Siemens inks companion diagnostics deal with J&J

As Siemens ($SI) banks on personalized medicine to help turn around its healthcare business, the technology giant said its new companion diagnostics deal with Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is a step in the right direction.

J&J unit Janssen Pharmaceutica is at work on a compound that targets the human β1-adrenergic receptor, a biomarker tied to heart failure, and Siemens is now on the line to design, develop and commercialize companion diagnostics. First, Siemens will create a lab test to identify clinical trial participants for the drug while working on an in vitro version to be marketed alongside the therapy once it makes its way onto shelves.

Siemens Healthcare is in the throes of reshuffling its priorities to drive growth, part of a cost-cutting, two-year initiative called Agenda 2013 in which the company plans to realign its radiation therapy business and focus on diagnostics and personalized medicine. Now, with a big-name partnership in the growing field of companion diagnostics, the German company said it's well on the way to following through.

"Our relationship with Janssen marks an important next step in Siemens' personalized medicine strategy," Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics CEO Michael Reitermann said in a statement. "As a leading clinical diagnostics company, with the tools and technologies to help define the future of patient care, we are looking forward to collaborating with Janssen and extending their position in cardiac therapies."

Siemens Healthcare posted about $17.7 billion in revenue last year, just 1.7% above 2011, but the company sees a way forward through Agenda 2013, pairing its job cuts with a scale-up in R&D spending, which it increased by 6% in 2012.

- read Siemens' statement

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