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Abbott to Collaborate with Janssen Pharma, Pharmacyclics to Develop Companion Test for Investigational Leukemia Therapy

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Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that it will collaborate with Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC) 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.

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