Quintiles and Roche take to China with testing partnership

Quintiles ($Q) has signed a deal with a Roche ($RHHBY) diagnostics subsidiary to offer cancer screenings in China, looking to capitalize on the growing market for clinical trials in the country.

Partnering with Ventana Medical Systems, which Roche acquired in 2008, Quintiles will lend out its Chinese labs to offer companion diagnostic tests to cancer drug developers working through early-phase studies. The idea is to help identify the ideal patients for any given oncology treatment, and the duo plan to host a wide range of tests up to the College of American Pathology (CAP) standard.

China is among the few countries that require all patient samples to be tested within its borders, not flown out to labs around the globe, the companies said. That policy can be particularly restrictive to drug developers trying to manage costs in Chinese clinical trials, and Quintiles and Ventana believe their new offering will help expand study participation and speed the development of new oncology therapies.

"China is a clear focus for Quintiles Labs, and this agreement with Ventana illustrates how we're continually enhancing our capabilities in China to improve our customers' probability of success," Quintiles Senior Vice President Costa Panagos said in a statement.

The Tucson, AZ-headquartered Ventana said it had long been looking to make its way into China, which has the world's highest rate of recorded new cancer cases. In looking for a partner, the company sought both a wide in-country reach and the ability to comply with CAP standards, Ventana's director of laboratory operations, H. James Hnatyszyn, said in the statement, and Quintiles fit that bill.

For Quintiles, the partnership comes on the heels of another record revenue quarter, in which the world's largest CRO boosted sales by nearly 10% to $1 billion. The company expects to bring in as much as $4.2 billion on the year.

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