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Dx Deals: New Deal Expands Reach of Oral Cancer Test to Dental Practices

by | May 1, 2024 | Deals-lir, Essential, Lab Industry Advisor

Recently announced collaboration between Viome and Henry Schein allows dentists to offer sample collection for Viome’s assay to patients

Most laboratory tests for detecting or predicting cancer are the province of hospitals, medical offices, and clinics. But a new collaboration between Viome Life Sciences and equipment supplier Henry Schein may extend the reach of such tests to a new clinical setting: Dental offices.

The two companies recently struck a deal to provide Viome’s Oral Health Pro™ With CancerDetect™ at dental offices to potentially screen patients for oral and throat cancers.1 The Bellevue, Washington-based Viome is a startup. Although it was initially backed by SquareOne Capital, it raised $86.5 million last year from Khosla Ventures and BOLD Capital Partners to expand its business. In addition to the cancer test, Viome also has a test of patient gut health that helps determine recommendations for nutritional supplements. The startup struck a deal last year with CVS Health to place its tests in CVS’s nationwide network of retail pharmacies.2

By contrast, the Melville, New York-based Henry Schein is a giant in the medical and dental supply arena, with 2023 revenue of $12.3 billion.3

Viome’s laboratory-developed test for oral cancer is fairly straightforward, relying on a saliva sample to determine if the patient has any early biomarkers that suggest oral cancer might be present or is at a risk of developing in the future. The sample is then sent back to Viome’s laboratory for testing. The results are posted on a portal both accessible to the clinician and the patient. Viome claims the test can determine if a patient is cancer-free with about 95 percent accuracy.

Oral health has long been linked to medical issues, including heart disease, some respiratory illnesses, and even complications in pregnancy.4 However, there have been few initiatives linking the work of medicine and dentistry together.

“The traditional approach to oral care has been predominantly reliant on visual and tactile examinations. With new research and technology, we can now better understand the risks for oral health diseases and better detect the onset of oral and throat cancer,” said Viome chief dental officer Ed Zuckerberg in a statement. “Oral Health Pro…can help change oral healthcare for both patients and medical professionals who never had access to this type of test.”1

Henry Schein vice president and chief innovation officer Bruce Lieberthal said in the same statement that his company’s vision “is to help lead a transformation where oral care prioritizes prevention, focusing on the patient’s health and well-being in and outside dental and medical offices. This is a pivotal step in redefining the current standard of care, where early action and prevention lead to a healthier society.”1

Dentists—who unlike physicians rely heavily on patients paying out-of-pocket for procedures and services—will likely offer the test as an add-on service to patients at an extra charge. Henry Schein currently sells COVID-19 tests to dentists, a company spokesperson told G2 Intelligence.

The specific terms of the deal between the two companies have not been disclosed, although a Henry Schein spokesperson said the company was distributing the collection kit for the test only, and not the test itself.

Viome chief executive officer Naveen Jain did not respond to a query seeking more details about the deal, the cost of the test, or whether it is covered by insurers.


  1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/viome-is-partnering-with-henry-schein-to-provide-better-access-to-oral-health-pro-with-cancerdetect-302105911.html
  2. https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/18/viome-a-microbiome-startup-raises-86-5m-inks-distribution-deal-with-cvs/
  3. https://investor.henryschein.com/news-releases/news-release-details/henry-schein-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2023-financial
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475


Other recent mergers, collaborations, or alliances in the laboratory sector include:

Mergers and Acquisitions

Partner 1 Partner 2 Date Announced Deal Summary
BBI Solutions IBEX Technologies Inc. April 8, 2024 Objective: For BBI, a British manufacturer and distributor of immunodiagnostic reagents, to expand its offerings.

Dynamic: IBEX, which manufactures high-precision enzymes for biomedical applications, has been added to BBI’s portfolio of services. Terms were not disclosed.

Labcorp OPKO Health March 28, 2024 Objective: For Labcorp to acquire portions of OPKO subsidiary BioReference Laboratories for $237.5 million.

Dynamic: Labcorp will acquire BioReference Health’s clinical diagnostic and reproductive and women’s health testing businesses operating outside of New York and New Jersey.

Source: Company press releases

Strategic Alliances

Partner 1 Partner 2 Date Announced Deal Summary
Cleveland Diagnostics Dow BioMedica April 13, 2024 Objective: To distribute Cleveland Diagnostics’ IsoPSA prostate cancer test in South Korea.
Dynamic: Dow BioMedica will make the test available to Korean clinicians
Precision Epigenomics TruDiagnostic April 12, 2024 Objective: To expand availability of Precision’s EPISEEK multi-cancer detection assay.
Dynamic: TruDiagnostic will market the test to its clinician customers.
Bio-Rad Laboratories Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute April 8, 2024 Objective: To generate clinical evidence to support the use of Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR Systems for molecular residual disease monitoring.
Dynamic: BioRad will supply the tests, while Allegheny Health will provide appropriate patient samples for testing.
Nucleai GoPath Diagnostics April 8, 2024 Objective: To expedite the development of new AI-powered clinical research and diagnostics.
Dynamic: Nucleai will integrate its AI algorithms and digital pathology viewer with GoPath’s LIMS and LMS platforms.
Exact Sciences Mayo Clinic April 4, 2024 Objective: To expand the availability of Exact Sciences’ genomic tests.
Dynamic: Exact Sciences will provide genomic profiling and hereditary cancer tests to Mayo Clinic patients.
PreciseDx UCLA April 2, 2024 Objective: To more clearly assess the PreciseBreast test’s ability to accurately assess risk of recurrence for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Dynamic: UCLA will provide TNBC subjects, while PreciseDx will provide the test.
Viome Henry Schein April 2, 2024 Objective: To expand the reach of Viome’s Oral Health Pro With CancerDetect® laboratory-developed test for early biomarkers of oral and throat cancers.
Dynamic: Henry Schein will distribute the test kit to dental and other oral health practices.
Natera Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology April 1, 2024 Objective: To conduct a clinical trial of roughly 1,000 patients using Signatera,™ Natera’s personalized and tumor-informed assay for molecular residual disease. The trial will help guide personalized treatment based on molecular status in patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive urothelial cancer and try to better predict its recurrence.
Dynamic: Natera is providing the test, while the Alliance will perform the clinical trial.
Labcorp Xcell Biosciences April 1, 2024 Objective: To expand an existing collaboration between Labcorp and Xcell.
Dynamic: Xcell will continue testing and research on its new cGMP cell therapy manufacturing platform to help improve the potency of cell therapies. Labcorp will provide additional funding and has been given an “observer” seat on Xcell’s board of directors.
Labcorp The Prelude Network March 29, 2024 Objective: To provide a reliable genetic testing resource for a reproductive medical practice.
Dynamic: Labcorp will conduct genetic screening tests on a preferred basis.
Babson Diagnostics H-E-B March 21, 2024 Objective: To launch Babson’s BetterWay™ blood testing service, which uses technology that can run tests on a single “pea-sized” drop of blood.
Dynamic: Pharmacists at H-E-B and other locales will be able to perform blood testing without a phlebotomist.
ChromaCode Medical College of Georgia March 20, 2024 Objective: To test the analytical and clinical performance of ChromaCode’s HDPCR non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) biomarker assay.
Dynamic: ChromaCode will provide the test, while the Medical College of Georgia’s pathology department will evaluate its overall effectiveness.
CENTOGENE Takeda March 19, 2024 Objective: To extend an ongoing agreement for CENTOGENE to test for lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) for Takeda clients.
Dynamic: CENTOGENE will perform testing for Takeda on its clients for LSDs such as Fabry disease, Gaucher disease, and Hunter syndrome.
Source: Company press releases

Government Contracts

None announced during the period.

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