Issue Date: March 17, 2008
Cancer Drug Test Links Four Firms
Abbott Laboratories' molecular diagnostics business has entered an agreement with Genentech, Roche, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to develop a genetic diagnostic test to assess the clinical response to Tarceva, a treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer discovered by OSI and marketed by Genentech. Genentech is majority owned by Roche. The test is intended to detect extra copies of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene using Abbott's fluorescence in situ hybridization technology. The technology is now used to identify HER2 gene abnormality in testing whether patients will respond to the Genentech breast cancer drug Herceptin. To date, no nucleic acid-based test has been approved by FDA that can identify patients who may derive greater treatment benefits from targeted lung cancer therapies.
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