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UCLA, Chinese Firm to Create Lab Offering MDx, Genetic Tests in China

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of California, Los Angeles announced on Tuesday an agreement with a Chinese firm creating a new company to offer molecular diagnostic, genetic, and other "sophisticated" tests in China.

UCLA, the UCLA Department of Pathology, and Centre Testing International — which offers product testing, inspection, certification, and consulting services in China — reached the deal to create CTI-Pathology/UCLA Health, a new company that will operate a 25,000-square-foot facility in Shanghai. The lab, which is expected to open in September, will support clinical trials "and enhance medical care" for patients in China with cancer and other illnesses, UCLA said, adding that pathologists from the school will train Chinese lab specialists in interpreting test results.

According to the school, the partnership is the first between a Chinese company and a US academic medical center to create a specialized lab in China. UCLA will manage the lab "to ensure that its operations meet international standards for quality," while CTI is providing funding and marketing expertise. The joint venture was approved in January by the University of California Board of Regents.

"Our collaboration will offer the people of China oncology, pathology, and laboratory medicine services they can trust," CTI President Sangem Hsu said in a statement. "Many of these services are not largely available in China and are needed by physicians and healthcare providers to accurately diagnose and treat their patients."

CTI-Pathology/UCLA Health will be linked electronically and digitally with UCLA and with hospitals, clinics, and other labs throughout China.

"Because pathology has a history of being undervalued in China, the country has a shortage of pathologists trained to diagnose and interpret complex test results in specialized fields of medicine," Scott Binder, senior vice chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, said in a statement. "Our partnership gives CTI and UCLA the opportunity to save lives by changing that."