Among the terms, Quest will have broad rights to use Illumina's sequencing and genotyping technology, including the MiSeq® platform and related consumables, to develop, validate and offer molecular laboratory-developed tests for several disease states to clinicians in the United States. Quest also has rights to use the Illumina equipment as biomarker test services in clinical trials performed on behalf of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other clients.
"Quest's science and innovation strategy is focused on accelerating the introduction of clinically meaningful diagnostic solutions that aid the management of the individual patient across a continuum of care, promoting better outcomes," said Jay Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President, Science and Innovation, Quest Diagnostics. "Investing in next-generation sequencing, which is increasingly used in several clinical areas as well as clinical trials, is a key element of our strategy. Illumina is a leader in NGS innovation, and this new broad agreement will give us a greater level of flexibility to build on our record of success in NGS to include several diseases where sequencing-based molecular testing can meaningfully improve clinical care."
In 2013, Quest introduced new clinical testing services based on Illumina next-generation sequencing technology under limited agreements. The new agreement broadens the range of applications for which Quest may use the Illumina technology, including several cancers and neurological and women's health disorders.
DNA sequencing is a process that determines the order of individual nucleotides of DNA molecules across a single gene, several genes or a full genome. Unlike older technologies, next-generation sequencing platforms can sequence multiple molecules simultaneously, providing greater information about the genetic basis of disease for lower cost.
"We are excited to support Quest's further expansion into next-generation sequencing," said Nick Naclerio, Illumina's Senior Vice President of Corporate and Venture Development. "Quest's advanced development capabilities and vast clinician network will help bring the power of next-generation sequencing to an ever larger range of patients around the U.S."