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From Manchester to Melbourne – global growth for women’s health champion

The North West Fastest 50 Awards is a prestigious regional event, hosted by Ward Hadaway and supported by The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The event recognises the achievements of the fastest growing, most innovative companies in the region.

This year, medical technology company Hologic was named the overall fastest growing business in the region. The company, which has achieved an average turnover growth of nearly 120% in the last three years, also picked up the award for the fastest growing large business of the year. Alongside Ward Hadaway’s Melanie Yeomans, director of process transfer Glynn Wakefield shares an insight into the company’s significant growth and what’s propelled them to new heights of success.

A multinational medical technology business, Hologic was founded 30 years ago. The business has several core divisions including surgical, breast health and diagnostics. The Manchester site, which is home to the diagnostics division, is led by a 10-strong senior leadership team and was established in 2012. Since then, it’s become a leading force in the female healthcare sector, designing, manufacturing and supplying high quality diagnostic tests to healthcare providers worldwide, from the North West to New Zealand.

“In the UK we work across all three divisions and here in Manchester we develop diagnostics tests which help diagnose infections and illnesses,” says director of process transfer, Glynn Wakefield. “Our diagnostics tests identify a range of infections including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HPV (used in cervical cancer screening) to HIV and respiratory illnesses like flu and Covid-19, quickly and accurately. We continuously review our production and manufacturing capabilities to deliver first in class, high quality tests that can provide results promptly – significantly improving female patient care and outcomes.”

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And it’s clear Hologic’s understanding of the importance of diagnostic tests in guiding healthcare decisions is reaping rewards. The team’s capabilities in pushing boundaries, developing cutting-edge research and driving innovation has disrupted the diagnostic testing space – and the company has significantly grown as a result. Headcount in Manchester has increased from 40 employees in 2012 to 315 people today.

Glynn continues: “Purpose, passion and promise. That’s the ethos of everyone invested in Hologic – our employees, supply chain partners and clients. We develop purpose-driven, high quality diagnostic products with passion and a promise that our work is meeting a vital health demand and is making a difference in women’s lives. That could be someone’s mother, sister or best friend that we’re helping to protect. And it’s this that drives us to provide high quality diagnostic tests, that are bespoke to the healthcare needs of female populations around the world.”

The North West has a burgeoning healthcare and life sciences sector, supported by several regional organisations that encourage growth and innovation across the industry. Ward Hadaway, based in Chapel Walks, Manchester, advise and work with many of these businesses, supporting them on legal matters throughout their growth journey.

Melanie Yeomans, a Partner in the Ward Hadaway Manchester office, said: “Congratulations to Hologic on their well-deserved success at the North West Fastest 50 Awards. This achievement is a testament to their steadfast commitment to innovation in the thriving North West healthcare technology sector. We advise and work with many businesses in the healthcare, medtech and life sciences sectors across the region and there’s one thing that shines through, that’s the entrepreneurial spirit amongst them. They share a culture that encourages innovation, promise and a desire to make a difference – the exact attributes needed to excel in today’s challenging environment. Well done, Hologic.”

As a leader in diagnostic testing with a focus on women’s health, Hologic is concentrating on continued global growth. This involves developing more strategic partnerships with healthcare providers and expanding distribution networks to enable their products to reach an even wider customer base.

Glynn adds: “Someone once told me that nothing ever worth doing came easy and that’s so true. Scaling the business so quickly and ensuring we are always one step ahead when it comes to innovating and developing our products has been a tremendous task. However, when we see the impact it makes, the difference it creates, we feel incredibly grateful that we’re able to provide such an important tool in helping the health of women worldwide. Yes, like any business, we’ve made mistakes along the way, but we always ensure that while we learn from them, we’re focused on the present and future and the impact we can make on improving people’s health.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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