The battle of the titans is coming to the world of clinical trials laboratory services.

Quintiles, the world’s largest life sciences services company, is teaming up with Quest Diagnostics to form a joint venture that will provide clinical trial laboratory services. The new group will be taking on Burlington-based LabCorp, which is the largest provider.

Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LHC) recently bought Covance, boosting its clinical services. The deal cost LabCorp more than $6 billion. The deal recently closed.

  • WRAL TechWire Insider exclusive: Why did Quintiles do the deal?

Now, Quintiles (NYSE: Q) and Quest (NYSE: DGX) are countering with a jointly owned company. But Quintiles will be the dominant player, owning 60 percent of the new company once the deal is closed, the firms disclosed early Tuesday.

Had the firms been operating in 2014, they would have produced a combined $575 million in clinical trials lab-related services.

Where the joint venture will be based and what impact the unit will have on jobs is not yet clear, according to Quintiles Senior Director of Corporate Communications Phil Bridges.

“We will evaluate the location for the JV headquarters in connection with the integration planning efforts,” Bridges told WRAL TechWire.”We expect to be able to provide this information around the time of the transaction close.”

Bridges said “no definitive decisions” have been made about faciltiies or jobs.

“Both Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics recognize that their employees are an integral part of their overall value. In the coming weeks and months, a joint integration team from Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics will meet to focus on integration planning and where opportunities exist to leverage the strengths of both organizations, including people and facilities after the transaction is closed,” he said. “No definitive decisions have been made at this point.”

In the announcement, Quintiles Chief Executive Officer Tom Pike said the joint venture will combine the “best” of the two firms.

“This joint venture builds upon the best of Quintiles’ and Quest Diagnostics’ strengths, creating top-quality services for customers,” Pike said. “It will join together the scale, expertise and end-to-end capabilities of the broader Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics organizations with a laser-like focus on providing world-class laboratory services that will help improve customers’ probability of success. Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics are already industry leaders with complementary offerings, capabilities and visions to improve patient outcomes and human health. We’re excited about the opportunities ahead of us and the benefits we can provide customers.”

Quintiles is based in Durham.

Both Quest and LabCorp have multiple operations in the Triangle area.

Quest Diagnostics is based in Madison, N.J.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the world’s leading biopharmaceutical services provider to help customers succeed with their clinical trials and support the pursuit of precision medicine,” said Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Quest. “For Quest Diagnostics, the joint venture model will enable us to generate growth and value from our clinical trials assets while simultaneously strengthening our focus on our core diagnostic information services business.”

The full announcement can be read at;