Here are some relevant news in areas that we previously covered:


Genzyme (GENZ) licensed a lung cancer test under development to Roche and can target a patient’s response to their Tarceva cancer drug. The goal is a test for epidermal growth- factor receptor (EGFR) mutations that would be a companion test to identify people with non-small lung cancer (NSCLC). The project is partnered with OSI Pharamaceuiticals who makes the drug.On November 18  Genzyme announced the sale of their diagnostic products business for $265M to Sekesui Chemical Co. 2009 revenues for this business was $167 M. This sale was part of a restructuring related to the sale of the parent Company.

Blood Supply Screening Test-XMRV

XMRV is a retrovirus that is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and there is concern that millions are infected. If XMRV can be transmitted through sexually or through transfusions there may be a need to protect the blood supply with a screening test similar to current test for HIV and hepatitis. Three companies are working on a test: Abbott Labs (ABT), GenProbe (GPRO) and Roche Molecular Diagnostics. GenProbe is a leader in blood screening with their Tigris diagnostic system that has 2009 revenues of $450M of which more than 50% are for blood screening.GenProbe is partnered with Novartis (NVS) and is developing a next generation blood screening system called Panther.

Next month on Dec 14-15 the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee will feature scientific data and research regarding MLV-related (MLV-murine leukemia virus) Human Retroviruses such as XMRV. Recently the National Cancer Institute reported on a test that discriminates between mouse retroviruses and XMRV.

Blood Products Advisory Committee > December 14-15, 2010: Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting Draft Agenda

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