Quest Diagnostics and CDC Expand Public Health Research Collaboration to Better Understand Hepatitis C Burden in the United States

Quest will provide research consulting, laboratory testing and data analytics services to generate diagnostics insights supporting population health strategy for hepatitis C

SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the nation's leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed to assess the burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States

Quest was awarded a multi-year agreement following a competitive bid. The agreement marks a new phase of a decade-long collaboration between Quest and the CDC to improve hepatitis public health research based on insights from laboratory data. Under the new agreement, Quest will perform both HCV antibody testing and molecular RNA testing using HIPAA-deidentified "remnant" specimens randomly selected from clinical test specimens. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the burden of hepatitis C infection in the United States.

"The longstanding collaboration between Quest and the CDC shows the power of strategic public-private collaborations to inform public health strategy in critical health areas," said Harvey W. Kaufman, M.D., medical director and head of the Quest Diagnostics Health TrendsĀ® research program. "Our prior work together with the CDC has shown substantial opportunity to improve care and treatment for individuals with hepatitis C, and we expect this additional research collaboration to build on that progress, informing public policy to reduce the incidence of hepatitis C in the United States."

Prior agreements between Quest and the CDC involved analysis of laboratory results from tests ordered by healthcare providers for patients with suspected hepatitis infection. In 2013, the two organizations formed an agreement to jointly analyze de-identified hepatitis C testing data for "Baby Boomers," or individuals born from 1945 through 1965. Since 2012, Quest has supported the CDC to advance public health by providing deidentified laboratory results for hepatitis A, B, C and E. All shared laboratory test results are deidentified and HIPAA-compliant.

Approximately 2 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, but most are unaware they have it. Left untreated, the disease can progress to advanced stages, including liver cancer and death. Laboratory testing can identify infection in early stages, when treatment may be curative. In 2020, the CDC recommended one-time hepatitis C testing for all individuals aged 18 years of age or older, and that all pregnant women be tested for HCV during each pregnancy. CDC also recommends routine periodic testing for people with risk factors.

Quest is a leading provider of hepatitis testing services, with a comprehensive test menu of hepatitis screening and monitoring assays. In addition, Quest has the largest private laboratory database, with more than 60 billion data points. The company routinely develops research, called Quest Diagnostics Health TrendsĀ®, based on this data with the CDC and academic experts.

In June 2023, the CDC, published an MMWR report based on Quest Diagnostics Health Trends data that found only one in three adults with evidence of hepatitis C viral infection have achieved viral clearance, despite the availability of curative therapies. Other Quest-CDC research collaborations have focused on the fentanyl drug crisis and HIV, as well as COVID-19 variant tracking using Quest's next-generation sequencing.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics


Company Codes: NYSE:DGX

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