Roche subsidiary Ventana Medical Systems has agreed to partner with Quintiles to offer companion diagnostic testing services in China for pharma and biotech clients conducting early phase clinical trials.
Companion diagnostics are tests designed to confirm the presence of a specific biomarker. They can help physicians in selecting effective therapies, and for pharma companies, they can sometimes expedite the approval process and help generate more effective drugs with improved safety profiles.
The need for companion diagnostics in China comes as the country currently has the highest rate of new cancer cases recorded globally in 2012, and the trend is increasing, particularly in lung, liver, esophageal and stomach cancers, according to the World Health Organization. China is also one of the only countries in the world that requires all patient samples be tested in China, including those used in clinical trials.
Costa Panagos, SVP and head of Quintiles Global Clinical Laboratories, told us: “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. Our dedication to biomarker development and esoteric testing, coupled with early customer engagement, allow for the development of successful strategies in this evolving marketplace.”
Quintiles is no stranger to China. Over the last few years, the company has established a business process outsourcing center in northeast China, as well as a contract pathology testing service in Beijing.
"Our new relationship with Quintiles to offer companion diagnostic testing services in China moves our mission, to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer, a big step forward," said Doug Ward, VP and Companion Diagnostics Lifecycle Leader. "Our oncology pharma collaborators can now reach a large and growing number of patients that can benefit from clinical trial participation using targeted treatments and tests."
But this latest venture reveals the growing need for patients in China to have in-country access to the most advanced tissue diagnostic testing and companion therapeutics in the industry, which starts with early phase clinical trials.
"It's been extremely important to Ventana that we find a strategic laboratory in China that will help us uphold the CAP testing standard of excellence set by our global companion diagnostic CAP/CLIA laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, USA," said Dr. H. James Hnatyszyn, Director Laboratory Operations for VENTANA companion diagnostic services. "Quintiles has the experience, infrastructure and qualified personnel to meet this challenge."
Early phase clinical trial testing according to the CAP (College of American Pathology) standards set by Ventana is now available.