Illumina makes waves in China with NGS clinical testing deal; LabCorp buys women's health lab to boost offerings

Welcome to Dx Digest, where FierceMedicalDevices highlights the highs and sometimes lows of the past week in the diagnostics industry. Illumina struck a deal to expand its presence in China, teaming up with Novogene to develop clinical prenatal DNA and cancer tests for the country's rapidly growing diagnostics market. Hologic snagged a CE mark for its test for a common but oft-misdiagnosed sexually transmitted infection, Mycoplasma genitalium. Last but certainly not least, diagnostics giant LabCorp snatched up medical testing unit Pathology to get its hands on the company's molecular and digital pathology services. Read on for the details. And as always, feel free to contact us with any comments or questions. -- Emily Wasserman (email | Twitter)

Illumina expands in China with NGS clinical testing deal

Illumina ($ILMN) wants to grab a bigger piece of China's diagnostics market, and its latest deal could be just the ticket. The company is joining forces with Beijing-based Novogene to develop clinical tests that use Illumina's next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to improve healthcare in the country. The pair will create a diagnostic system for clinical prenatal DNA and oncology testing, drawing on Illumina's expertise in NGS and Novogene's experience in library prep and analysis to offer "the most advanced and integrated sequencing solutions," the companies said in a statement.

Illumina's latest deal comes a few months after it announced that it would team up with China's Amoy Diagnostics to create NGS cancer tests for the country's clinical market. "We are committed to partnering with Chinese companies who share our vision of improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome," Tim Orpin, GM of Illumina's Asia Pacific Region, said in a statement. Release

Hologic nabs CE mark for sexually transmitted infection test

It hasn't been an easy couple of years for Hologic ($HOLX). In 2014, the company shelled out almost $52 million in restructuring charges after it tried to pare down its workforce. Earlier this year, the company raised $2.5 billion but said that most of that cash would go toward repaying its outstanding debt. Hologic sees 3-D mammography as key to turning business around but faces stiff competition from imaging giants such as GE ($GE) and Siemens, which already have a strong hold on the market.

Still, Hologic isn't pigeonholing itself and is also exploring other avenues of growth. The Marlborough, MA-based company recently got a boost with European approval for its Aptima assay for Mycoplasma genitalium, a "common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is frequently misdiagnosed," Claus Egstrand, president of Hologic's International group, said in a statement.

The test runs on Hologic's Panther system and can identify M. genitalium from multiple samples, including vaginal swabs, urine, unisex swabs or Pap test vials. The company plans to make the test ready for use with multitest swabs for male meatal samples, Hologic said in a statement. Statement

LabCorp snatches up Pathology to increase women's health offerings

LabCorp ($LH) has kept quiet on the deal front since shelling out $6 billion earlier this year for CRO Covance. But now the company is making some noise, agreeing to snatch up "substantially all of the operating assets" of Pathology, a women's health lab.

Neither side is revealing financial details, but LabCorp will gain access to Pathology's reproductive FDA donor testing and the lab's anatomic, molecular and digital pathology services, the company said in a statement. Pathology is "an excellent fit" with LabCorp's existing women's health service offerings and supports the company's mission of providing "world class diagnostic solutions that improve health and improve lives," LabCorp CEO David King said in a statement.

If all goes according to plan, the companies expect to close the deal in the first quarter of 2016, LabCorp said in a statement. More