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Quest Diagnostics Plans to Form Precision Oncology Center of Excellence

June 14, 2017
by Heather Landi
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Quest Diagnostics is acquiring two laboratory businesses in Lewisville, Texas, with the aim to establish a center of excellence providing diagnostic services to aid the detection and management of cancer for oncologists and patients nationwide.

With the acquisition of the two businesses, Med Fusion and Clear Point, Quest plans to create a base in the southwestern United States for providing precision medicine diagnostics to aid cancer treatment and care, according to a company press release.

Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas; The US Oncology Network (The Network), supported by McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation; Texas Oncology; and Pathologists Bio-Medical Laboratories (PBM) are co-owners of one or both businesses.

Once completed, the transaction will bring Quest’s services to 12 hospitals in North Texas and the largest network of community oncologists in the United States, with more than 1,400 physicians nationally, according to Quest.

The advanced diagnostics Quest will provide include genomic and pathology testing, such as tumor sequencing, typically used by oncologists to select and monitor treatment and predict disease progression.

In addition, Quest will be a preferred provider of a full range of inpatient and outpatient diagnostic services for 12 hospitals of Baylor Scott & White Health in North Texas. Quest will provide these services from the center of excellence site in Lewisville upon close of the transaction.

“Precision medicine is changing the way we treat cancer and giving new hope to people living with the disease, but too often advanced diagnostics that facilitate the best possible care are out of reach of community oncologists and their patients,” Steve Rusckowski, chairman, president and CEO, Quest Diagnostics, said in a statement. “By partnering with McKesson Specialty Health and The Network, we will make Quest’s state-of-the-art genomic analysis readily available to community oncologists everywhere. We also look forward to working with BSWH, a leading health system, to deliver broad access to high quality, high value services. This transaction will not only accelerate Quest’s growth in cancer diagnostics, but also holds the promise of improving care for patients with cancer in Texas and the entire United States.”

Precision medicine diagnostics are intended to help guide personalized treatment, based on genomic, proteomic or other characteristics unique to the patient. Following the closing of the transaction, Quest Diagnostics and McKesson Specialty Health, with The Network and Texas Oncology, will collaborate on the development of standardized, evidence-based services for guiding treatment decisions within the electronic patient record and care plan workflow, building off a model spearheaded by Med Fusion. Quest expects to be able to offer versions of these services, once developed, to other providers in the United States with the goal to advance better cancer outcomes.

“By joining forces with Quest Diagnostics, Med Fusion will speed the development and adoption of its novel framework for precision medicine diagnostics developed in recent years by our team,” Jon L. Hart, chief executive officer, Med Fusion, said in a statement.

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