Abbott to Collaborate With Genentech, Roche and OSI on Molecular Test for Lung Cancer Therapy Response

Abbott's FISH Technology Provides Analytical Tool with Potential to Assess Clinical Response to Lung Cancer Treatment in Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

DES PLAINES, Ill., March 07, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott today announced that its molecular diagnostics business has entered into an agreement with Genentech, Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop a gene test to potentially assess the clinical benefit of Tarceva(R) (erlotinib), an oral tablet 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.

Under the agreement, Abbott will develop a test to detect extra copies of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene using its proprietary fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technology in NSCLC. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Currently, there are no nucleic acid based tests validated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that could identify patients who may derive greater treatment benefits from targeted lung cancer therapies.

"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," said Stafford O'Kelly, vice president, 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 Safety

There have been infrequent reports of interstitial lung disease (ILD)-like events, including fatalities in patients receiving Tarceva. While receiving Tarceva therapy, women should be advised against becoming pregnant or breastfeeding. The most common side effects in patients with NSCLC receiving Tarceva were rash and diarrhea. For more information on Tarceva, including the full prescribing information, please visit http://www.Tarceva.com.

About FISH

FISH technology provides the ability to see multiple chromosomal abnormalities simultaneously in a single cell and to visually assess these genetic abnormalities in patient specimens. FISH-based tests use DNA probes labeled with colored fluorescent tags that bind to specific gene sequences on human chromosomes. These probes can reveal amplification of gene copy number or the rearrangement of large genetic structures, two genetic abnormalities that underlie certain cancers and other medical conditions.

About Abbott Molecular

Abbott's molecular diagnostics business, headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., provides physicians with critical information based on the early detection of pathogens and subtle, but key changes in patients' genes and chromosomes, allowing for earlier diagnosis, selection of appropriate therapies and monitoring of disease progression.

The business includes instruments and reagents used to conduct sophisticated analysis of patient DNA and RNA.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at http://www.abbott.com.

CONTACT: Media, Don Braakman, +1-847-937-0080, or Financial, Tina Ventura,+1-847-935-9390, both of Abbott

Web site: http://www.abbott.com/http://www.Tarceva.com/

Ticker Symbol: (NYSE:ABT)

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Posted: March 2008


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