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Quest to Develop NGS-based Dx on Life Tech and Illumina Sequencing Systems

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Quest Diagnostics has struck multi-year agreements with both Illumina and Life Technologies to use their respective sequencing technologies for clinical testing, the firms said today.

Under two separate agreements, Quest will have the right to develop and offer molecular laboratory-developed tests using Illumina's MiSeq and Life Tech's Ion Torrent platforms and the respective related reagents for clinicians and clinical trials performed by its pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients.

"Investing in next-generation sequencing, which is increasingly used in several clinical areas as well as clinical trials, is a key element of our strategy," Jay Wohlgemuth, senior vice president of science and innovation at Quest Diagnostics, said in a statement.

Last year, Quest began offering its next-gen sequencing-based BRCAvantage to assess mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes related to hereditary breast cancer. It also offers next-gen sequencing testing services to aid in the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes.

Two years ago, Quest began offering an HIV tropism test based on next-gen sequencing and at the time, the company said it was evaluating all the desktop sequencing instruments — the Ion Torrent, MiSeq, and Roche's 454 GS Junior — for future NGS-based diagnostics.

The agreements will enable Quest to "build on our successes in NGS to accelerate the clinical benefit and positive impact of this technology for patients and providers across several disease areas, including cancer, neurology and women’s health," Wohlgemuth added.