Hound Labs, Inc. Forms Strategic Agreement with Quest Diagnostics
Quest to perform confirmatory testing of positive breath samples from the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER
OAKLAND, Calif. – Sept. 13, 2022 – Hound Labs, a leader in ultra-sensitive, automated, accurate, and portable analytical technologies and creator of the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, today announces their agreement with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. The agreement establishes Quest as the exclusive provider of laboratory services for confirmatory testing of positive breath sample results generated by the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, used by employers on location as an objective measure to detect and deter cannabis use during the workday.
The HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, a first-of-its-kind portable solution, identifies cannabis used within hours of testing and automatically processes results on-location within minutes. Negative test results indicate an employee is not likely to have used cannabis immediately preceding or during the workday. Under the terms, Quest Diagnostics will use a novel mass spectrometry technique it recently developed and validated at its Lenexa, KS, laboratory to confirm positive results from the Hound® solution. Quest’s new technique is designed to match the level of sensitivity developed by Hound Labs to detect THC, the principal psychoactive compound in cannabis, in breath samples.
“As a leader in laboratory diagnostics and workforce drug testing, Quest is ideally positioned to confirm positive results from the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER when our customers’ best practices require a confirmatory lab test,” said Nina M. French, President of Employer and Law Enforcement Solutions, with Hound Labs.
“Cannabis legalization has prompted some employers to reconsider their workplace cannabis testing policies. They now need to know when an employee used cannabis to align test results more effectively with program objectives. We are excited Quest is working with us on our mission to help employers maintain safety and promote fairness for employees.”
– Nina M. French, President of Employer and Law Enforcement Solutions
Increasing cannabis legalization creates additional complications for employers as conventional cannabis testing methods – including oral fluid, urine, and hair – have windows of detection extending days, weeks, or months after use. Testing breath for cannabis using the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER isolates detection of THC to hours after use, aligning with research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco.
The use of cannabis has surged in recent years. According to the 2022 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI), positivity for marijuana in urine testing for the general workforce in 2021 was 3.9%, a 20-year high. Quest also reported in the 2022 DTI that oral fluid positivity for marijuana increased about 20% in 2021 to 14.8% of those tested.
“While marijuana use is a concern to employers focused on fostering workforce health and safety, its legalization in several states may challenge some employers struggling to hire in tight labor markets,” said Keith Ward, Vice President and General Manager of Employer Solutions for Quest Diagnostics.
“The Hound® solution is an important innovation because it will help employers detect and deter workday marijuana use most associated with safety risks, providing a new tool for employers to add to their suite of testing solutions.”
– Keith Ward, Vice President and General Manager of Employer Solutions for Quest Diagnostics
Hound Labs will begin delivering the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER in late 2022.
About Hound Labs, Inc.
Hound Labs’ ultra-sensitive, automated, accurate, and portable technologies will pave the way to practical and fair solutions for leading public health and safety issues. In late 2022, Hound Labs will begin delivering its first ultra-sensitive on-site solution – the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER,1 which allows employers and law enforcement to identify recent cannabis use in breath. Dr. Mike Lynn, emergency room physician, reserve deputy sheriff, and former venture capitalist, founded Hound Labs, Inc. in 2014. Benchmark, EEC, Icon Ventures, Intrinsic Capital Partners, NFP Ventures, Tuatara Capital, and individual investors have funded the Company.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors, and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
1 The HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER is intended to detect recent marijuana use. It does not measure whether, or how much, a person is impaired. It is intended solely for use in employment, law enforcement, and insurance settings. It should not be used for any medical or therapeutic purposes, or for any Federal drug testing programs, such as programs run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. military.