In a move that expands their previous collaboration, Quest Diagnostics (NJ, USA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; GA, USA) have signed a deal to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment for four strains of viral hepatitis.
The agreement will require Quest Diagnostics to provide the CDC with analytics and clinical testing data for four strains of hepatitis (A, B, C and E). This, it is hoped, will allow researchers to develop new guidelines, which will speed up diagnosis of the disease. This in turn should provide benefits for patients in the form of improved outcomes. In particular, researchers will focus on the identification and monitoring of hepatitis B and C in pregnant women, in an effort to prevent liver disease in newborns and reduce gaps in screening.
The new deal is an expansion of an earlier collaboration between the CDC and Quest Diagnostics, who worked together in 2013 to analyze hepatitis C in the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation. This followed an announcement from the CDC in 2012 stating that patients born between 1945 and 1965 were five times more likely than other adults to be infected with the disease.