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Ohio U To Receive Millions in Company Buyout

Ohio University stands to gain millions of dollars from the sale of a company whose technology was created at the Athens-based university. Quidel, which creates diagnostic tests for healthcare, said it intends to purchase Diagnostic Hybrids Inc. (DHI), another Athens-based company, for $130 million cash.

Diagnostic Hybrids makes cellular and molecular diagnostic kits for detecting respiratory diseases, herpes infections, and other medical problems. The company was founded in 1983 by university alumnus and biomedical entrepreneur Wilfred Konneker in collaboration with former professors Joseph Jollick and Thomas Wagner and then-President Charles Ping. Until recently the company operated on campus in the university's Innovation Center, which provides business incubation services and resources to startups in the area.

The purchase agreement stipulates that Quidel must buy out all investors, of which the Ohio University Foundation is one of the largest, with roughly 32 percent ownership in the company. That initial investment in DHI stems from a gift made by Konneker to the foundation. Based on stock valuation at the time of purchase, the foundation stands to gain between $35 million and $41 million.

"In 1983, the Trustees of the Ohio University Foundation chose to invest approximately $1 million in a university-grown, local, bio-medical company," said Howard Lipman, vice president of university advancement and president and CEO of the foundation. "Their foresight and their commitment to technology transfer allowed for this direct investment in DHI. This has resulted in a tremendous return for the foundation. These resources will be reinvested in the academic mission of Ohio University, supporting our faculty and students."

According to the university, Quidel plans to keep DHI in Athens.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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