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2 Diagnostic Titans Team Up to Enhance Early Cancer Detection

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Quest Diagnostics will provide phlebotomy services to support Grail’s Galleri cancer detection blood test.

Grail and Quest Diagnostics are working together to enhance the Galleri multi-cancer early detection blood test. The collaboration calls for Quest Diagnostics to provide phlebotomy services to support Galleri.

Secaucus, NJ-based Quest Diagnostics maintains about 2,200 patient service centers and, through its ExamOne business, 5,000 mobile phlebotomists with expertise in at-home visits. Quest’s phlebotomy network will help provide blood specimen collection for Galleri in the U.S. once the test becomes available this year.

Galleri will be launched in 2Q21 as a laboratory-developed test. Previously, Grail indicated the test would be available sometime this year according to a prospective filing dated Sept. 9, 2020. The blood test, which will be prescription only, will be available initially through partner health systems, medical practices, and self-insured employers.

An earlier version of Galleri demonstrated the ability to detect more than 50 types of cancers — over 45 of which lack recommended screening tests today — with a low-false positive rate of less than 1%. When a cancer signal is detected, Galleri can determine the location of the cancer signal with high accuracy, all from a single blood draw.

“Today, the majority of cancers go undetected until too late when outcomes are often deadly, and we believe Galleri could offer a unique and potentially life-saving solution by finding multiple types of cancers earlier,” said Dr. Joshua Ofman, CMO and head of external affairs at Grail. “We are pleased to work with Quest and are very encouraged by the interest in Galleri. Our agreement with Quest will help us support convenient access to blood collection for patients and healthcare providers.”

This is an interesting time for Menlo Park, CA-based Grail. It is in the middle of being acquired by Illumina, the company it was spun out of in 2016. The deal, which has a transaction value of about $8 billion, is set to close in the second half of 2021. San Diego, CA-based Illumina’s plan to acquire Grail comes hot on the heels of the liquid biopsy specialist announcing it would go public.

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