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Roche, Quintiles partner for companion diagnostics in China

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Exploratory testing in the Ventana CAP/CLIA laboratory at Quintiles China--Courtesy of Ventana

Ventana and Quintiles ($Q) are partnering up to provide companion diagnostic testing services in China for early clinical trials. China is among a few countries that requires patient samples used in clinical trials to be tested domestically for inclusion in the country's approval process.

Cancer companion diagnostics, obviously a Roche ($RHHBY) focus, will be at the core of the partnership; Ventana is a Roche Group company that manufactures instruments and reagents used in cancer diagnostics and Quintiles is a contract research organization. The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

"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," said Ventana VP and Companion Diagnostics Lifecycle Leader, Doug Ward, in a statement.

According to the World Health Organization, China had the highest rate of new cancer cases recorded in 2012: 3.1 million. That's about 22% of the total 14 million of cancer cases reported globally. There were a total of 8.2 million cancer deaths that year, with 2.2 million (or 27%) of those in China. Countries with developing healthcare systems, like China, are the worst affected due to limited resources for proper diagnosis and treatment, the WHO says.

This prevalence of cancer in China, paired with the population's rapidly advancing ability to pay for medical advancements, makes the country a logical long-term location for the pair to focus its efforts.

"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, AZ," Director Laboratory Operations for Ventana companion diagnostic services Dr. H. James Hnatyszyn said in a statement. "Quintiles has the experience, infrastructure and qualified personnel to meet this challenge."

- here is the release

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