A Richmond medical diagnostic lab has acquired a small lab to expand its services.
Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. announced Wednesday its acquisition of Harris Scientific.
The deal will expand Health Diagnostic Lab’s fatty acid testing services and help the company further test risk factors for cardiovascular and related diseases.
HDL runs lab tests to detect diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome.
The company then sets up an individualized treatment plan for each patient based on the test results. With Harris Scientific now part of HDL, the company will be able to offer more fatty acid testing services.
William Harris, founder of Harris Scientific, said that the two companies have been negotiating the deal for the past six months but that it’s been something they’ve wanted to do for a long time.
“It’s been in the back of our mind, Russ Warnick (a founder of HDL) and mine for years,” Harris wrote in an email to BizSense.
Harris founded Harris Scientific, a subsidiary of South Dakota-based blood testing lab OmegaQuant, which he founded in 2009. Harris is also a research professor of medicine at the Sandford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota.
Harris, along with a colleague, developed the HS-Omega-3 Index, a blood test that measures levels of cardioprotective omega-3 fatty acids. He will be responsible for overseeing the blood fatty acid testing work done at HDL.
“HDL is becoming the top cardiovascular risk assessment lab in the country, and the test I developed, the blood fatty acid test, is a new and powerful cardiovascular risk factor,” Harris said.
The desired HS-Omega-3 Index level is 8 percent, but most Americans are at about 4 percent, which Harris said is a common problem.
“Blood levels of fatty acids, especially the omega-3 fatty acids, are commonly too low in Americans, but healthy levels can be achieved by better dietary choices,” Harris said.
“These and other lifestyle changes can markedly lower risk for heart attacks,” he added.
The new fatty testing at HDL will include testing levels of omega-3, omega-6, saturated and trans fatty acids and will allow health-care providers to provide better treatment options for patients.
“It’s natural that HDL would want this test in their portfolio,” Harris added.
As of last fall, HDL employed about 129 people at its 40,000-square-foot building in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, which they expanded in October.
Harris will be the only person coming over to HDL.
Tonya Mallory, HDL’s co-founder and CEO, could not be reached by press time.