China’s KingMed Diagnostics inked a deal with Qiagen to operate as a centralized laboratory offering the latter’s digene HPV assay. Independent laboratory network KingMed will act to process and analyze samples sent from hospitals that don’t directly provide the digene assay themselves, to help expand access to the test across the country.
The digene HPV test was first registered in China in 2000 and is available in a number of the country‘s largest hospitals and private laboratories. Qiagen says the deal with KingMed represents a milestone for its molecular diagnostics franchise in China, and its drive to expand in emerging markets. The firm expects the collaboration will expand access to the test in second-tier and third-tier cities, and in less developed regions with a high cervical cancer burden.
“Qiagen and KingMed Diagnostics have had a long and fruitful collaboration that we are significantly expanding,” comments Victor Shi, M.D., Qiagen’s Asia Pacific president. “We are pleased to work more closely with the leading provider of clinical diagnostic testing in China.”
Announcement of the deal with KingMed coincides with International Women’s Day, and Qiagen’s confirmation that it is donating HPV tests for screening thousands of underprivileged women across China. The free testing, which Qiagen has offered for the last five years, is part of the 3.8 Program, a nationwide cancer prevention campaign instigated by the Cancer Foundation of China, and which is partially sponsored by Qiagen. The campaign has to date screened about 16,000 women using the digene HPV test.