QIAGEN N.V. announced that it will expand access to its digene HPV Test across China through a co-marketing agreement with KingMed Diagnostics, China’s largest independent laboratory network. Through the agreement, KingMed Diagnostics will function as a centralized lab, allowing smaller hospitals and those in less-populated areas to offer the digene HPV Test and send samples to KingMed Diagnostics for processing and analysis. The agreement is an additional milestone for QIAGEN’s molecular diagnostics franchise in China and its focus on driving growth in emerging markets. The digene HPV Test was first registered in China in 2000 and is now widely available in many of the country’s top-tier hospitals and private labs.
“We are pleased to work with QIAGEN, an industry-leading multinational company,” said Liang Yaoming, Chief Executive Officer of KingMed Diagnostics. “Our nationwide network, expertise and proven track record make us the perfect partner for QIAGEN to increase their reach in China.” QIAGEN expects the collaboration to expand access to the test in second-tier and third-tier cities, as well as in less developed regions where the cervical cancer burden is highest. “By joining hands with KingMed Diagnostics we can bring our lifesaving HPV testing technology not only to more women but also to the regions where it is most needed,” said Dr. Victor Shi, Asia Pacific President of QIAGEN. “QIAGEN and KingMed Diagnostics have had a long and fruitful collaboration which we are now significantly expanding. We are pleased to work more closely with the leading provider of clinical diagnostic testing in China and to make progress towards saving more lives from cervical cancer.”
The announcement coincides with the observance of International Women’s Day on March 8. For the fifth year in a row, QIAGEN is donating HPV tests for the screening of several thousand underprivileged women across China. The free testing is part of the larger “3.8 Program,” a nationwide cancer prevention campaign organized by the Cancer Foundation of China and partially sponsored by QIAGEN. In the past four years, QIAGEN’s digene HPV Test has been used to screen about 16,000 women through the campaign, identifying more than 200 women who might otherwise have gone on to develop and/or perish from cervical cancer.
Worldwide, cervical cancer affects approximately 500,000 women annually and causes about 275,000 deaths each year. After breast cancer, it is the second most common malignancy found in women. In China, there are 80,000-100,000 new cases of cervical cancer each year and 30,000 to 50,000 deaths. Cervical cancer is caused by “high-risk” types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). An estimated 80 percent of women will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives. However, in most cases, the infection goes away or is suppressed by the body without causing problems. Only infections that persist can cause abnormal cells to form, which may develop into cervical cancer if not detected and treated early. Testing women over the age of 30 for the virus that causes the disease significantly improves healthcare professionals’ ability to identify women at risk.