A Medical Device Daily

Digene (Gaithersburg, Maryland) will continue to supply Quest Diagnostics ' (Lyndhurst, New Jersey) network of labs in the U.S. with instrumentation and reagents for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for the next four years under a recently executed agreement, the company said. The new agreement extends the companies' previous three-year contract. Digene manufactures and markets the Digene HPV test, the only FDA-approved test for high-risk types of the virus, and the Rapid Capture system, an automated, high-throughput instrument on which the HPV test and other assays can be performed. HPV is the cause of essentially all cervical cancer, which is one of the most common malignancies affecting women worldwide.

Quest Diagnostics is a provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, and Digene's largest HPV testing customer. Quest Diagnostics will continue its efforts with Digene to educate and promote HPV screening along with the Pap test to its customer base of hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers.

"This long-term agreement reflects Digene's commitment to offer its lab customers, and the clinicians and patients they serve, the highest standard of care in cervical cancer screening," said Douglas White, Digene's senior VP of sales and marketing — Americas and Asia Pacific. "Digene and Quest Diagnostics will continue to work together to sponsor and support ongoing education to physicians and their patients about the clinical value of using HPV testing as part of their cervical cancer screening practices."

The Digene HPV test detects the recognized cause of cervical cancer — HPV. In the U.S., the Digene HPV Test is FDA-approved for use with a Pap test in women age 30 and older as a primary screening method for cervical cancer. While the Pap test relies on a laboratory technician to manually look for cell changes that may signal cervical disease, the Digene HPV test uses advanced molecular technology to identify the presence of the genetic code (DNA) of 13 high-risk types of HPV.

In other contract news: Nightingale Informatix (Markham, Ontario), a healthcare application service provider of electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management solutions, reported contracts to provide its EMR solutions to Altoona Urologic (Altoona, Pennsylvania), Minneapolis Orthopedics (Minneapolis), Middlesex Medical Care PC (Middlesex, New Jersey) and First Care Medical Center (Columbia, South Carolina).

Nightingale has sold an aggregate of seven licenses of its EMR software applications to the four clinics, and will also provide associated support, training and implementation services. All four implementations are expected to be completed during the current quarter.

"Since completing our acquisition of VantageMed [Rancho Cordova, California], we have been working to integrate our EMR solution with its practice management software to create cross-selling opportunities into its large customer base," said Sam Chebib, president/CEO of Nightingale. "These four contract wins highlight the early success of our efforts and represent only a tiny fraction of the 6,000 healthcare clinic customers we acquired. Demand for EMR is growing rapidly, and going forward, we will continue to leverage this broad client base to roll out our EMR solutions in the U.S. and replicate the success we have realized to date in the Canadian EMR marketplace."