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Mar 7, 2008

Abbott to Work on Tarceva-Response Diagnostic with Genentech, Roche, and OSI

  • Abbott entered into an agreement to create a companion prognostic tool for cancer drug Tarceva with the drug’s codevelopers, Genentech, Roche, and OSI Pharmaceuticals. Work will be done through Abbott’s molecular diagnostic business.

    Small molecule therapy Tarceva is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. The treatment inhibits the human epidermal growth factor type 1/epidermal growth factor receptor (HER1/EGFR). Abbott will develop a gene test to detect extra copies of the EGFR gene using its FISH platform.

    “By helping to unlock the information found at the molecular level in each person's DNA, we believe that molecular diagnostics hold the promise of personalized medicine,” comments Stafford O'Kelly, vp, molecular diagnostics, Abbott. “Our goal through this important technology is to improve the practice of medicine by helping to reduce risk, produce targeted cures, and improve the detection and prevention of serious illnesses.”

    Tarceva alone and in combination with Avastin is being evaluated in Phase III trials for first-line and second-line metastatic NSCLC in the adjuvant setting.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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