Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): Current price $76.52
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) will work jointly with Janssen Biotech and Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC) to examine the benefits of Abbott’s proprietary FISH tech for use in developing a molecular companion diagnostic test through which to identify patients with a genetic subtype of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the most common form of adult leukemia. Through the terms, Abbott will develop a FISH-based test to identify high-risk CLL patients who have a deletion within a specific chromosome and might respond to ibrutinib, an oral, small molecule inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase. Ibrutinib is presently in development by Janssen and Pharmacyclics for several B-cell malignancies, including chronic leukemia and lymphoma. Patients harboring a deletion within chromosome 17p have been found to be poor responders to chemoimmunotherapy and have limited treatment options, but having a test that can accurately detect the 17p deletion identifies a specific patient population with a high unmet medical need.