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Abbott to Develop Molecular Test for Tarceva in Collaboration with Genentech, Roche, and OSI

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illinois-based diagnostics company Abbott has entered into an agreement with Genentech, Roche, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to create a genetic test for determining which lung cancer patients will benefit from erlotinib treatment, the company announced today.
Erlotinib, which goes by the trade name Tarceva, is an oral tablet used to treat locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in patients who have tried chemotherapy unsuccessfully. It targets a cell-surface protein called the epidermal growth factor receptor that is often overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer.
Abbott intends to apply its fluorescence in situ hybridization technology to develop a test for extra copies of the gene coding for EGFR. To date, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any nucleic acid based tests for predicting successful lung cancer treatment, said Abbott.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.