Bio-Reference to License GeneTests.org from University of Washington Agreement Preserves Popular, Free Genetic Laboratory Service to Medical Community
ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRLI) (www.bioreference.com) announced today that it signed a licensing agreement with the University of Washington to transition GeneTests.org, GeneClinics.org and all other related properties to become a business unit of Bio-Reference.
Since 1992, GeneTests.org has been a key resource for physicians, geneticists and genetic counselors seeking comprehensive information about testing for inherited disorders and genetic counseling services. In fact, GeneTests.org receives about 22,000 visitors each business day.
"GeneTests.org is highly regarded by everyone in the field," said vice president of marketing for Bio-Reference, Amar Kamath. "We recognized that GeneTests.org has been providing a community service since molecular genetics was in its infancy, and we're pleased to be preserving and maintaining this valuable resource free-of-charge to users. It would have been a huge loss to the medical community to let it go."
GeneTests.org lists more than 600 international labs offering genetic testing for more than 3,000 disorders. In addition, GeneTests.org provides information concerning over 1,100 international genetics clinics, which provide diagnostic and genetic counseling services to patients and their families.
Both directories are provided free of charge to the public and participating laboratories and clinics.
"As the field of genetics has grown more complex and specialized, GeneTests.org has become one of the most indispensable tools of the trade as a single source of information on genetic test availability," said GeneTests.org founder Roberta "Bonnie" Pagon, M.D., who is now a consultant to Bio-Reference and has assumed the role of Medical Director of GeneTests.org. "Initially, the lab directory was used primarily by geneticists, but today clinicians in all specialties, such as cardiology, endocrinology and neurology, rely on GeneTests.org for easy-to-access, easy-to-understand information on tests for inherited disorders."
Following the licensing agreement, GeneTests.org also launched today a redesigned website with enhanced search functionalities. Long-range plans include adding new information and services and improving data entry capabilities to aid laboratories and clinics in keeping their listings current. Another update to GeneTests.org will be easy access to comprehensive information on multi-gene panels, which are emerging as an efficient way for healthcare providers to establish diagnoses of complex hereditary conditions, such as inherited kidney disease, muscle disease and hearing impairment.
GeneTests.org will also continue to link out to GeneReviews, an important, online National Institute of Health-funded resource developed and maintained by editors and staff at the University of Washington, Seattle. GeneReviews comprises a collection of expert-authored, peer-reviewed chapters describing specific inherited diseases and the use of genetic testing in diagnosis, management and genetic counseling. Bio-Reference Laboratories is the parent company of GeneDx, but like other business units of Bio-Reference, GeneTests.org and GeneDx will remain separate entities. The GeneTests website will not show a preference to GeneDx. GeneTests.org will remain an impartial resource for the most up-to-date genetic testing information from around the world. All inquiries and phone calls will continue to be answered by GeneTests genetic counselors.
About Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc.
BRLI is a clinical testing laboratory offering testing, information and related services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, employers and governmental units. We believe that we are the fourth largest full-service laboratory in the United States and the largest independent regional laboratory in the Northeastern market. BRLI offers a comprehensive list of laboratory testing services utilized by healthcare providers in the detection, diagnosis, evaluation, monitoring and treatment of diseases. BRLI primarily focuses on esoteric testing, molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, women's health and correctional health care.
SOURCE Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc.