LabCorp announces new viral load assay for Hepatitis C approved and available

The Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings announced on June 13 that its COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV Test v2.0 quantitative viral load assay for Hepatitis C virus was approved and is now available.

The device provides physicians with a quantitative HCV viral load assay that makes detection simpler. The unit has a lower limit of detection than existing assays and with a more accurate reading helps to ensure physicians administer the most effective antiviral HCV therapy. The unit can also assess the success of the treatment.

Over 3 million people in the U.S. and 170 million worldwide are chronically infected with HCV and many find out years later. The Centers for Disease Control estimate nearly half of the U.S. population with HCV is unknowing of infection. When left untreated, the infection can lead to liver fibrosis cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

The CDC recently expanded its screening to include all individuals in high risk behavior groups born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for HCV. Of those newly diagnosed, they are encouraged to immediately seek medical care and treatment. LapCorp's new viral assay will aid physicians in finding those infected and identifying the best treatment methods.

"LabCorp is proud of its longstanding and prominent role of providing innovative and novel diagnostic tests to assist physicians in treating and managing chronic HCV infection" LabCorp's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Brecher said. "The COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV Test v2.0 is another valuable addition to the Company's comprehensive portfolio of assays that characterize the Hepatitis C virus disease course and the patient's optimal treatment path."