Covance Expands Singapore Central Laboratory with Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing Unit to Service Asia Trials
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Provides biopharmaceutical sponsors with fast, efficient access to laboratory test data for in-region clinical trials on viral infectious diseases|
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|Princeton, NJ and Singapore, October 26, 2004 — Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD) today announced a significant extension of the Company's central laboratory capabilities in Singapore, with the opening of a state-of-the-art Nucleic acid Amplification Testing (NAT) laboratory. The addition of this laboratory testing service enables Covance to provide in-region, near real-time, NAT testing required by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to support their clinical trials in viral infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis. The use of Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAT) methodologies, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), is faster than other screening tests, because it detects viral genes rather than antibodies or antigens. NAT allows the quantification of viral genes (viral load determination) with an improved sensitivity compared to serology assays. Covance performs HIV-1 quantitative viral load determination by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) using the FDA-approved Roche Diagnostics' Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor assay, v1.5.|
Covance has been providing laboratory testing services in Singapore for the last four years and has seen an increase in the number of clinical trials being conducted in India and South East Asia. "Since 2000, our Singapore central laboratory has provided our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients fast and efficient access to in-region laboratory data for their clinical trials," said John Marolf, General Manager, Covance Central Laboratory Services, Asia Pacific & Southern Africa. "With the increasing number of trials in Asia, India and Africa, the addition of NAT testing capabilities completes the spectrum of tests required to support critical viral infectious disease studies across the region."
Asia is an important source of treatment naive patients for a number of infectious disease trials. According to a 2003 World Health Organization report, more than two billion people — a third of the world's population — have been infected with Hepatitis B. More than 75% of all Hepatitis B cases are in Asia, with 100 million carriers of the Hepatitis B virus in China alone. The Singapore laboratory conducts time-sensitive tests, such as chemistry, hematology, pregnancy and urinalysis tests, and processes shipments round-the-clock from most countries in Asia, including Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. The results from the safety testing are typically provided to physicians within 36 hours after samples are drawn — significantly faster than transporting samples to laboratories in Europe. With the addition of NAT capabilities, infectious disease studies in countries from India to China can also be served from Singapore.
According to Marolf, "Covance offers biopharmaceutical companies complete geographic flexibility in where and how we can serve their clinical trial laboratory testing needs. They can avail themselves of Covance's global network of central laboratories — in Singapore, Geneva, Sydney and Indianapolis — or use our unique Covance Virtual Central LaboratorySM service to control their own designated mix of local, regional or central laboratories. In every case, the clinical trial study sponsor is assured of a high-quality data set that is combinable worldwide."
Covance has broad central laboratory expertise in over 40 therapeutic areas and has tested specimens from over 1,250 clinical trial projects in over 60 countries around the world. The company has an extensive assay (test) portfolio for viral infectious diseases, including HIV, hepatitis, HPV, Herpes, Influenza and other viral diseases. Covance's HIV and hepatitis portfolio includes serological, viral load, genotyping, and flow cytometry assays.
Covance, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with 2003 net revenues of $940 million, global operations in 18 countries, and approximately 6,600 employees worldwide. Information on Covance's products and services, recent press releases, and SEC filings can be obtained through the website in the About Covance area.
Statements contained in this press release, which are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such forward-looking statements including the statements contained herein regarding anticipated trends in the Company's business are based largely on management's expectations and are subject to an qualified by risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, competitive factors, outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical industry, the Company's ability to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel, the fixed price nature of contracts or the loss of large contracts, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Covance, the Covance logo and StudyTracker are registered service marks and "Covance Virtual Central Laboratory" is a service mark of Covance in the United States and other countries.