Abbott's Dx investment pays off with Q2 growth

Despite an overall 11% drop in second-quarter earnings, Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) reported growth in its diagnostics business, profiting from an increased focus on the sector over the past year.

Adjusted for negative currency impact, Abbott saw overall sales boosts of 13% in its point-of-care diagnostics, 3.3% in core diagnostics and 1% in molecular Dx, the company reported. Contrast that with Abbott's 6% decline in established pharmaceuticals and 8.3% drop in vascular sales, and the company's efforts in the diagnostics field stand out even more.

Abbott credits the expansion of its Architect and Prism assays for the jump in sales, and the company is looking forward to launching more tests on its platforms. Abbott said it expects to market more than 15 molecular diagnostics products over the next few years, and the company will seek U.S. approval for the recently CE marked Plex-ID instrument, designed to detect microbial infections.

The Illinois-based pharma giant is also eyeing growth in its core diagnostic unit, looking to expand the Architech HbA1c diabetes assay--which got its CE mark this month--and launch new blood screens in the coming years.

The company is knee deep in the process of splitting in two, with its devices and diagnostics staying under the Abbott banner while pharma operations shift to the soon-to-be AbbVie. That process is expected to conclude this year. The costs of restructuring are largely to blame for the 11% earnings drop, The Wall Street Journal points out, and Abbott posted an overall sales growth of 2% for the quarter.

- read Abbott's statement
- check out the full financials
- here's FiercePharma's take
- get more from the WSJ