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Celgene/Agios Ink Deals with Abbott to Identify IDH Mutations


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Celgene Corporation (CELG - Analyst Report) and Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AGIO - Analyst Report) announced that they have entered into collaboration agreements with Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Analyst Report) to develop and commercialize diagnostic tests to identify isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The companies will use Abbott's m2000 RealTime System, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrument that helps automate the PCR process to analyze results and simplify the complex and manual steps related to molecular diagnostics.

Celgene is developing an IDH2 inhibitor, enasidenib, for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory AML who have an IDH2 mutation. Currently, enasidenib is in a phase III study, IDHENTIFY, which is comparing the candidate with conventional therapy in older patients.

Agios is developing an IDH1 inhibitor, AG-120, for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory AML who have an IDH1 mutation.

We remind investors that Celgene had inked a discovery and development collaboration, and a license agreement with Agios focused on targeting cancer metabolism in Apr 2010. In May 2016, the collaboration agreement was amended, whereby Agios acquired full global development and commercialization rights to AG-120. Previously, Agios has held only the U.S. rights to AG-120.

According to information provided by the company, IDH1 and IDH2 mutations occur in approximately 20% of all AML patients.

Celgene currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), while Agios is a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock.

A Stock to Consider

Geron Corporation (GERN - Analyst Report) is a better-ranked stock in the health care sector, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The company has posted a positive earnings surprise in each of the four trailing quarters, bringing the average beat to 20.78%.

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