Siemens Healthcare, Malvern, Pa, and Laboratory Corporation of America ® Holdings, Burlington, NC, have entered a non-exclusive agreement to discuss possibilities to co-develop new clinical diagnostic tests in the areas of companion diagnostics, metabolic syndrome, oncology, and diabetes. Under the agreement, initial discussions will focus on developing new tests that could make the biggest impact to patient care.

Siemens offers a broad range of products and services used for diagnosing medical conditions and monitoring patient therapy; LabCorp is a reference lab that serves more than 220,000 clients in America.

"This agreement establishes a framework that gives both companies the opportunity to offer new diagnostic tests to laboratories, physicians, and their patients more quickly and effectively than either could do alone," said Dave Hickey, senior VP strategic planning and business development, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. "Advancing health care for patients is an important commitment that we can reach through strategic relationships such as this."

Companion diagnostics are tests designed to identify the suitability between patients and a particular drug therapy. The tests can be used in personalized medicine to improve safety and efficacy of therapeutic drugs and in some cases, may help determine optimal dosing for individual patients.

"LabCorp is excited about this strategic collaboration and its impact on our companion diagnostics efforts," said Myla P. Lai-Goldman, MD, executive VP, chief scientific officer, and medical director for LabCorp. "Alliances, such as this between developers and providers of new tests, are critical in translating emerging biomarkers from research into clinical practice." 

Metabolic syndrome is becoming more common and is characterized by a person having multiple risk factors that may include high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, among others. Estimates suggest more than 50 million people nationwide are affected by the syndrome.
Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting more than 180 million people worldwide and is likely to more than double by 2030. The possibility of advancing early detection of cancer is important, and may lead to higher survival rates. One in eight deaths worldwide is due to cancer, and in 2007, there were more than 12 million estimated new cancer cases worldwide.