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LabCorp strikes deal for Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic

April 5, 2012 7:00 am by | 0 Comments

A brain with Alzheimer's disease.

LabCorp (NYSE:LH) has struck a deal to develop and commercialize a new Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic.

The Burlington, North Carolina lab services and diagnostics company has licensed rights to an Alzheimer’s diagnostic technology from OPKO Health (NYSE:OPK). The deal gives LabCorp exclusive rights to the OPKO technology in North America and the United Arab Emirates. No financial terms were disclosed.

Miami, Florida-based OPKO said that its diagnostic technology detects elevated levels of antibodies that appear to be unique to Alzheimer’s disease. OPKO discovered these antibodies using its proprietary technology platform, which has identified biomarkers for a range of diseases that include cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and infectious diseases. The company is developing diagnostics for nonsmall cell lung cancer among other diseases.

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Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5 million people in the United States and more than 35 million worldwide. There are no specific tests available to detect Alzheimer’s disease and track its progression. Diagnosis is currently conducted by behavioral and cognitive measurements.

Brain scans and spinal fluid analysis come with limitations and may not detect Alzheimer’s at an early stage. Definitive diagnosis of the disease can only come from an examination of a brain tissue sample after death.

“We believe that OPKO’s innovative technology will lead to more accurate diagnoses, more effective treatment and better patient outcomes,” LabCorp CEO David King said in a statement.

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By Frank Vinluan

Frank Vinluan is the North Carolina Bureau Chief for MedCity News.
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