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Abbott to Develop CDx for AstraZeneca Asthma Drug

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – AstraZeneca has inked an agreement with Abbott to develop companion diagnostic tests to identify patients with severe asthma who are most likely to benefit from the investigational therapy, tralokinumab, developed by AstraZeneca's biologics research and development arm MedImmune.

Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Abbott will develop and commercialize diagnostic tests to measure serum levels of two proteins — periostin and DPP4 — that have been identified previously as surrogate biomarkers of upregulated IL-13, which is the target of tralokinumab.

According to AstraZeneca, DPP4 was identified as a potential predictive biomarker by MedImmune. Periostin has been previously described as an asthma marker and is also being investigated by Roche subsidiary Genentech as a predictor of improved response to its IL-13 blocking drug lebrikizumab.

Under its agreement with the AstraZeneca, Abbott will develop tests for both proteins in conjunction with the Phase III trial of tralokinumab for patients with severe, inadequately controlled asthma.

In the trial, investigators are evaluating the safety and effectiveness of tralokinumab in reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations in adults and adolescents who have not been able to adequately control their disease using inhaled corticosteroids and a long-acting β2-agonist.