Press Release Details

Quest Diagnostics Adds Digene Hybrid Capture(R) II HPV Test to Array of Cervical Cancer Screening Solutions



TETERBORO, N.J., JANUARY 14, 2000 — Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the nation's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, announced it has begun offering the Digene Hybrid Capture(R) II HPV (human papillomavirus) test. HPV is a group of viruses, of which more than a dozen different types have been linked to cervical cancer. Quest Diagnostics uses Hybrid Capture II testing, the most advanced technology available for HPV testing, which enables a 10-fold improvement in clinical sensitivity for detection of high-risk HPV over the previous generation assay.

The HPV test, manufactured by Digene Corporation of Gaithersburg, Md., has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for secondary, or confirmatory cervical cancer testing. It is used as an adjunct to the ThinPrep(R) Pap Test(TM) or a conventional Pap smear for cervical cancer screening and is not approved for primary screening or for self-collection. Quest Diagnostics is now performing HC II HPV testing and first began offering HPV testing in 1989.

While recent media reports have suggested that women may collect their own HPV specimens without visiting their physician, the concept of self-collection is only being discussed as a way to bring testing to women in parts of the world where access to healthcare services is severely limited. To obtain HPV testing, a woman must first visit her gynecologist or primary care physician. Additional information about HPV, including the ASCUS/LSIL Triage Study (ALTS), which is investigating the best way to manage mild cervical abnormalities, is available from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which may be contacted at 1-800-4-CANCER or on the Internet at:

Quest Diagnostics offers women and their physicians a full range of cervical screening options, including the ThinPrep Pap Test, conventional Pap smears and HPV testing. Quest Diagnostics performs Pap tests using only cytotechnologists and board-certified pathologists, who are medical doctors. The conventional Pap smear and the ThinPrep Pap Test are approved by the FDA for primary screening.

"January is Cervical Cancer Month, and Quest Diagnostics is proud to offer the most extensive menu of cervical cancer testing to physicians and their patients as part of our recently launched Women's Health Initiative," said Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D., president and chief operating officer of Quest Diagnostics. "As the leading provider of cervical cancer screening, we believe HPV testing may improve diagnostic information for high-risk patients and their physicians, potentially leading to improved and more cost effective treatment options. We will continue to monitor the ALTS study and to evaluate new developments in cervical cancer screening. Quest Diagnostics strives to make new, high-quality products and services available to our customers and patients."

Quest Diagnostics is the nation's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services to physicians, hospitals, managed care organizations, employers and government agencies with annualized revenues of more than $3 billion. The wide variety of tests it performs on human tissue and fluids help doctors and hospitals diagnose, treat and monitor disease. Its Nichols Institute unit conducts research, specializes in esoteric testing using genetic screening and other advanced technologies, and manufactures and distributes diagnostic test kits and instruments. Quest Diagnostics is one of the leading providers of testing to support clinical trials of new pharmaceuticals worldwide. Quest Informatics collects and analyzes laboratory, pharmaceutical and other data to help large health care customers better manage the health of their patients. QuestNet is an innovative new product offering that provides network management services to large buyers of health care services. Additional company information can be found on the Internet at:

ThinPrep is a registered trademark and ThinPrep Pap Test is a trademark of Cytyc Corporation. Hybrid Capture is a registered trademark of Digene Corporation.


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