Quest Diagnostics and Hologic, Inc. announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to more broadly offer testing based on Hologic's APTIMA family of products, as well as to co-develop and promote advanced diagnostic solutions to improve women's health.
"This alliance will enhance the ability of Quest Diagnostics to deliver state-of-the-art testing methods and specialized expertise in women's health diagnostic information services," said Steve Rusckowski, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quest Diagnostics. "It builds on our long-standing successful relationship with Hologic to lead the way in delivering solutions that address the clinical challenges facing obstetricians and gynecologists in treating women. This collaboration also promises to increase the range of capabilities for advancing the health of women for both companies."
"This collaboration represents a potentially important new chapter in women's health diagnostics," said Rob Cascella, Hologic's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Quest Diagnostics' strong capabilities in diagnostic information services and laboratory and interpretive consulting, when combined with Hologic's technical expertise and product excellence, holds the potential for us to develop new capabilities for serving unmet clinical needs for women in other areas of cancer detection."
Under a non-exclusive agreement with an initial term of five years, the companies will focus primarily on clinical areas critical to the health of women. Quest Diagnostics will transition to a broader offering of services based on Hologic's APTIMA family of products, which includes FDA-approved or cleared assays for HPV, HPV genotyping, chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomonas vaginalis. In addition, Quest Diagnostics will continue to utilize Hologic's leading line of ThinPrep liquid-based cytology products.
Quest Diagnostics will also continue to offer Hologic's APTIMA HPV mRNA-based assay nationally. Unlike other FDA-approved, DNA-based HPV tests, the APTIMA HPV assay detects messenger RNA over-expressed from two viral oncogenes that are integral to the development of cervical cancer. Hologic's APTIMA HPV assay detects E6/E7 viral mRNA from 14 high-risk types of human papillomavirus in cervical specimens (refer to package insert for other indications and limitations).
"Most HPV infections clear up on their own, so it's important to identify those persistent, high-risk infections that are most likely to lead to cervical cancer," said Tom Wright, MD, professor emeritus of pathology and cell biology at the Columbia University Medical Center. "In numerous clinical studies involving approximately 45,000 women, the APTIMA HPV mRNA assay has consistently shown similar sensitivity and better specificity than the most frequently used DNA-based test. This means the APTIMA HPV assay is highly accurate in detecting cervical disease, but is less likely to raise false alarms that can result in unnecessary medical procedures."
The companies will also explore opportunities to develop and expand access to new diagnostic solutions for women's health. In addition, they will implement joint programs to advance women's health issues with medical associations and patient advocacy groups and to sponsor research. Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.
"Our relationship with Hologic also demonstrates our progress executing on our restore growth and operational excellence strategies," said Mr. Rusckowski, Quest's CEO. "With this alliance, we will strengthen the specialization and competitiveness of our women's health business. We are also working more closely and strategically with suppliers, and this alliance is the first under our new, highly rigorous supplier engagement model, which we unveiled at our first ever Supplier Forum in March."