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Qiagen, Merck Team on HPV Dx, Rx in Developing World

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen and Merck will collaborate to provide HPV screening and vaccination to women in the developing world as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, the partners said today.

The goal is to integrate their offerings and provide them for free in order to combat cervical cancer.

Under the plan, Qiagen said that it will add to its existing one-million test donation program the screening of an additional 500,000 women in certain developing nations using its HPV tests, including the digene HC2 HPV DNA Test and a new HPV DNA test that is still under development for use specifically in the developing world, the company said. Merck will provide up to five million doses of its Gardasil vaccine for HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18.

Qiagen and Merck also plan to pursue other partners, public and private, to plan and implement cervical cancer programs to provide treatment, deliver vaccine doses, and to train healthcare workers. They also will work with cervical cancer experts to develop best practice models for cervical cancer reduction in low-income, high-disease areas.

"With broadened access to both vaccines and testing through this initiative, we hope to ensure that girls and women — regardless of where they live — will benefit from these advances in healthcare," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement. "Our complementary tools can demonstrate the unique impact that collaborations between pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies can have on global public health."

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