Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Boosts Oncology Portfolio With New Test

Read MoreHide Full Article

Quest Diagnostics (DGX - Free Report) recently introduced a highly advanced predictive gene expression test, MelaNodal Predict, to help personalize treatment decisions for patients with melanoma.  The lab-developed test is based on the technology developed by the biotechnology company, SkylineDx, alongside Mayo Clinic and has been validated by DGX.

The latest development will strongly fortify the company’s oncology test offering across the advanced diagnostics spectrum. Dermatologists and other providers nationwide can begin ordering the test from the company as well as through Dermpath Diagnostics — Quest's subspecialty pathology business.

About SkylineDx

The Netherlands-based SkylineDx focuses on the research and development of molecular diagnostics in oncology and inflammatory diseases. The company leverages its expertise to bridge the gap between academically discovered gene expression signatures and commercially available diagnostic products with high clinical utility. Healthcare professionals can accurately determine the type or status of disease or predict a patient's response to treatment and provide a tailored treatment approach to the individual patient.

The company also has operations in the United States, including a CAP/CLIA-certified laboratory in San Diego, CA.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

News in Detail

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is also one of the most common cancers prevalent in the United States. MelaNodal Predict incorporates SkylineDx's innovative technology, which utilizes a combination analysis of patient age and tumor thickness with advanced gene expression profiling technology. The test examines a patient's original diagnostic tumor biopsy and applies an algorithm to help providers identify patients with a low or high risk of nodal metastasis (melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes).

Findings from the test can help providers identify patients who could, with less risk, avoid a potentially unnecessary, expensive and invasive surgery called a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). By reducing SLNB interventions, providers who utilize the test may be able to more effectively use healthcare resources and manage patient risk. It is estimated that patients who receive an SLNB have a greater than 10% risk of surgery-related complications, including bleeding, infection and limb swelling.

The test also provides insights into a patient's long-term outcome, as patients with a low-risk result have reported better survival rates. All studies of the algorithm utilized have reported minimal follow-up after five years. In addition, recent data from six U.S. institutions shows that patients classified by the algorithm as low risk have a survival rate of more than 90 percent.

The new collaboration leverages Quest Diagnostics’ expertise and national scale in the United States, which includes broad electronic health record connectivity and health plan relationships and more than 400 Quest, Dermpath, AmeriPath, and PhenoPath pathologists.

Industry Prospects

Per a research report, the global melanoma therapeutics market was valued at $5.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 10.3% by 2032.

Other Notable Developments

Oncology has been one of the focus areas for high growth within DGX’s highly specialized advanced diagnostics offering. Last year, the company further strengthened this space with the strategic acquisition of Haystack Oncology in the higher growth, minimal residual disease testing (MRD). In 2024, DGX is set to launch its first Haystack MRD test to physicians from the Oncology Center of Excellence in Lewisville, TX.

Recently, the company announced a collaboration with TriSalus Life Sciences, wherein the innovative technology will be used in connection with the clinical development of TriSalus' SD-101 agonist in hepatocellular carcinoma, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Another partnership was announced with Alliance Foundation Trials to use Haystack MRD in phase II clinical trials for unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer.

Price Performance

In the past six months, shares of DGX have decreased 3.5% against the industry’s rise of 5.1%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Quest Diagnostics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Cardinal Health (CAH - Free Report) , Stryker (SYK - Free Report) and HealthEquity (HQY - Free Report) . Each of them presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cardinal Health’s stock has increased 31.7% in the past year. Earnings estimates for Cardinal Health have risen from $7.12 to $7.17 in fiscal 2024 and from $7.91 to $7.94 in fiscal 2025 in the past seven days.

CAH’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 15.6%. In the last reported quarter, it posted an earnings surprise of 16.7%.

Estimates for Stryker’s 2024 earnings per share have increased from $11.53 to $11.84 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have moved 32.7% upward in the past year compared with the industry’s rise of 0.5%.

SYK’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 5.1%. In the last reported quarter, it delivered an average earnings surprise of 5.8%.

Estimates for HealthEquity’s fiscal 2024 earnings per share have remained constant at $2.15 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have increased 21.5% in the past year against the industry’s 6.7% rise.

HQY’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 16.5%. In the last reported quarter, it delivered an average earnings surprise of 22.5%.

Published in