Abbott Laboratories

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Abbott’s Piccolo Occluder, 2019

The Abbott Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is the world’s first medical device that can be implanted in the tiniest babies (weighing as little as two pounds) using a minimally invasive procedure to treat a hole in the heart known as patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA. Piccolo is a device even smaller than a pea, and offers hope to premature infants and newborns who need corrective treatment but who may be non-responsive to medical management and at high risk to undergo corrective surgery. With the Abbott Piccolo device, surgeons can close a PDA without the need to expose their tiniest patients to riskier surgery.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, 2018

The days are ending for those who suffer from diabetes for multiple, daily finger pricks to test glucose levels. And Chicago-based Abbott Labs is in the vanguard of this sorely needed innovation as the North Chicago company marks its 130th birthday.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre continual glucose monitoring devices – CGM in medical lingo — combines a wearable sensor and a device that reads real-time glucose levels. It also  identifies whether glucose is trending up or down, and reviews eight hours of glucose history. The old technology, a finger prick up to 10 times a day, yields only one measurement at a certain point in time.

“The FreeStyle Libre offers a revolutionary way to easily track glucose levels without having to stop and stick your finger,” said Marc Taub, divisional vice president of R&D, Abbott. “With a quick, one-second scan of the reader over the sensor, a user gets actionable information to empower them to make better health decisions.”

In January 2018 – only a few months after FDA approval – Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre secured Medicare coverage, reinforcing the significance of Abbott’s innovative technology.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre is about the size of two stacked quarters, and is placed on the back of a patient’s upper arm. It communicates for as long as 14 days with a permanent  Libre reader, and projects glucose levels when scanned. Abbott designed its system to be a price leader in the market, ticketing the senor at about $36 and the one-time-purchase reader at about $70 – both price points 70 percent below competitors’ prices in the fast-growing CGM sector.

Additionally, the unit is calibrated at the factory level, not by users, the first CGM system to be recognized that relieves users of a manual finger-stick calibration for accuracy.

Abbott’s Similac Pro-Advanced and Pro-Sensitive with 2′-FL HMO, 2017

When it comes to infant nutrition, the benefits of breast milk are beyond dispute. But because not every mother can breast feed, Abbott Labs has succeeded in unlocking the potential of mother’s milk for ready-to-feed formula.

Unlike other infant-nutrition formulas, Abbott’s Similac Pro-Advance and Pro-Sensitive formulas contain a prebiotic plant fiber that beneficially nourishes bacteria already in an infant’s bowels. Prebiotics are different but similar to the more familiar probiotics, which introduce good bacteria into the gut. Prebiotics fertilize good bacteria that’s already present.

Infant-nutrition formulas all contain an ingredient known in pediatric circles as a Human Milk Oligosaccharide, or HMO, the third most-abundant ingredient in breast milk after fat and carbohydrates. HMOs circulate throughout the infant’s body, and strengthen the baby’s immune system to be more like the breastfed infant’s.

Abbott replicated HMOs so that babies who drink formula can benefit from them.

Similac Pro-Advance and Pro-Sensitive are the only formulas available with an added HMO that is bio-structurally identical to the HMO found in mother’s milk, and it is produced in a similar way to the way some vitamins are made.

How structurally identical? Clinical studies used to win FDA approval for Similac revealed multiple, nearly identical immune markers in the prebiotic formula compared with breast-fed babies.

A widely regarded characteristic of Abbott’s key Similac (it’s called 2’ fucosyllactose) is its ability to protect against infectious diseases, and possibly to provide the infant with sialic acid as a potentially essential nutrient for brain development and cognition.

Says Rachael Buck, a research scientist at Abbott specializing in immune health, “By harnessing 2’-FL HMO, we can help support a baby’s immune system by closing multiple gaps in immune function between formula-fed and breastfed babies.”

MitraClip System, 2015

Abbott’s MitraClip System is a breakthrough non-surgical device that has transformed the treatment of mitral regurgitation (MR) for people who are too frail for open-heart surgery or those who elect not to undergo surgery. MR is a dangerous condition that occurs when blood flows backward between two of the heart’s chambers. Because the heart must work harder to push blood through the body, patients experience fatigue, shortness of breath, increased vulnerability to heart failure and potentially death. Being treated with the MitraClip device reduces the severity of MR, improves physical health and vitality, and decreases recovery time compared to open-heart surgery. The MitraClip System is a proven treatment option that has treated more than 25,000 people in 40 countries around the world.

ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combination Test, 2010

1 in 4 people infected with HIV don’t know it, and up to 50 percent of ongoing transmissions come from people who were recently infected. Early detection is critical and life-saving since people are most infectious to others immediately after infection.

Abbott’s ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combination test, is now available to help people find out their status sooner. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June and developed based on innovative science and technology, this novel test can help stem the spread of the infection by detecting the virus earlier than ever before. Clinical trials demonstrated earlier detection by up to twenty days earlier than today’s antibody-only tests that are currently available in the U.S.

The Abbott ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combo test is important because it detects both antigens and antibodies, and as a result, it can detect the virus during both acute and chronic stages of infection – from newly infected to people living with HIV for years who don’t know it. The earlier someone is tested, counseled and potentially treated for HIV, the better the chance of stopping the virus from infecting others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a person who knows they are infected is 3.5 times less likely to transmit HIV than a person who’s infected and doesn’t know it. There have been multiple instances of people in the early-stage window period that were confirmed positive for HIV by this new test. Before this, they would have taken the standard antibody test and appeared negative. This test will allows patients to get on therapy earlier and help stem the tide of the epidemic and decrease new infections substantially.

Similac SimplePac, 2009 (People’s Choice Award)

Our first ever annual Peoples Choice Award winner is Abbott. For over 50 years, baby formula has come in a familiar round can. But by listening to the needs of parents, Abbott has developed a new package for their Similac formula that can be held in one hand, it has a hinged lid, a scoop that stays in the lid (and doesn’t get buried in the can) and a design that matched the scoop with the rounded bottom of the container. This new design quickly captured market share and was out in the market two to three years prior to competition. Since its launch, it has been propelled it to the number one position in the market.

XIENCE V Stent, 2008

In 2008 Abbott brought to market a second generation Drug Eluting Stent, the XIENCE V. A stent is a tiny balloon that holds open a clogged artery. A drug eluting stent prevents the arteries that it opens from reclosing. One of only four FDA approved, the XIENCE V has proven to be far superior to its competitors in all clinical trials. Abbott scientists increased the efficacy and safety of this drug eluting stent by rethinking structure, delivery system, the drug that is used, and the concentration of the drug. The XIENCE V represents a significant advance in the treatment of coronary artery disease. In clinical data from more than 1,300 people, patients have had a 45% lower risk of experiencing a major adverse heart-related event when compared to the first generation stent. The XIENCE V earned a 20% market share in Europe after only 18 months, and has now become the world’s most commonly implanted drug-eluting stent having been implanted in more than a million people.

RealTime HIV-1 Assay and the m2000 System, 2007

The Abbott RealTime HIV-1 Assay and the m2000 System is a revolutionary test for HIV patients. Using real-time PCR technology, the RealTime is the most sensitive test on the market, able to detect as few as 40 copies per mL of the virus. Additionally, Abbott’s test is the only test that can detect group O, group N, and all non-B subtypes of the HIV virus. This is especially relevant because recent CDC studies have shown that, with increased immigration and travel, these uncommon strains of HIV are becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S. The m2000 instrument makes the test highly automated, easy to use, and resistant to contamination. RealTime pays an essential role in determining the best treatment options for patients diagnosed with the HIV virus. There have been more than 1,000 m2000 systems placed in 70 countries around the globe, and in 2010 the systems performed 3 million HIV tests. In Russia, for example, all HIV-infected patients are tested by the m2000.


PathVysion, 2005

PathVysion is helping to provide better diagnoses and more accurate treatments to combat a terrible disease. PathVysion is a revolutionary test for breast cancer patients that allows physicians to have genetic information, for the first time ever, to help them try to predict if getting a particular type of cancer treatment will be effective or not for an individual patient. PathVysion plays an essential role in making sure that women with breast cancer receive the best treatment. Physicians use the PathVysion test to prescribe the drug Herceptin, a life-saving treatment for cancer, and one that improves chances of disease-free survival for early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer patients, making the results provided by the PathVysion test even more valuable. PathVysion is now sold worldwide in nearly sixty countries. Each year, approximately 250,000 PathVysion tests are performed.

HUMIRA, 2003

HUMIRA is leading the fight against a terrible disease by creating an extremely effective drug. HUMIRA is the first and only human monoclonal antibody drug to combat the debilitating disease of rheumatoid arthritis, which affects five million people worldwide. Other drugs created to combat RA currently use mouse-derived proteins that work for a limited time, but HUMIRA uses human-derived proteins that ensure the disease will not spread and also mitigates the crippling affects of the disease.HUMIRA has helped revolutionize care and improve the outlook for patients compared with medications that were available just 5 to 10 years ago.