LONDON—In what Roche is calling "an innovative commercial agreement," the healthcare company Roche is teaming up with private cellular pathology laboratory Unilabs-IHS in a collaboration designed to help make state-of-the art testing for signs ofcervical cancer more accessible to thousands of women in London and throughout the United Kingdom.
Roche's "leading-edge and fully automated" cobas HPV test, which runs onthe cobas 4800 system, reportedly will provide a fast turn-around ofcervical smear samples from potentially thousands of women per year,sent to the London-based laboratoryfrom clinicians from all over the country.
The testing at Unilabs-IHSwill not only be conducted as a follow up to the traditional "Pap"cervical smear method to check ambiguous results but will also be usedupon request in primary screening for cervical pre-cancer, giving agreater chance to avoid disease progression.
Roche says that the ultra-high reliability of the cobas HPV test will be of huge benefitfor clinicians and patients alike, due to the test's unique genotypingthat individually identifies genotypes 16 and 18, the highest-risk typesassociated with the development of cervical cancer and its precursorlesions, while simultaneously identifying 12 other high risk HPV types.
"HPV testing provides earlier identificationof those women at risk of developing cervical cancer. The agreementthat we have struck with Unilabs-IHS for cervical screening with thecobas HPV test, is a significant step forward towards spreading accessto HPV testing at the primary screening stage," according to Paul Eros, director of molecular diagnostics at Roche. "Given the clear benefitsof this technology to patients as well as the NHS, we look forward toseeing the technology's timely introduction at the primary screeningstage, across the country via the national cervical screening programme -promising a better deal for women and a more efficient approach tocervical screening."
"Using the cobas HPV test onthe cobas 4800 platform for our HPV testing work load, means thatclinicians will not only have the fastest ever turnaround times, butwill also have enhanced and incontrovertible HPV results, with no needto re-test - and all at no extra cost," said Dr. Glen Dixon, medical director of cytopathology at Unilabs-IHS of the deal.