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12:00 AM
 | 
Aug 16, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Technology-agnostic diagnostics

Pathwork-Novartis: Pharma using partnering to build diagnostics platform

When Novartis AG launched its molecular diagnostics unit in late 2008, it said it would pursue partnerships for discovering and developing biomarkers to augment its internal capabilities. The pharma struck its second such collaboration last month, with Pathwork Diagnostics Inc., which will provide the ability to analyze expression of thousands of genes at once.

In the past 18 months, the molecular diagnostics unit has started 10 R&D programs, according to unit head Michael Nohaile, and he expects to double that within a year. While Novartis won't disclose specific programs, about half are in oncology and half in other therapeutic areas.

The pharma has disclosed a companion diagnostic for lumiracoxib, which was marketed outside the U.S. as Prexige to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) but was withdrawn in 2007 due to concerns about hepatic toxicity.

Scientists at the Novartis Institutes...

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