Press Release Details

Quest Diagnostics ClariSure(TM) Postnatal Molecular Test Receives Clinical Laboratory Approval from New York State

03/17/2009

Test aiding diagnosis of mental retardation, birth defects, and autism spectrum and developmental disorders now approved for use on patients in New York

MADISON, N.J., March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, today announced that its ClariSure(TM) microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) postnatal test is now available for testing on patients in the state of New York. With licensure by the State Department of Health Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program, Quest Diagnostics operates one of only three laboratories in the U.S. approved to perform aCGH testing on postnatal samples collected on patients in New York. The state has approved the use of the ClariSure aCGH postnatal test as an aid in detecting copy-number chromosomal abnormalities implicated in dozens of medical conditions, including mental retardation, birth defects, and autism spectrum and developmental disorders, which conventional laboratory tests may fail to detect.

"With approval by New York State, our advanced ClariSure test has demonstrated that it fulfills test validation requirements widely regarded as among the most rigorous in the lab industry," said Charles (Buck) Strom, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the genetic testing center of Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, the esoteric testing laboratory and research and development center of Quest Diagnostics. "Since its launch in mid-2007, physicians outside of New York have used our ClariSure test to identify the genetic etiology of congenital anomalies, autism and other disorders for dozens of patients whose conditions had eluded prior diagnostic efforts. We look forward to providing broader access to our ClariSure test, so that more parents have the diagnostic insights they need to provide appropriate schooling and social support to their infants and children."

Scientists at Nichols Institute have validated the ClariSure test's ability to use a single blood specimen to identify chromosomal abnormalities associated with dozens of disorders, including Down, cri du chat, DiGeorge and Williams syndromes. A positive result may be confirmed using a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) methodology.

aCGH technologies compare and contrast a specimen's DNA to the DNA of a healthy individual to identify, at a high resolution, extra or missing genetic material in the specimen. These technologies can detect a proportion of additional abnormalities even in patients who have already had extensive cytogenetic and/or FISH testing. aCGH tests are also more efficient, as multiple tests are required to generate the same amount of information produced from one microarray-based test. Chromosome abnormalities, such as extra copies of chromosomes and other copy number changes, have been implicated in some types of mental retardation, developmental disorder and congenital anomalies, as well as in autism and autism spectrum disorders.

In the U.S., the clinical laboratory testing services are regulated under the federal Clinical Laboratory Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Laboratory-developed tests must fulfill CLIA requirements, including validation studies, before they can be introduced to their markets. New York has the only state licensure program which requires pre-approval of a laboratory's validation procedure prior to testing of patient samples. Under the state program, laboratory-developed tests must be able to demonstrate they perform as intended, according to clinical and analytical validation studies, before they can be used to conduct testing on specimens collected in the state.

Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute will provide information about the ClariSure postnatal test at its exhibit at the 2009 American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) conference in Tampa, Florida. The exhibit will be open from March 26 to March 28.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at www.questdiagnostics.com.

The statements in this press release which are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they are made and which reflect management's current estimates, projections, expectations or beliefs and which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to be materially different. Risks and uncertainties that may affect the future results of the company include, but are not limited to, adverse results from pending or future government investigations, lawsuits or private actions, the competitive environment, changes in government regulations, changing relationships with customers, payers, suppliers and strategic partners and other factors discussed in "Business" in Part I, Item 1, "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Factors that May Affect Future Results" in Part I, Item 1A, "Legal Proceedings" in Part I, Item 3, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Part II, Item 7 and "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" in Part II, Item 7A in the company's 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K and other items throughout the Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K.

SOURCE  Quest Diagnostics Incorporated

    -0-                           03/17/2009
    /CONTACT:  Media, Wendy Bost, +1-973-520-2800, or Investors, Laure Park,
+1-973-520-2900/
    /Web Site:  http://www.questdiagnostics.com /
    (DGX DGX)

CO:  Quest Diagnostics Incorporated

ST:  New Jersey
IN:  HEA BIO MTC
SU:  TRI SVY

PR
-- NY84573 --
4573 03/17/200910:00 EDThttp://www.prnewswire.com