Quest Diagnostics has exclusive rights to develop and offer clinical- and research-use laboratory testing services based on Genomic Vision's molecular combing (also known as DNA combing) technique in the U.S., India and Mexico. Genomic Vision will retain rights to market new testing services that emerge from the collaboration's research and development in Europe (with the exception of the United Kingdom), the Middle East and Africa. Quest Diagnostics has also made an equity investment for an undisclosed sum in Genomic Vision.
DNA combing is an analytical technique that involves stretching coils of DNA into straight chains to facilitate direct high-resolution analysis of targeted areas of the human genome. The technique detects genetic mutations, most notably large scale gene rearrangements, which current DNA analytical technologies cannot detect.
Quest Diagnostics expects to validate and release the first laboratory developed test based on molecular combing, for aiding the detection of individuals affected with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, in 2012.
The companies will also focus on developing tests for cancer and neurological disorders, with testing services to be offered to clients of Quest Diagnostics.