Hologic follows up year of European expansion with new innovation center in France

After spending much of 2021 growing its footprint beyond the U.S. by acquiring a handful of diagnostic developers scattered across Europe and expanding its women’s health-focused offerings throughout the continent, Hologic is deepening its ties there.

The Massachusetts-based company on Thursday opened its new French headquarters, an “innovation center” that will hold commercial office space, as well as research and development facilities and training areas. The center is meant to serve as a hub for Hologic’s efforts to introduce new technologies to the European market.

“The significant investment being made in France is another example of Hologic’s relentless commitment to innovation and its mission to improve the health and well-being of 3.9 billion women globally,” said Antoine Bara, the general manager of Hologic France.

The new center is located in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. Hologic already has ties to the region, after putting down $42 million in 2019 to acquire Aix-en-Provence-based SuperSonic Imagine, a developer of cart-based ultrasound products that Hologic promptly folded into its breast cancer diagnostic portfolio.

The debut of Hologic’s new French HQ comes shortly after it introduced its Global Women’s Health Index initiative in the country. Originally launched in March 2021, the multi-year project has Hologic surveying millions of people about their access to and experiences with preventive care, safety resources, mental healthcare and more to help paint a comprehensive picture of the quality of life and life expectancy for women around the world.

The establishment of its new European base camp also follows a busy year of growth on the continent for Hologic.

Within the first week of 2021—backed by a near quadrupling of its quarterly income in 2020 thanks to skyrocketing COVID-19 test sales—it had scooped up Berlin-based Somatex Medical Technologies, which produces minimally invasive devices used in tumor diagnosis. At the time, Hologic said it also expected the $64 million acquisition to enhance its European sales presence.

Less than two months later, in early March 2021, it folded Diagenode’s molecular assays and epigenetics-based tests into its testing divisions for about $159 million, noting again that its bid for the Belgian testmaker would significantly Hologic’s international reach.

And it didn’t stop there. The following month, Hologic put down another $795 million to acquire Finnish-French molecular test developer Mobidiag. In October, it began a broad European launch of the company’s Novodiag PCR and microarray system to test for multiple pathogens at once. At the time, Jan Verstreken, president of Hologic’s international group, said the acquisition and subsequent rollout were “aimed at strengthening our international diagnostics business” and, specifically, giving European patients greater access to early screening options.