Abbott to Collaborate with Janssen and Pharmacyclics on Development of Companion Test for Investigational Leukemia Therapy

Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:00am EST

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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 need.  

"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 outcomes."

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.

About FISH
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 progression.  

About Abbott
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  and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.

SOURCE  Abbott

Media, Don Braakman, +1-847-937-0080 or Financial, Tina Ventura,

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