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Home > Press > GE and Lilly Announce Research Collaboration to Co-Develop Molecular In Vitro Diagnostics for Cancer Treatments

Abstract:
Collaboration focused on developing diagnostic tools to predict patients' response to targeted therapies

GE and Lilly Announce Research Collaboration to Co-Develop Molecular In Vitro Diagnostics for Cancer Treatments

NISKAYUNA, NY and INDIANAPOLIS, IN | Posted on October 1st, 2007

GE Global Research, the General Electric Company's (NYSE:GE) centralized research and development organization, and GE Healthcare today announced a three-year collaborative research agreement with Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) to discover and develop advanced in vitro diagnostic assays that may predict cancer treatment response to targeted therapies.

In addition to Lilly's existing chemotherapy agents, Lilly is developing targeted cancer therapeutics, which are now in both early and late stage clinical development. GE is developing advanced multiplexed tissue-based assays and image analysis tools that can measure multiple biological pathways. The goal of this collaboration is to discover key protein and gene signatures that will predict the likelihood that a medication will be effective in treating certain cancers. Once identified the signatures can then be used to pre-select patients who are good candidates for the targeted therapy.

"The co-development of diagnostics and therapeutics is a major strategy of GE Healthcare's "Early Health" vision, and our collaboration with Lilly and our expansion into in vitro diagnostics is right in line with this strategy," said, Dr. Michael Montalto, head of Molecular Imaging and Diagnostics Advanced Technologies for Global Research. "The combination of diagnostics and therapeutics is opening new doors in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Through the application of molecular and cell biology to understanding disease, we can provide pharmaceutical companies with more advanced tools to develop more optimal drug therapies for cancer patients."

"Our collaboration with GE complements Lilly's research and development strategy of tailored therapeutics, or in other words, finding the right dose of the right medication at the right time for patients. Through our collaboration with GE Healthcare and GE Global Research, we hope to identify biomarkers for two of our targeted cancer therapeutic agents by examining patient tissues in order to determine which patients are most likely to respond to the medications and just as importantly which are not," said Dr. Richard Gaynor, M.D., vice president, cancer research and global oncology platform for Eli Lilly and Company.

As the world becomes more educated and advanced in molecular medicine, the healthcare industry is experiencing a growing convergence of therapeutics and diagnostics. Through the use of molecular diagnostic tools that can discover key protein or gene signatures, pharmaceutical companies can begin to use that information to determine which patients are most likely to respond to a particular medication based on their particular genetic makeup.

The agreement between GE and Lilly will provide GE with access to clinical tissue samples from unidentified patients enrolled in Lilly's clinical trials. In turn, Lilly will have access to GE's advanced technologies in automated tissue-based image analysis and molecular reagents. These tools can be used during drug development to aid Lilly in evaluating the effectiveness of their drug candidates and potentially select patients for future trials.

In addition to helping Lilly identify patients for future trials, the diagnostic tools GE is providing also have the potential to greatly reduce the time and cost of cancer drug development.

The collaboration with Lilly is consistent with GE Healthcare's Early Health Vision, which is about transforming healthcare delivery from a focus on treating late disease to a focus on adopting an Early Health model of care - where prevention, pre-disease detection, and early diagnosis are the key drivers. GE Healthcare has a strong portfolio of in vivo diagnostic imaging technologies and molecular contrast agents to assist with the detection and diagnosis of cancer, and expanding this strength toward in vitro diagnostics is a natural extension of this strategy.

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About GE Global Research
GE Global Research is one of the world's most diversified industrial research organizations, providing innovative technology for all of GE’s businesses. Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, and is now focused on developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as molecular medicine, alternative energy, nanotechnology, advanced propulsion, and security technologies. GE Global Research is headquartered in Niskayuna, N.Y. and has facilities in Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; and Munich, Germany. Visit Global Research at http://www.ge.com/research .

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at http://www.gehealthcare.com .

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a US$17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at http://www.gehealthcare.com .

About Lilly

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at http://www.lilly.com .

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Contacts:
GE Global Research Contact
Media Relations
Todd Alhart, 518-387-7914

or
GE Healthcare Contact
Public Relations
Brian McKaig, 414-477-6522

or
Lilly Contact
Corporate Communications
Christine Van Marter, 317-651-1473

Copyright © Business Wire 2007

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