NeoGenomics, Inc. has entered into a Strategic Supply Agreement with Abbott. The agreement provides for Abbott to supply materials for NeoGenomics to develop its own FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization)-based test for the diagnosis of melanoma. In a separate transaction, Abbott has also acquired 9.6% of NeoGenomics common stock for $4.8 million.
Under terms of the Strategic Supply Agreement, NeoGenomics will evaluate and select from
Abbott’s proprietary single FISH probes to develop and commercialize a test for melanoma
diagnosis in the United States. Once the probes have been identified by NeoGenomics, Abbott
will supply them (some on an exclusive basis) over the course of a ten-year term. The agreement may be expanded, under certain circumstances, to include up to two additional tests for other cancers.
NeoGenomics intends to develop a FISH test to distinguish benign versus malignant melanoma. The goal for the new test is to provide the ability to more accurately diagnose malignant melanoma and provide more accurate prognostic information, thus assisting dermatologists in better managing patient care.
“We are delighted to have entered into this strategic agreement with Abbott. Melanoma is the
most serious form of skin cancer, and its incidence continues to rise significantly. We are very
pleased to have this opportunity to research, develop and offer a new genetic test to help clients
better diagnose and treat patients who may suffer from melanoma,” said Douglas VanOort,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for NeoGenomics.
A FISH test for melanoma has the potential to improve existing diagnostic techniques in cases that are ambiguous, borderline or difficult to diagnose. NeoGenomics estimates that this new melanoma test represents a $50-$100 million annual revenue opportunity in the next 4-6 years.
“Influencing the existing cancer testing market in the US is a challenge, but all of us here at
NeoGenomics believe the timing, scientific literature and market conditions are right for this new
melanoma FISH test,” said Robert Gasparini, President and Chief Scientific Officer of
NeoGenomics. “We believe this new melanoma FISH test will complement our existing
portfolio of FISH products. We also believe dermatopathologists will have a high level of
interest in offering this test to their customers.”
While this new test is still in the development phase, NeoGenomics currently anticipates
bringing a FISH test to market in early 2010 after completing a rigorous validation process. In
the event that Abbott develops and obtains FDA approval for its own FISH-based melanoma test,
the Strategic Supply Agreement provides a means by which NeoGenomics may offer the FDAapproved test to its customers instead of the laboratory developed test being offered by NeoGenomics.