Firm will use its FISH technology to develop a molecular tool to assess potential of NSCLC treatment.

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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