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Abbott, Astellas collaborate on CMV vaccine trial

Monday, September 10, 2012

Abbott has signed an agreement to collaborate with Astellas Pharma Global Development in a phase III clinical trial for ASP0113 (TransVax), an investigational vaccine licensed from Vical for preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation in transplant patients.

Abbott’s RealTime CMV assay, which is performed on the Abbott m2000 System and intended for investigational use only, will be used to monitor patients for CMV viral load in order to assess the vaccine’s efficacy. Viral load is a measure of the severity of a viral infection or the amount of active virus in the blood.

“Our agreement with Astellas gives us an opportunity to collaborate with another leader in the health care industry to better monitor patients to ensure proper treatment,” said John Coulter, head of Abbott’s molecular diagnostics business. “Abbott’s investigational CMV test will be used as an important aid in assessing the efficacy of this promising vaccine which could significantly improve the overall outcome of transplant procedures.”

This agreement represents the fourth partnership that Abbott has announced in the last 12 months with a leading pharmaceutical company. Recent collaborations with Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck focus on the development of companion diagnostic tests for use in selecting patients for novel oncology therapeutics.

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