Abbott wins FDA nod for diabetes blood test

Abbott's latest diabetes test runs on its Architect analysis platform.--Courtesy of Abbott

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) has secured the FDA's blessing to launch its latest diabetes diagnostic, a test that can help diagnose and monitor diabetics as well as flag patients at risk for developing the disease.

The hemoglobin A1c--or HbA1c--test works with Abbott's Architect diagnostics platform, scanning a patient's blood to reveal average blood glucose levels over the past three months. With that information, physicians can more easily chart the progression of diabetes and manage treatment for patients with or at risk for the ailment, Abbott said.

"The progression of diabetes may be prevented or delayed with effective care," Abbott Diagnostics Vice President Brian Blaser said in a statement. "Abbott's Architect clinical chemistry HbA1c test will empower physicians to take timely, appropriate actions in identifying and helping people manage this disease."

Abbott expects to launch the diagnostic in the U.S. in the coming weeks, and, thanks to a CE mark obtained in May, the HbA1c test is already available in parts of Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

More than a year removed from spinning its proprietary drug business out into AbbVie ($ABBV), Abbott is increasingly reliant on its growing diagnostics arm to drive revenue. Last year, the segment brought in $4.5 billion, beating out 2012's total by 5.9% and helping make up for declining sales in medical devices and generics. Abbott's core lab segment led the way with $3.7 billion in sales, while its growing molecular and point-of-care diagnostics units pitched in a combined $880 million.

- read the announcement

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