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On Heels of Sequenom Deal, Quest to Stop Offering Natera NIPT

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Quest Diagnostics has confirmed that it will stop offering Natera's non-invasive prenatal test after Sequenom recently inked a deal with Quest to offer its MaterniT21 Plus test.

Sequenom and Quest forged a deal earlier this month to offer MaterniT21 Plus through Quest starting in the third quarter. In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sequenom said that after an "initial period following the execution" of the deal, Quest will not "order from or contract with any other laboratory, other than [the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine], for the provision of non-invasive prenatal testing services for or on behalf of Quest's physician customers and their patients." In return, Sequenom will not provide or contract with other publicly traded laboratories with annual revenues more than $1 billion for NIPT services.

This week, a Quest spokesperson confirmed that it will eventually stop offering Natera's Panorama NIPT. Quest and Natera inked a deal in 2013 for Quest to offer the test.

"The MaterniT21 Plus agreement is an exclusive relationship, after an initial term. For now, Quest continues to offer Natera's Panorama test to physicians," a Quest spokesperson said in an e-mail to GenomeWeb Daily News. She did not say when it would stop offering the Panorama test.

A spokesperson for Natera said that it and Quest currently continue to work together to offer Panorama and declined to disclose test volume figures resulting from their alliance.

William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein earlier this week upgraded shares of Sequenom to Outperform, and noted that the Quest agreement "provides added market coverage [for Sequenom], provides a distribution channel into the average risk space, and dampens the near-term prospects for a competitor," alluding to Natera.