Molecular diagnostics company PrimeraDx has forged a nonexclusive co-development agreement with diagnostics information services company Quest Diagnostics to co-develop and commercialize molecular diagnostic products and services with a focus on supporting clinical development of targeted therapeutics for drug developers.

Quest Diagnostics will have rights to use the PrimeraDx ICEPlex platform to independently develop and use laboratory tests in early-phase biomarker and drug development studies and clinical trials with biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device clients of Quest Diagnostics Clinical Trials, a business of Quest Diagnostics. PrimeraDx will also have rights to develop and market in vitro diagnostic products.

In addition, Quest Diagnostics will have rights to validate and offer clinical diagnostic information services based in part on the assays created during drug development as aids in making treatment decisions for those drugs that are successfully commercialized and FDA approved for clinical use.

PrimeraDx launched the ICEPlex system in August 2011 and says the system can simultaneously detect and quantify disparate target types, such as mRNA, miRNA, SNPs, DNA mutations, fusions, and DNA methylation. The firm claims that the platform’s ability to characterize complex molecular changes makes it well suited to research and development for diseases, such as cancer, that involve systemic or multiple molecular changes. The ICEPlex system received the CE mark in September of last year and was the focus of a similar companion diagnostics collaboration with Eli Lilly back in June.

The companies expect to direct their initial collaborations on cancer, although they may also explore opportunities in infectious diseases, genetics, and other conditions.

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