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In Brief This Week: Quest Diagnostics, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Precision for Medicine

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Quest Diagnostics announced that all the company's test services for estimating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as LDL-C, now use a new calculation that is more accurate and doesn't require patients to fast from eating food prior to a blood draw.

The development is the result of a license agreement between Quest Diagnostics and Johns Hopkins University.

The new calculation method is based on a formula from Seth Martin, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Quest said it is the first national laboratory provider to use the method.

The new test replaces the Friedewald calculation, which has been the standard method of LDL-C analysis used in cholesterol testing in the US since 1972, Quest said.

Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that it has named the Institute of Pathology Heidelberg's Center of Molecular Pathology at Heidelberg University Hospital as the newest member of the Next Generation Sequencing Companion Dx Center of Excellence Program. 

The program focuses on forging collaborations between the firm and European-based organizations that can lead studies using Thermo Fisher's Oncomine portfolio of research panels destined for development as companion diagnostics. 

Working in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners and Thermo Fisher, the IPH Center of Molecular Pathology will conduct studies and clinical trials using Thermo Fisher's next-generation sequencing platforms and various gene panels.

Precision for Medicine announced that it has acquired Agility Clinical, a contract research organization focused on clinical development of rare diseases and orphan therapies. Precision for Medicine noted that the acquisition creates a comprehensive, fully integrated orphan therapy clinical development services provider with expertise in global clinical trials and biometrics, as well as biomarker and specialty lab capabilities. "Agility's expertise in rare and orphan research and its heritage in biostatistics and data management for complex trials are perfect complements to our existing research capabilities," Precision for Medicine President Chad Clark said in a statement. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the 360Dx site.