Quest picks up Texas labs, sets up national precision diagnostics center

Quest Diagnostics sign
In addition to setting up a national precision medicine center, Quest Diagnostics is working with McKesson Specialty Health on scaling a precision medicine model developed at Med Fusion. (Ed Uthman CC BY-SA 2.0)

Quest Diagnostics has completed its acquisition of a pair of laboratory businesses in Texas, establishing a foothold in the southwestern U.S. with a new national “center of excellence” for cancer precision diagnostics.

The New Jersey-based diagnostics maker announced its deals to acquire Lewisville, Texas-based Med Fusion and Clear Point in June. The pair offered diagnostic services to a range of organizations that co-owned one or both businesses, including Baylor Scott & White Health, the US Oncology Network and Texas Oncology.

"Precision medicine is changing the way we treat cancer and giving new hope to people living with the disease, but too often advanced diagnostics that facilitate the best possible care are out of reach of community oncologists and their patients," said Quest CEO Steve Rusckowski, at the time. "By partnering with McKesson Specialty Health and The Network, we will make Quest's state-of-the-art genomic analysis readily available to community oncologists everywhere.”

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“This transaction will not only accelerate Quest's growth in cancer diagnostics, but also holds the promise of improving care for patients with cancer in Texas and the entire United States,” Rusckowski said.

Now, Quest is a preferred provider to these organizations—it will serve 12 BSWH hospitals in North Texas and 1,400 community-based physicians affiliated with the US Oncology Network, according to a statement.

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Quest will also collaborate with McKesson Specialty Health, which supports the Network, on standardizing gene-sequencing panels for the selection and monitoring of treatments for cancer. The duo will build on a model created by Med Fusion, which will guide a physician to a panel that is individualized to the type and stage of a patient’s cancer.

Since President Barack Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative in 2015, several players have been working to scale precision medicine. The NIH’s All of Us program, which seeks the health data of more than one million people, is a major part of the initiative. Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Dignity Health and Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives have launched the nation’s largest community-based precision medicine program—it aims to serve about 12 million patients across 150 hospitals and care systems.