), the largest providers of commercial laboratory services in
North America, recently announced its plan to introduce a panel
of tests at the American Academy of Neurology meeting for the
diagnosis of suspected dementia.
According to Quest Diagnostics, this dementia test panel is
the first in the industry that combines a number of
guideline-recommended tests for identifying secondary, treatable
causes of dementia as a single blood test.
Dementia is growing at an alarming rate among the aging
population and suspected dementia is currently a medical
challenge causing cognitive impairment. The company, as a result,
is very optimistic about the prospects of its dementia test panel
in this field of development.
The test panel, according to the company, provides a standard
laboratory evaluation to rule out confounders of memory or
reversible causes of memory loss. Test results are expected to
help exclude co-morbidities and reveal potential risk factors,
and identify the primary cause of dementia
Amid the current market environment, which remained
challenging for Quest Diagnostics in the form of commercial
pricing pressures, testing volume and Medicare cuts, the company
is coming up with several new tests that focus on high growth
areas. Quest Diagnostics has been focusing on areas with high
potential such as gene-based esoteric testing for cancer,
cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and neurological
The company has experienced increasing demand for gene-based
and esoteric tests compared to routine tests on the back of
increased esoteric mix contributed by Athena and Celera. We are
encouraged by Quest's strong portfolio of tests, many of which
are finding greater acceptance with time.
Despite the current challenging environment, we appreciate
Quest's commitment toward improving the specialized testing
business and balancing capital deployment philosophy. Apart from
this, the company is looking to improve its sales effectiveness
and strengthen its relationship with health plans and other
In addition, the company is adopting several strategies such
as suitable acquisitions, increased sales force and geographic
expansion to drive its top line.
However, the competitive landscape remains tough with the
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
). Concerns also remain about a conservative 2013 revenue
outlook, indicating that the industry trend will not improve in
the near future.
The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However,
other medical device stocks worth a look are
), which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
CYTOKINETCS INC (CYTK): Free Stock Analysis
QUEST DIAGNOSTC (DGX): Free Stock Analysis
GIVEN IMAGING (GIVN): Free Stock Analysis
LABORATORY CP (LH): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.