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Home Cervical Cancer Cervical Cancer Merck and Qiagen Announce Partnership

Merck and Qiagen Announce Partnership

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Merck and QIAGEN will collaborate to combat cervical cancer in the developing world, the companies announced in September at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

Merck makes Gardasil®, the first cervical cancer vaccine approved in the U.S., and says it will give as many as 5 million free doses of the vaccine to nations with the highest rates of the disease. QIAGEN, the manufacture of the digene HPV test and the careHPV test (an HPV screening technology being developed specifically for poor nations) will donate enough tests to screen 1.5 million women.

Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among women in poor nations. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 80% of cervical cancer deaths occur in countries that lack health care resources and infrastructure. Lynn Barclay, ASHA President and CEO, says these numbers are all the more tragic because cervical cancer is preventable: “A combination of Pap testing, HPV testing when appropriate, and vaccination is a powerful means of stopping the scourge of cervical cancer. Women in countries that cannot afford the costs of widely-implemented screening programs are especially vulnerable, and we applaud initiatives such as this one that seek to provide resources in areas where the need is greatest.”