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DUMC joins with LabCorp

The Duke University Medical Center has announced its new partnership with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, a laboratory testing company. The collaborators publicized their joint venture to commercialize biological markers­—proteins or other substances that can indicate the presence of a particular condition or disease—in a press release Tuesday. 

The venture will be known as “The Biomarker Factory” and will combine “Duke’s excellence in biomarker discovery with LabCorp’s expertise in the development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic and laboratory tools,” according to the statement.

Duke researchers anticipate that LabCorp will be an outstanding partner on both a business and scientific front, said Dr. Rob Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research and director of the Translational Medicine Institute. 

Dr. Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System, also expressed his excitement and hope for the enterprise. 

“I think with everything we do, we want to help patients, improve health and improve society,” Dzau said. “[This collaboration] is about medicine, about research and about finding ways to improve health—this is going to be fantastic.” 

Dzau also notes the financial benefits of collaborating with a company like LabCorp. 

“[The corporation] provides a source of funding that is traditionally not supported by federal grants,” Dzau said.

A S&P 500 company, LabCorp had annual revenues of $4.7 billion, more than 28,000 employees around the world and more than 220,000 clients in 2009, the release noted. 

LabCorp is the second largest laboratory testing corporation in the U.S. and has the capabilities to influence doctors’ offices and hospitals across the country, Califf said. As a notable and established company, LabCorp is a “good scientific platform to be collaborating with,” he added. 

Califf noted that there will be two basic aspects of the partnership. The first will entail conducting laboratory analyses and collecting blood samples from people in an effort to develop biological markers­­—an intensive, long-term effort, he added. The second will involve working with LabCorp to provide better information to doctors and patients about the laboratory tests being conducted.

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