Quest Diagnostics Incorporated ( DGX Quick Quote DGX - Free Report) recently announced that the company is now offering the liquid biopsy-based Target Selector NGS Lung Panel test developed by Biocept ( BIOC Quick Quote BIOC - Free Report) . The addition of this blood-based panel to Quest Diagnostics' advanced diagnostic testing suite allows the company to offer actionable insights in a more accessible and less invasive manner, supplementing its services in tissue biopsy.
For investors’ note, Biocept offers molecular diagnostic assays that provide physicians with clinically actionable information to aid in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring patients with cancer.
The recent development is likely to expand Quest Diagnostics’ Diagnostics Solutions arm.
More on the NGS Lung Panel Test
The lab-developed liquid biopsy Target Selector, NGS Lung Panel test, supports genomic profiling in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), thereby helping physicians spot potential targeted therapies and monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
Biocept's multi-gene, tumor-specific NGS Lung Panel enables physicians and researchers to use a simple blood sample to access actionable biomarkers associated with specific solid tumor types. The Target Selector NGS Lung Panel enables better patient outcomes by offering physicians direction on therapeutic options for those battling NSCLC.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
Individuals can now provide a blood specimen for testing at Quest Diagnostics’ 2,200 conveniently located patient service centers across the United States. Collected specimens will be sent to Biocept's CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory in San Diego for testing.
Significance of the Test
Per Quest Diagnostics’ management, by providing Biocept's Target Selector NGS Lung Panel test under Quest Diagnostics’ advanced diagnostics portfolio, the company will allow more physicians and patients to receive insights necessary to provide the appropriate treatment for NSCLC.
The Target Selector NGS Lung Panel offers vital information to support creating more personalized treatment plans for patients with NSCLC and help oncologists provide the best care possible. The launch of a new lung cancer test enables the companies to expand in oncology diagnostics. It allows serving more patients nationwide to improve care for lung cancer patients.
Industry Prospects Per a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global lung cancer screening market is projected to rise from $2.80 billion in 2021 to $4.85 billion in 2028, at a CAGR of 8.1%.
The rise in lung cancer cases due to the expanding smoking population, technological advancement in screening, and increasing government support for the early detection of cases are factors driving the market.
In the third-quarter earnings update, Quest Diagnostics noted that despite COVID-19 resurgence, the base business registered sequential growth. The company noted that base business volumes rebounded in September following a modest softening in August, partially caused by the rise of the Delta variant and the timing of summer vacations. Base Diagnostic Information Services revenues grew approximately 6% in the third quarter (up nearly 2% excluding acquisitions). Compared to the third-quarter 2019 baseline, total base testing volumes increased 9%. Excluding acquisitions, total base testing volumes grew approximately 4% and benefited from the company’s new professional lab services (PLS) contracts that have ramped over the last year.
Moreover, Quest Diagnostics reported approximately 7.6 million molecular tests and nearly 700,000 serology tests in the third quarter.
Shares of the company have gained 25.1% in a year against the
industry’s fall of 45.3%. Zacks Rank and Key Picks
Quest Diagnostics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A couple of better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are
Chemed Corporation ( CHE Quick Quote CHE - Free Report) and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, or LabCorp ( LH Quick Quote LH - Free Report) .
Chemed has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.7%. The company surpassed earnings per share (EPS) estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, delivering a surprise of 5.6%, on average. Chemed currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Chemed has outperformed its industry over the past year. CHE has gained 3.7% against a 35.6% industry decline.
LabCorp reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $6.82, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 42.9%. Revenues of $4.06 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.4%. LabCorp currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see
the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
LabCorp has an estimated long-term growth rate of 10.6%. LH surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.7%.