GE Healthcare subsidiary Clarient Diagnostic Services has entered a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to improve access to diagnostic testing for cancer patients.
Under the deal, a network of clinical laboratories will be established to identify genetic mutations associated with different tumour types, and will be made available as a subscription-based service.
These laboratories will be operated by GE Healthcare, as per the terms of the partnership.
The deal will allow GE to develop a broader laboratory and data analytics service that will enable better efficiency in the healthcare market related to oncology precision medicine.
Clarient Diagnostic Services CEO Cindy Collins said: "Our arrangement with GSK will enable us to leverage our clinical, technical and quality management expertise to credential laboratory partners worldwide.
"This global network of high-quality diagnostic capability can be leveraged with confidence by all pharmaceutical companies in search of rigorously standardised oncology diagnostic services and data."
The deal will see Clarient use GSK's clinical laboratory, pathology and genomics expertise to certify laboratories and generate diagnostic data on metastatic melanoma patients.
Initially, laboratory testing will be focused on more than 70 mutations relevant to melanoma, including BRAF V600E and V600K, and will be expanded to other tumour types, as the network of clinical laboratories develops.
The first Clarient certified laboratories are expected to start operations in different countries in early 2015.
GSK oncology companion diagnostics and disease strategy head Jonathan Pan said: "Through this agreement, we hope to better address the variability in access and quality of diagnostic testing which is a common problem seen with targeted oncology therapies and related companion diagnostics globally.
"The commercial testing infrastructure created through this collaboration will enable advanced diagnostic solutions that should improve how patient care is delivered, where the certified laboratories are operational."