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Hologic Aims to Expand Global Reach With Focus on Women's Health

SAN FRANCISCO – Days after Hologic said it was on track to beat revenue estimates on the strength of its molecular diagnostics products, CEO Steve MacMillan said at the 41st Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday that the firm is positioned for double-digit growth across its Diagnostics, Breast Health, and Surgery businesses as the firm expands its global reach, especially in underserved women's health markets. 

The firm's newer women's health products have been key drivers of revenue growth, especially vaginitis assays, he said in a webcast presentation, adding that customers who bought or replaced Panther instruments during the pandemic are also running a wider variety of tests as COVID-19 testing declines. 

In a slide, MacMillan indicated the firm's test development pipeline includes a combination test for SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus, and tests for group B Streptococcus, Epstein-Barr and BK viruses, Clostridioides difficile, and Mpox, among others. 

Karleen Oberton, CFO, said that Hologic also saw contributions from its expanding portfolio of respiratory assays and has been increasing sales of its virology assays, especially in Africa, through its Global Access Initiative to increase diagnostic testing and viral load monitoring worldwide. The firm got a boost in Q1 2022 from its recent acquisitions, especially its San Diego-based Biotheranostics subsidiary that develops and provides diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tests to aid cancer treatment. 

But Oberton also said Panther placements were likely to slow in 2023 and 2024 following three years of accelerated growth. Company officials said in April 2022 that the Panther installed base had grown by 75 percent during the pandemic, and, by Oct. 31, the firm had 3,250 Panther instruments installed globally. 

Hologic said Sunday it was set to bring $1.07 billion in revenues for the fiscal 2023 first quarter, a 27 percent decline year over year, as described in the firm's preliminary Q1 2023 earnings. Excluding COVID-19 testing, the firm's organic diagnostic business revenues were set to rise 12 percent, to $387.7 million from $345.5 million, and its organic molecular diagnostics business are expected to grow 22 percent, to $260.9 million from $214.8 million. 

During his presentation, MacMillan said the firm has been campaigning to expand global access to women's health testing and the use of the company's products outside the US. The firm's Global Access Initiative has driven growth for Hologic, especially in Africa. 

"Hologic tends to be a little underdeveloped outside the United States," he said. "Well, in reality, the reason is because women's health is less developed, and so, the best thing we can do for the women of the world — but also, candidly, for our business — is to elevate the awareness and the opportunities for women's health around the world." 

During a Q&A session, he said data collected through Hologic's Global Women's Health Index indicate about 12 percent of women worldwide were tested for cancer in the past year and 11 percent were screened for sexually transmitted infections. Many male-dominated societies have not prioritized women's health, he said. 

MacMillan also said the firm also continues to build back its Breast Health business and secure sufficient semiconductor chips to meet demand, and he noted that the firm has diverted chips to maintain instruments already installed. He said Hologic expects double-digit growth in its Diagnostics, Breast Health, and Surgery businesses in 2023 and has the best growth outlook in its history.