SALT LAKE CITY, March 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced that it has signed an agreement with PharmaMar, a leader in the development of marine-derived drugs. Under the terms of the agreement, Myriad will conduct homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) testing on patients enrolled in PharmaMar's Phase II clinical study of PM1183, a novel drug candidate which induces double-stranded DNA breaks to cause cell death. This partnership represents Myriad Genetics' first publicly announced commercial collaboration with its new HRD test.
"We are very pleased to collaborate with PharmaMar on their PM1183 development program with our new HRD test," said Peter Meldrum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Myriad Genetics, Inc. "We believe HRD status is the most effective mechanism for assessing patient response to DNA-damaging drugs and look forward to working closely with PharmaMar on this exciting new companion diagnostic program."
Myriad's HRD test is able to detect when a tumor has lost the ability to repair DNA damage and would therefore be more susceptible to the DNA-damaging classes of drugs. The test directly measures the end result of the loss of the DNA repair function regardless of the genomic causation. The HRD test is effective at detecting the loss of function irrespective of whether the defects in the genes involved in the DNA repair mechanism were caused by hereditary germ line mutations or somatic mutations accumulated during the patient's life.Myriad's HRD test has been shown to accurately predict drug response in both ovarian cancer patients and triple negative breast cancer patients. It is estimated that 490,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancers each year that are eligible for treatment with DNA damaging classes of drugs. This represents a one to two billion dollar market opportunity for the HRD test in the United States alone.