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LabCorp Expands Companion Dx Agreement With BML

NEW YORK – Laboratory Corporation of America said on Sunday that it had expanded its companion diagnostics development and commercialization agreement with Japanese clinical lab testing firm BML.

The collaboration will initially focus on making commercially available assays developed and validated by LabCorp's Covance drug development business, with the first assays targeting oncology. The agreement will broaden the network of Japanese labs used to support companion diagnostic development and commercialization and aims to increase access to the diagnostics among healthcare providers in the country.

BML has more than 53 laboratories and 116 customer service locations, and processes more than 1.5 billion diagnostic tests per year. The company has collaborated with LabCorp for a decade and the companies have established a facility, the Covance-BML Trial Laboratory, to provide laboratory testing services to support drug development and clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies.

"Companion diagnostics are a key component of our precision medicine strategy, enabling healthcare providers to identify the patients who are most likely to benefit from targeted and novel therapies," Steve Anderson, chief scientific officer of Covance and senior vice president at LabCorp, said in a statement. "This partnership with BML further expands our reach to Japan and benefits our biopharmaceutical clients who need global solutions for precision medicine, with the ultimate goal of improving health and improving lives for patients around the world."

"Our collaboration with LabCorp allows BML to provide our clients with robust companion diagnostics services for the patients who need them in Japan. It builds on our trusted relationship with Covance, which has provided clinical trials testing services to our pharmaceutical partners for over 10 years," said Kensuke Kondo, president of BML. "Our combined ability to bridge the time gaps between the development phase and drug approval through to national reimbursement, along with the benefit of having a centralized laboratory testing facility, gives our respective customers the advantage of early adoption of their drug. BML’s experience with local testing requirements, quality standards and logistical expectations will ensure instant access to high-quality testing."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.