February 17 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

GeneCentric is a new lab testing company in Durham, North Carolina that was started by former executives of Laboratory Corporation of America. It intends to raise $20 million in a Series B capital offering. GeneCentric’s business model is to license molecular diagnostic tests, then develop the clinical trial data required to obtain coverage guidelines and reimbursement from payers. Involved in this company are CEO Myla Lai-Goldman, M.D. (formerly Chief Medical officer of LabCorp); Dr. Hawazin Faruki, DrPH, Vice President for Clinical Development (formerly Vice President of Operations at LabCorp); and Christy Marshuetz Ferguson, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development (formerly Associate Vice President of Corporate Development at LabCorp). LabCorp invested $5 million in GeneCentric as part of its Series A funding.

ADD TO: Genetic Tests

There must be strong demand for services to validate the clinical utility of proprietary molecular diagnostic assays. On February 10, TriCore Reference Laboratories of Albuquerque, New Mexico, announced formation of the TriCore Research Institute. This new business starts with 25 employees and will offer services in clinical trials, biobanking, and development of new assays, including gathering data to support clinical utility of these tests.

SPENDING GROWS FOR COMPANION DIAGNOSTICS

According to analysts at Kalorama Information of New York City, the global market for companion diagnostics reached an estimated $1.14 billion in 2013. This was an increase of 25% compared to the estimated total of $910 million for the previous year.

STATEMENT:

In response to a story in the January 5, 2015 edition of THE DARK REPORT entitled, “Phlebotomist Describes Questionable Lab Practices,” Boston Heart Diagnostics issued the following response:

“We have conducted an internal review of all claims submitted by Boston Heart to third party payers since October 4, 2010. There is not a single instance where we applied 10 ICD-9 codes. We do not partner our services with other laboratories, in particular, HDL and Singulex. We have standard operating procedures in place to educate clients about the high risk and secondary prevention factors appropriate for Boston Heart testing and the corresponding diagnosis codes.”

TRANSITIONS

  • The Joint Commission announced the appointment of John D. Cochran, M.D., FCAP, to the position of Clinical Director of its Laboratory Services Accreditation Program. This is a newly-created position. Cochran will continue to serve at his current position as Laboratory Director for Pathology Lab of Georgia, LLC, in Decatur, Georgia.
  • Don Larson is now the new CEO for Incyte Diagnostics of Spokane, Washington. This is a new position. Larson has held executive positions with Ameripath and Hospital Corporation of America.

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. Look for the next briefing on Monday, March 9, 2015.

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