Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Advances Transplant Testing Service
Quest Diagnostics DGX recently demonstrated a broad suite of advanced diagnostics and support services. These will be useful in broadening access to laboratory tests for transplanting solid organ, human cells and tissue.
Quest Advanced Specialized Transplant Services currently comprises one of the most comprehensive transplant testing portfolios available in the market. It features a broad menu of more than 170 specialized transplant and infectious disease tests.
Additionally, it provides longitudinal trends analysis of test results in the physician's electronic medical record (EMR). Also, it has round-the-clock support services that include medical consultation to ensure appropriate test selection and results interpretation affecting care.
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The services are available to recipients and living donors across the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), broadening access for both donors and patients.
During traditional organ transplantation procedures, living donors and recipients commonly face the issue of absence of any specialized pre- and post-testing and results reporting in their local community. With the latest development, Quest Diagnostics is putting efforts to address those limitations.
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According to Quest Diagnostics, these specialized services, featuring Anywhere-Access in the United States, include personalized patient access to the company’s national network of 2,100 patient service centers and 5,000 mobile and at-home phlebotomists to support patient-compliant pre- and post-transplant testing and nationwide access, regardless of surgical center location.
Going by data provided by Quest Diagnostics, in 2021 alone, over 6,500 transplants were performed from living donors. This was an increase of 14.2% over 2020. According to the company, medical advances and less restrictive medical guidelines have now allowed more individuals, including those diagnosed with hepatitis C or HIV, to act as living donors (for transplant recipients already infected).
In such a scenario, DGX’s latest development is well-timed.
Quest Diagnostics' Focus on High Growth Avenue
Quest Diagnostics continued to ramp investments in advanced diagnostics capabilities. During the last-reported fourth quarter of 2022, the company launched a solid tumor expanded panel as a laboratory-developed test. This test extends the company’s capabilities beyond tissue pathology to offer a faster turnaround time from cancer diagnosis to therapy selection. Throughout 2022, Quest Diagnostics continued to make investments to strengthen the bio-informatics capabilities that support some of the faster-growing opportunities of the portfolio, like genomic sequencing services, prenatal and hereditary genetic testing and pharma services. The company also invested in the women’s health sales force, which will position it well for continued strong growth in prenatal genetics.
Further, in 2022, the company launched its new digital platform — QuestHealth.com. Following the launch of the new consumer site, the company began ramping up marketing spend through the fourth quarter.
In the past year, Quest Diagnostics has outperformed its industry. The stock has dipped 5.4% against an 22.7% decline of the industry.
Zacks Rank and Key Picks
Quest Diagnostics carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Hologic, Inc. HOLX, Henry Schein, Inc. HSIC and Avanos Medical, Inc. AVNS.
Hologic, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 15.2%. HOLX’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 30.6%.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Hologic has gained 1.7% against the industry’s 17.5% growth in the past year.
Henry Schein, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 8.1%. HSIC’s earnings surpassed estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and matched the same in the other, the average beat being 2.9%.
Henry Schein has lost 12.4% compared with the industry’s 10.9% decline over the past year.
Avanos, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an estimated growth rate of 1.8% for 2023. AVNS’ earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 11%.
Avanos has lost 13.7% compared with the industry’s 17.5% decline over the past year.
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