Hologic  in 2021 for $230 million. The new lab increases the Biothernostic’s testing capacity for its Breast Cancer Index and CancerTYPE ID tests by four times and will feature a new R&D space to explore additional tests.

“This is one of our fastest growing divisions within Hologic right now,” Thornal said. “This year, we’ll probably do around 50,000 tests through this lab.”

Impressive Growth Trajectory

Moving Biotheranostics from its previous location in UTC into Hologic’s San Diego building – the company’s largest building and one of the few it owns across is 33 locations worldwide – was necessary to keep up with projected growth of its cancer tests.

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“The lab we had before was a converted office to a lab and we were running out of room already, so we built enough capacity for our growth trajectory for the next 10 years,” Thornal said, adding that the lab will immediately house 75 employees and has a “massive amount of area for expansion.”

That growth trajectory for massive expansion is based on the recent inclusion of the Breast Cancer Index test recently being added to the treatment guidelines oncologists refer to for “healthcare decisions that allow a physician to order the test with confidence,” Thornal said.

The Breast Cancer Index test has guideline designation from the American Joint Committee on Cancer for cancer staging based on molecular profile. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Group on Tumor Markers (EGTM) and St. Gallen acknowledge the Breast Cancer Index test as a biomarker to inform the chemotherapy decision; and ASCO, EGTM and the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology acknowledge the Breast Cancer Index test as a biomarker to help patients decide whether to continue endocrine therapy treatment, which comes with “horrible side effects,” Thornal said.

‘Beneficial Test’ Adoption

The Breast Cancer Index test is given to women five years after undergoing endocrine therapy treatment. The test determines if the treatment worked for the patient and predicts the percentage likelihood of breast cancer recurrence.

“Only 3% of the eligible women who could get this test are getting it right now,” Thornal said, adding that that low adoption rate reflects the number of breast cancer patients who have yet to reach the five-year mark of their treatment or just have not been made aware of the test yet. “We need to get that number up to 20, 30, 40% of women, if not all, because it is such a beneficial test for the oncologist and their patient to make informed decisions on.”

Another factor in the growth trajectory for the Breast Cancer Index test is possible expansion into global markets. Currently, Thornal said, most of the specimens sent to the San Diego lab for testing come from the U.S. and only a “small amount” come from “one or two countries considering it for their nationalized health systems.” However, just as guideline inclusion has sped up the adoption of payers and physicians recommending the tests at home, it is also expected to encourage adoption abroad as well.

In addition to the Breast Cancer Index test, the new CLIA lab at Hologic will process Bioteranostics’ CancerTYPE ID test, which aids in classifying what type of cancer is causing a metastasized tumor. It is able to classify 50 cancer types and subtypes, representing more than 95 percent of all solid tumors based on incidence.

Hologic, Inc.

Founded: 1986
CEO: Stephen P. MacMillan
Headquarters: Marlborough, Massachusetts
Business: Global medical technology innovator focused on improving women’s health and well-being through early detection and treatment.
Stock: HOLX (NASDAQ)
Revenue: $4.863 billion (2022)
Employees: 6,700+
Website: www.hologic.com
Notable: Hologic has 33 office locations spread across 15 countries.

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