LabCorp Boosts Specialty Testing with Forensics Partnership - Analyst Blog

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Bode Cellmark Forensics (formerly The Bode Technology Group, Inc.) - a provider of forensic DNA analysis services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Laboratory Corporation of America HoldingsLH , or LabCorp - recently tied up with the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus.

The collaboration aims at exhumation, identification and return of remains of missing persons in Cyprus. The partnership is expected to boost LabCorp's growing specialty testing business.

The CMP in Cyprus is a bi-communal body that was set up in 1981 to determine the fate of persons who went missing due to an inter-communal conflict. LabCorp notes that, Bode Cellmark began issuing DNA kinship match reports to the CMP in Nov 2014.

According to the company, this partnership will enable Bode Cellmark to deliver forensic genetic laboratory services including DNA analysis to the CMP as part of the process of identifying missing individuals following conflicts in Cyprus in 1963, 1964 and 1974. In jointly working with the CMP toward the resolution of more than 2,000 missing persons' cases, of which only 550 have been decided so far, Bode Cellmark is expected to gain huge exposure in specialty testing.

In line with the first pillar of LabCorp's 5-pillar strategy, over the past few quarters, the company has been investing in its fast-developing specialty testing business to restore growth. In Feb 2015, LabCorp completed its acquisition of Covance.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the company completed its acquisitions of The Bode Technology Group and LipoScience, Inc. - a premier esoteric laboratory focused on personalized diagnostics for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. In 2014, the company introduced 174 new assays by collaborating with leading companies and academic institutions.

Through 2014, LabCorp experienced strong growth in its BRCA test menu for the assessment of breast cancer risk, aided by its launch of the BRCA NGS assay, which includes a comprehensive panel of BRCA 1 and 2 complete gene sequence analysis and deletion/duplication testing, targeted analysis tests for other family members once a mutation is identified, and a panel for mutations prevalent among people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

The company also introduced HIV GenoSure Archive SM, the first genotypic drug resistance assay specifically designed to support individualized drug selection for HIV-1 patients with low or undetectable viral loads. Given the continuous focus on investment in fast-growing segments, we are confident of the company garnering higher revenues from specialized testing, going forward.

LabCorp currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Other Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the same sector can also consider stocks like AmerisourceBergen Corp. ABC , Merit Medical Systems, Inc. MMSI and Cardinal Health, Inc. CAH . While ABC and MMSI sport the same Zacks Rank as LabCorp, Cardinal Health bears a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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