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Agilent Boosts Market Share With FDA Nod to New Cancer Test

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Agilent Technologies A recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a cancer diagnostic, named PD-L1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx. The test will be used in cases of urothelial carcinoma (“UC”) and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (“SCCHN”).

This is a new step in the company's efforts to expand in the growing cancer-diagnostic market.

The PDL1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx test has already been approved for melanoma as well as non-squamous, non-small-cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”). Now, it has been approved for UC and SCCHN patients too. The test enables physicians in the United States to identify UC and SCCHN patients, who still have disease progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy and are most likely to benefit from treatment with Opdivo.

Opdivo is an immunotherapy developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). PD-L1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx was developed in collaboration with Opdivo maker, BMS. Currently, this test has a lot more utility than any other PD-L1 assay in the U.S. market.

Agilent's Role in Healthcare

Currently, the healthcare sector is witnessing a revolution. Personalized medicine is taking the center stage as it could provide improved patient care and better manage costs by administering the most appropriate treatment to individuals. It has been found that not all treatments are suitable for those suffering from a specific disease as some require more specialized tests.

The advancements could have far-reaching effects on the entire healthcare system as personalized medicines considerably improve patient care while reducing medical bills.

Agilent has signed several collaborative agreements with pharma and biotech companies including Pfizer PFE, AstraZeneca AZN, Bristol-MyersSquibb, Merck & Co. MRK, Amgen and Eli Lilly to develop diagnostics using both immunohistochemical and genomic-based technologies for the better treatment of cancer.

Bottom Line

Agilent is an original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) of a broad-based portfolio of test and measurement products serving multiple end markets. We remain positive on Agilent's broad-based portfolio and increased focus on segments with higher growth potential. Further, the company continues to introduce high-margin products.

According to a report from, the worldwide cancer diagnostics market may reach $13.1 billion by 2020 from $7.1 billion by 2015, driven by several technological advancements in diagnostic platforms. Moreover, the market has seen the advent of hybrid imaging instruments with enhanced accuracy, such as PET/CT and SPECT/CT. These advancements have taken the cancer-diagnostics market to new heights.

We believe the new assay will help Agilent to cash in on the fast-growing healthcare cancer-diagnostics segment.

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