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Abbott Laboratories Inc. and Genentech Inc. will collaborat


RandyW

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Abbott Laboratories Inc. and Genentech Inc. will collaborate Abbott Laboratories Inc. and Genentech Inc. will collaborate to develop and eventually sell two Abbott cancer drugs now in early stages of human testing, the companies said Tuesday.

The drugmakers did not disclose financial terms of the global deal, under which they will work together on all aspects of further development of the drugs discovered by Abbott, known as ABT-263 and ABT-869.

They will co-promote the drugs in the U.S., with Abbott marketing them in overseas markets. The compounds are now in Phase 1 trials for a variety of types of cancer.

Genentech is one of the world’s best known oncology companies, with products such as colon cancer treatment Avastin and breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Libertyville Township-based Abbott, which is known for its treatments of arthritis and epilepsy and an array of medical diagnostics, currently sells no cancer drugs but aims to become a player in the highly lucrative field.

ABT-263 is designed to block a protein called Bcl-2 and thereby restore the body’s natural process of ridding itself of damaged or aberrant cells. By overriding the so-called apoptosis process, cancer cells are able to have uncontrolled growth.

“Bcl-2 drugs could be huge, based on results we’ve seen in preclinical trials,” Stephen Fesik, Abbott’s vice president of cancer research discovery, said in an interview.

Fesik said continuing early-stage human trials of the Abbott drug have focused on small cell lung cancer, lymphoma and certain leukemias.

“That’s where we think this kind of drug will be most efficacious in our single-agent trials,” he said. He forecast that ABT-263 will also work well in future cancer trials in combination with radiation and chemotherapy.

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to develop and eventually sell two Abbott cancer drugs now in early stages of human testing, the companies said Tuesday.

The drugmakers did not disclose financial terms of the global deal, under which they will work together on all aspects of further development of the drugs discovered by Abbott, known as ABT-263 and ABT-869.

They will co-promote the drugs in the U.S., with Abbott marketing them in overseas markets. The compounds are now in Phase 1 trials for a variety of types of cancer.

Genentech is one of the world’s best known oncology companies, with products such as colon cancer treatment Avastin and breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Libertyville Township-based Abbott, which is known for its treatments of arthritis and epilepsy and an array of medical diagnostics, currently sells no cancer drugs but aims to become a player in the highly lucrative field.

ABT-263 is designed to block a protein called Bcl-2 and thereby restore the body’s natural process of ridding itself of damaged or aberrant cells. By overriding the so-called apoptosis process, cancer cells are able to have uncontrolled growth.

“Bcl-2 drugs could be huge, based on results we’ve seen in preclinical trials,” Stephen Fesik, Abbott’s vice president of cancer research discovery, said in an interview.

Fesik said continuing early-stage human trials of the Abbott drug have focused on small cell lung cancer, lymphoma and certain leukemias.

“That’s where we think this kind of drug will be most efficacious in our single-agent trials,” he said. He forecast that ABT-263 will also work well in future cancer trials in combination with radiation and chemotherapy.

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