J&J Snaps Up Rare Cell Capture And Analysis Technology From Mass General
Mass General has signed a $30 million deal with two units of J&J to develop a new system for capturing and analyzing circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The collaboration aims to develop a standardized diagnostic platform for biomarker analysis of DNA, RNA, or protein from tumor cells collected noninvasively. J&J will take the indications for its current CTC system, CellSearch, and migrate them to the new platform.
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The pharmaceuticals business is riding high at Johnson & Johnson, posting impressive gains from new launches in immunology and cancer – in particular, the May launch of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) in the U.S. for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Pharma is keenly interested in new cancer diagnostics tools, which in many cases are aimed at selecting the best therapy for a specific patient, measuring response to therapy and predicting or more sensitively measuring relapse. These technologies are often the same as those used in pharma's drug development efforts. But deciding with whom and how to ally for the development and distribution of tests is difficult, showing just how uncharted, and bumpy, is the current diagnostics terrain.