I have posted previous notes about U.S. academic pathology departments and LIS vendors entering into various types of business arrangements with Chinese businesses. One involved the UPMC pathology department providing second opinions for surgical pathology cases to KingMed Diagnostics three year ago (see: UPMC Enters China Market for Second Opinions in Surgical Pathology Cases). Another involved the establishment of a global pathology network by PathCentral, a cloud-based AP-LIS, with participation by China-based Kindstar Globalgene Technology (see: PathCentral Debuts Agnostic Global Pathology Network). About three years ago, Mayo Clinic also signed a collaboration agreement with Kindstar (see: Mayo Clinic Signs Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Wuhan Kindstar Globalgene Technology, Inc. (Kindstar)). Here's a quote from that article:
...Kindstar offers 750 tests in specialties including hematology, oncology, genetics, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Through the collaboration with Mayo Clinic, Kindstar will expand its test menu offerings, promoting high-quality diagnostic and therapeutic care for the people of China by providing patients and physicians the broadest access to advanced esoteric testing services.
Now comes news that UCLA has signed a business agreement with Centre Testing to operate an esoteric lab in Shanghai with a special focus on molecular and genetic testing (see: UCLA signs agreement with Centre Testing to create clinical laboratory in Shanghai). Here is an excerpt from the article:
The University of California and UCLA Department of Pathology have signed an agreement with Centre Testing International Corp., a Chinese firm, to create a company that will operate a clinical laboratory in Shanghai. The new lab will support clinical trials and enhance medical care for Chinese patients with cancer and other diseases. The new company, CTI-Pathology/UCLA Health, is jointly owned by CTI and the University of California. The 25,000-square-foot facility - the first of its kind in China - will offer genetic and molecular diagnostics and other sophisticated tests that exceed the scope of the average lab in China, and UCLA pathologists will train Chinese lab specialists to accurately interpret the tests....The partnership is the first between a Chinese company and a U.S. academic medical center to create a specialized laboratory in China. ....UCLA will oversee management of the laboratory to ensure that its operations meet international standards for quality, and CTI will provide capital funding and marketing expertise.
This deal between UCLA and Centre strikes me as being unusual in a couple of ways. First, the new lab will focus on clinical trials as well as molecular and genetic testing. These are areas in which an academic lab like UCLA could have special expertise that would be of great value in the Chinese market. China is now one of the major sites for clinical trials because of the reduced cost of managing trials there but also because the Chinese market for prescription drugs is becoming one of the largest in the world (see: Clinical Trials Increasingly Move Offshore, Many to China; China's pharmaceutical industry -- Poised for the giant leap -- pdf). A second point is that Centre Testing International (CTI) is a testing, inspection, certification, and consulting firm but not a hospital or clinical laboratory. CTI is providing capital and marketing expertise for the project but UCLA will totally oversee management of the laboratory. This a different scenario than an American academic facility providing expertise on a case-by-case or referral basis to a Chinese lab or hospital.