November 03, 2014 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

In response to the Ebola outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for the use of two rapid tests to detect Ebola. The tests are manufactured by BioFire Defense LLC, a division of BioMerieux. The BioFire Defense FilmArray NGDS BT-E Assay is authorized for use by laboratories designated by the Department of Defense. The BioFire Defense FilmArray Biothreat-E exam, a PCR test, is authorized for use in hospitals and commercial laboratories that perform moderate complexity tests and high complexity tests.

MORE ON: Ebola Test

News reports say that these rapid tests can produce an answer in two hours. The BioFire test can analyze human samples from the bloodstream, respiratory system, or gastrointestinal tract. A BioFire executive told Reuters that “More than 300 U.S. hospitals have BioFire lab equipment…including Emory Hospital and Bellevue Hospital,” two hospitals that have treated Ebola patients here in the United States.


On October 2, officials from Quest Diagnostics Incorporated officially opened the company’s new lab facility in Marlborough, Massachusetts. This is a 200,000 square foot lab and is expected to employ 1,350 people when fully operational. Quest Diagnostics has said that it will consolidate lab testing from six different facilities into the Marlborough lab. Siemens Diagnostics and Inpeco were selected to provide laboratory automation. When the main automation line is fully installed, the companies say it will be 200 meters long. Quest Diagnostics will also employ as many as a “dozen physicians and medical faculty employed by… the University of Massachusetts Medical School to provide scientific leadership for several facets of laboratory testing” at the Marlborough lab.


  • Vermillion, Inc., of Austin, Texas, announced the appointment of Valerie Palmieri to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Previous executive positions for Palmieri include LifeCycle Laboratories, LLC, DiagnoCure U.S., and Dianon Systems.
  • Devita Labs, based in Deland, Florida, named Loren L. Holland, M.D., as Chief Laboratory Officer. Holland was formerly a medical director at Quest Diagnostics, PathGroup, and University of Colorado Hospital.

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