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Quest Diagnostics’ Cleveland HeartLab Acquisition Reflects Personalized Medicine Trend

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Quest Diagnostics has snapped up Cleveland Clinic spinoff Cleveland HeartLab in an equity deal and formed a strategic collaboration with the health system. The acquisition gives the national clinical lab testing business access to the HeartLab’s proprietary tests identifying biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease that go well beyond the conventional screening tests for cholesterol.

Quest said in a news release it plans to make the Cleveland HeartLab a center of excellence for cardiometabolic disorders.

The HeartLab’s relationship with MDVIP — a primary care network with nearly 1,000 primary care physicians — is also of interest as both Quest and Cleveland HeartLab provide specialized services for primary care.

The deal could also mean more patients can gain access to Cleveland HeartLab’s tests, given Quest’s relationships with insurers, a Crain’s Cleveland Business report noted.

Quest and Cleveland Clinic will set up a steering committee from both institutions to evaluate biomarkers for various diseases discovered by the Lerner Research Institute and other parts of Cleveland Clinic. Quest may develop tests for some of those biomarkers. The institutions would collaborate on clinical trials to assess the value of these biomarkers, the news release said.

As part of the personalized medicine trend, there’s been a lot of interest in identifying biomarkers associated with heart disease to create more sophisticated screening tools to support earlier intervention, which could lead to reduced medical costs in the longterm.

A growing body of research suggests that cardiovascular risk could be influenced by certain types of inflammation, genetics, endocrine and metabolic disorders, lipid particle composition and intestinal microbes, according to the release.

“Despite a mountain of research showing traditional cholesterol testing can miss heart disease, many patients are still in the dark about their true risk,” said Jake Orville, Cleveland HeartLab CEO, said in a statement. “With investment and focus from a leader like Quest, and access to the science of Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland HeartLab will be well positioned to accelerate diagnostic innovations that shed light on risk of heart disease for the individual patient.”

Source: MedCity News