ABBOTT PARK, Ill., May 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott announced today it has entered into a licensing agreement with Advanced Life Science Institute, Inc. (ALSI) for its Pro-gastrin-releasing peptide (ProGRP). ProGRP is a biomarker that may assist clinicians in diagnosing and monitoring small cell lung cancer, an aggressive type of cancer that can multiply quickly and rapidly spread throughout the body. Currently, no diagnostic test is approved in the U.S. for testing serum for lung cancer. However, serum diagnostic tests are commonly used by physicians to confirm the presence of other diseases.
"ProGRP has shown promise in preliminary studies as a test for lung cancer, which accounts for about 13 percent(i) of the new lung cancer cases in the U.S. alone each year. Through automation, this marker could be further refined for clinical use," said William Brown, Ph.D., vice president, diagnostic assays and systems development, Abbott.
Under terms of the agreement, Abbott obtains worldwide rights to commercialize products using ALSI's ProGRP material and technology. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"In Japan, scientific findings on ProGRP have already influenced how small cell lung cancer is diagnosed and managed by physicians. By partnering with Abbott, ALSI may be able to bring this tumor marker technology, and its potential to improve patient outcomes through earlier diagnosis, to a larger audience," said Tetsuo Itoh, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Advanced Life Science Institute, Inc.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. About six out of ten people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed with the disease. The chance of cure increases substantially if cancer is detected early.
Abbott has a strong history in cancer diagnostics. In 1991, Abbott developed the first automated PSA test for use on the IMx(R) System and has continued to expand cancer test menus across its diagnostic analyzers.
About Advanced Life Science Institute (ALSI)
A biotechnology company located in Saitama, Japan, ALSI is a leader in the development of diagnostic reagents for infectious viral diseases and tumor markers. Developing innovative technologies that target the eradication of serious illnesses such as cancer, infectious diseases and life-style related diseases, the company developed such diagnostic kits for the detection of HCV core antigens, HBV core related antigens and for the diagnosis of early-stage small cell lung cancer and licensed global companies to produce and sell them.
About Abbott Diagnostics
Abbott Diagnostics is a global leader in in vitro diagnostics and offers a broad range of innovative instrument systems and tests for hospitals, reference labs, blood banks, physician offices and clinics. With more than 69,000 institutional customers in more than 100 countries, Abbott's diagnostic products offer customers automation, convenience, cost effectiveness and flexibility. Abbott has helped transform the practice of medical diagnosis from an art to a science through the company's commitment to improving patient care and lowering overall costs. The history of Abbott Diagnostics is filled with examples of first-of-a-kind products and significant technological advancements.
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 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 .
(i) American Cancer Society website, 2006. ( http://www.cancer.org )