Abbott, Abbott Park, Ill, reports its molecular diagnostics business inked an agreement with Genentech Inc, F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc to develop a gene test to potentially assess clinical benefits of Tarceva® (erlotinib), an oral tablet for treating patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen.

Abbott plans to develop a test to detect extra copies of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene using its proprietary fluorescence in situ hybridization technology in NSCLC.

No nucleic acid-based tests have been validated or approved by the FDA that could identify patients who may derive greater treatment benefits from targeted lung cancer therapies.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.