Three healthcare service providers and a pathology laboratory based in the US state of Texas have joined forces to set up med fusion, a new company that will integrate advanced laboratory and clinical trial services.

The company, which will start operations this spring, has leased 172,000 sq ft of office space in Lewisville, Texas. It plans to hire 320 employees next year and to be fielding a staff of more than 900 by 2014.

Billing itself as “a new patient-focused support model for medicine”, med fusion aims to leverage patient information for clinical research while reducing the cost of treatment and improving personalised care.

The four partners are local non-profit Baylor Health Care System, community-based cancer care specialist Texas Oncology, Pathologists Biomedical Laboratories and nationwide oncology services provider US Oncology.

“We selected the name med fusion because it describes the convergence of laboratory services, clinical research data and patient care support,” explained chief executive officer Keith Laughman. “Our co-ordinated holistic approach facilitates more effective patient care, greater access to information and technology, collaboration for clinicians and optimised allocation of resources for healthcare institutions.”

The combined offering will encompass clinical laboratory services for hospitals, including full-service reference laboratory services such as pathology testing and molecular diagnostics. The company will also provide pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with clinical trial services including central laboratory, contract research and site management services.

Among the benefits of this integrated approach, the med fusion partners say, are:

- More timely delivery of patient information from clinical trials to support physicians as they determine how best to treat their patients.
- Data from clinical trials will also provide insights for, and drive adoption, of new clinically validated diagnostic tests.
- Patient laboratory reports will be more integrated and will take into consideration patient histories, so that physicians can make more precise diagnoses and recommend more specific treatments.
- The new model will narrow the gap between diagnostic testing and therapeutic development, helping to get new therapies to market more quickly.