Abbott to Collaborate with Janssen and Pharmacyclics on Development of
Companion Test for Investigational Leukemia Therapy
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Feb. 21, 2013
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced
today that it will collaborate with Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics,
Inc. to explore the benefits of Abbott's proprietary FISH (fluorescence in
situ hybridization) technology for use in developing a molecular companion
diagnostic test to identify patients with a genetic subtype of chronic
lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of adult leukemia.
Under the agreement, Abbott will develop a FISH-based test to identify
high-risk CLL patients who have a deletion within a specific chromosome
(chromosome 17p (del17p)) and may respond to ibrutinib, an oral, small
molecule inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK). Ibrutinib is currently in
development by Janssen and Pharmacyclics for several B-cell malignancies,
including chronic leukemia and lymphoma. Patients harboring a deletion within
chromosome 17p are poor responders to chemoimmunotherapy and have limited
treatment options. Having a test that is able to accurately detect the 17p
deletion identifies a specific patient population with a high unmet medical
"Like Abbott's other collaborations in the area of companion diagnostics, our
goal is to leverage molecular technologies to help ensure that the right
medicine is getting to the right person," said John Coulter, vice president,
Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott. "Cancer is a complex disease where,
historically, therapies have demonstrated only a 25 percent efficacy rate.
Companion diagnostic tests can help improve these outcomes by selecting
patients that are more likely to respond to specific therapies, reducing time
to the most effective treatment and increasing the number of positive
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), future cancer
therapies will be developed through molecular approaches that can accelerate
development of more effective, personalized treatments. Identifying specific
genetic characteristics of malignancies is expected to also support
development of new treatments that target specific proteins involved in the
development and growth of cancer.
In 2011, Abbott received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for its
Vysis CLL FISH Probe Kit. The kit targets multiple genes, including TP53
(tumor protein p53 gene, located on chromosome 17p) within the del17p region,
and is used as an aid for determining prognosis for patients with CLL.
Abbott's Vysis CLL FISH Probe Kit will be used for investigational use only to
determine genetic marker status as part of the co-development efforts between
Janssen, Pharmacyclics and Abbott.
FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridization) technology has a variety of uses. It
can identify whether too many, or too few, copies of a particular gene are
present in the body's cells or whether certain genes have rearrangements that
play an active role in disease progression. Since the technology works
especially well for identifying genetic markers in solid tumors, cancer
diagnostics are one of the fastest growing applications.
About Abbott Molecular
Abbott Molecular is a leader in molecular diagnostics – the analysis of DNA
and RNA at the molecular level. Abbott Molecular's tests can also detect
subtle but key changes in patients' genes and chromosomes and have the
potential to aid with early detection or diagnosis, can influence the
selection of appropriate therapies, and may assist with monitoring of disease
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the
development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare.
With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical
devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves
people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 70,000.
Visit Abbott at www.abbott.com and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.
Contact: Media, Don Braakman, +1-847-937-0080 or Financial, Tina Ventura,
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