Quest Sells Salivary-Dx Biz to Access Genetics; Buys 2 UMass Mem. Lab Services

On the heels of significant layoffs and restructuring that was announced back in October of 2012, Quest Diagnostics has just announced that it has sold "substantially all of" the assets of its OralDNA Labs salivary-diagnostics business to Access Genetics, a clinical lab specializing in molecular diagnostics test development and IT capabilities. Quest did not disclose specific transaction terms and details.

Access Genetics has provided support and expertise for OralDNA-based testing services for dental professionals since 2008. As part of the transaction, OralDNA's testing services, now provided from a facility in Brentwood, TN, will consolidate under Access Genetic's CLIA- and CAP-certified laboratory in Eden Prairie, MN.

Quest has also acquired two laboratory services operated by UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, MA. Quest finalized the purchase of the clinical outreach lab business of UMass Memorial Medical Center and separately acquired UMass Memorial’s anatomic pathology outreach lab business, both for undisclosed sums. UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest healthcare provider in central New England, Quest says.
 
Quest also signed a lease for a 200,000-sq-ft facility in Marlborough, MA, where it plans to build an advanced clinical laboratory for the newly acquired testing services. Quest’s existing clinical lab in Cambridge, MA, and the company’s Athena Diagnostics specialty neurology testing subsidiary in Worcester will also move into the new facility. Once construction is completed in 18 to 24 months, Quest expects to employ up to 1200 medical, administrative, and logistics personnel in the new facility.
 
Quest expects the UMass acquisitions “to provide the high-quality care that the UMass physicians and patients would expect at a cost potentially lower than would be expected for outreach labs,” Bost adds. The company will add approximately 50 patient service centers to its current lineup of 75 centers in Massachusetts.
 
Based in Madison, NJ, Quest is a Fortune 500 company with reported revenue of $7.5 billion in 2011. Quest announced the new streamlining strategy at its first-ever Investors Day conference last year, says Wendy Bost, a company spokeswoman. The reduction in management positions is intended “primarily to eliminate some layers and allow…us to get closer to customers,” she says. “The acquisition of these two businesses with UMass is an extension of our strategy, which includes looking for a way to work with hospitals and hospital systems to explore new models of providing diagnostic care that are more appropriate for the cost-pressured environment that healthcare providers find themselves in.”
 
See Quest's website for additional info regarding its restructuring and cost-cutting efforts.
 
---John Conroy, Maureen Kingsley