Quest Diagnostics Purchases S.E.D. Labs

Albuquerque-based Lovelace Health System and Quest Diagnostics inked a definitive deal in which Lovelace's S.E.D. Medical Laboratories will become part of Quest. The agreement calls for Quest Diagnostics to acquire the assets of S.E.D. Medical Laboratories and manage inpatient labs for the four Lovelace hospitals, as well as serve Lovelace Health Plan members. "This agreement will provide S.E.D. and its medical and scientific staff with more access to innovation, new technology and capital resources," said Ron Stern, president and CEO of the Lovelace Health System. The deal also will significantly expand Quest Diagnostic's presence in New Mexico, where S.E.D. Medical Laboratories is based.

OvaGene Oncology Partners with Moffitt Cancer Center for microRNA-based Assays

OvaGene Oncology Inc. finalized a licensing and collaboration deal with the Tampa-based Moffitt Cancer Center, granting OvaGene exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize proprietary microRNA-based assays that predict drug response for currently used cancer treatment drugs. The Moffitt Cancer Center developed the proprietary assays and validated them. "We are excited about our new partnership with OvaGene. It will enable us to accelerate our microRNA laboratory findings towards the clinic, as personalized medicine tools that may benefit patients in the near-term," said Johnathan Lancaster, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Women's Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Clarient and Acorn Forge Tumor Molecular Testing Partnership

Clarient and Acorn Research teamed to focus on the molecular testing of tumor samples. The collaboration will combine Clarient's expertise in cancer diagnostics and Acorn's oncology network and advanced bioinformatics platform. The companies will work together to create standardized testing protocols across the Acorn network of oncology community practices and hospitals with treatment guidelines and clinical trial opportunities, in the hope of delivering individualized targeted treatments based on specific genetic markers.

Lineagen and Fast Forward Team on Blood-based Assays for MS

Lineagen, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, and Fast Forward, LLC, a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, have partnered in an effort to fund the clinical development and validation of a blood-based assay for MS. The goal of the collaboration is to develop a test to help clinicians diagnose MS, distinguish it from other neurological disorders, and provide the prognostic information needed to help guide treatment decisions. "This collaboration will enhance the development and validation of our proprietary gene and biomarker-based assay in MS. The funding from Fast Forward will accelerate this clinical program, allowing the collaborative team to evaluate and affirm a broad number of biomarkers simultaneously, with the collective goal of delivering our best testing services to physicians and patients," said Michael S. Paul, PhD, president and CEO of Lineagen.

MinuteClinics, Axis-Shield Team to Offer POC HbA1c Tests

MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark Corporation, and Axis-Shield have partnered to provide point-of-care HbA1c tests in 600 CVS pharmacies across the nation. Under the terms of the deal, MinuteClinic will use Axis-Shield’s Afinion analyzer in all 600 of its retail clinic locations. The fully automated analyzer will enable MinuteClinic's providers to gather a patient specimen and receive test results in 3 minutes or less. "We are pleased to be partnering with the largest provider of walk-in medical clinics to bring this testing directly to patients, enabling widespread access to routine hemoglobin A1c testing," said Ian Gilham, CEO of Axis-Shield. Providing HbA1c tests for patients with diabetes is part of MinuteClinic's business strategy to expand its services in chronic disease management.