Quest Diagnostics, Decode Health Partner on National Trial Specimen Bank
In an effort to accelerate drug and diagnostic advances in multiple sclerosis (MS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other conditions, Quest Diagnostics and Decode Health are working on a national platform for gathering and storing trial participant specimens for RNA analysis in future research.
The platform will collect and keep deidentified, consented specimens from participants in industry, academia and patient engagement organization-sponsored trials through Quest’s patient service centers, ExamOne mobile at-home phlebotomy service and a biobank at its Memphis, Tenn., laboratory.
The trial specimen bank is part of Quest and Decode’s overall vision of delivering a “nationally scaled sequencing, research and patient engagement platform to empower life science organizations” in their R&D efforts.
“RNA analysis holds the potential to ignite the next generation of diagnostics and drug targets for MS and other metabolic and autoimmune neurological disorders,” said Jay Wohlgemuth, senior vice president of R&D and chief medical officer for Quest Diagnostics.
According to Decode Health, having more biomarker-based data available can help to speed up research and reduce the costs of trials, with nearly 60 percent of trials having strategies to identify treatment biomarkers. Per the collaboration, any benefits resulting from the project’s research, data licensing, biomarker discovery and diagnostics development will be shared.
The pair are currently focused on “addressing a pressing need for earlier detection, differential diagnosis and therapy selection” for MS and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease but intend to broaden the scope of their efforts to additional diseases in the future.