LabCorp (LH) Extends Pact With Swedish for Coronavirus Lab Service

Zacks Equity Research
·3-min read

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings or LabCorp LH recently extended its long-standing alliance with Puget Sound region-based nonprofit health provider, Swedish. Per the terms of the agreement, the company will continue to provide laboratory services to Swedish main hospital campuses as well as the Swedish ambulatory network across the region.

This is one of the many recent moves by LabCorp to provide continued access to its advanced Diagnostics and COVID-19 Testing. With this agreement LabCorp and Swedish jointly should come up with advanced and cost-effective strategies to provide improved laboratory services to Swedish patients. LabCorp should also benefit from Swedish’s broad network, thereby expanding its COVID-19 test capacity in the Seattle area.

Pandemic Support at a Glance

Swedish is mainly based in the Greater Seattle area, which was one of the first to witness rise in  COVID-19 cases in the country. LabCorp became the first commercial laboratory to launch its RT PCR testing for the virus on Mar 5. Its testing initially was focused in Seattle and other hard-hit areas. By the end of March, LabCorp began performing COVID-19 testing at its lab in the Swedish Cherry Hill campus, enabling results for high-priority patients within hours and for other patients the same day.

Under the latest agreement, Swedish will use laboratory utilization data and care pathways for medically appropriate testing. Clinicians and patients will also continue to have access to studies of new therapies through a Clinical Study Site Partnership with LabCorp’s Covance Drug Development. According to LabCorp, there are currently eight studies that are underway to evaluate potential treatments for a range of oncological conditions.

COVID-19 Testing by Major Players

In the initial phase of COVID-19 outbreak, major molecular diagnostic players reaped the benefits of the amplified demand for testing. Apart from LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics’ DGX COVID-19 test service got FDA’s EUA on Mar 17. Thermo Fisher TMO too successfully attained EUA from the FDA for its RT/PCR diagnostic test that has been developed for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2.

However, with the surge in new infections, concerns related to costs and complexities of molecular diagnostic testing procedures, starting from sample collection till execution, and above all the time required for results extraction rose. This gradually made way for SARS-COV2 rapid antigen and antibody tests.

In July, Becton, Dickinson and Company BDX received EUA for its Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Test. Abbott, in August, came up with a path breaking development in this space with the launch of its $5 rapid antigen test, BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card.

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