SALT LAKE CITY, May 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crescendo Bioscience, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN), today announced the online publication of a new study in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases for Crescendo's Vectra DA blood test. The study is a retrospective analysis of data from the Swedish Farmacotherapy (SWEFOT) clinical trial and shows that Vectra DA is a strong predictor of radiographically visible damage to joints, known as disease progression, in patients newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Vectra DA is the only multi-biomarker blood test validated to assess disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This study evaluated the Vectra DA test score as a predictor of one-year radiographic progression in 235 patients in SWEFOT. All patients had early rheumatoid arthritis and had not been previously treated with a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). The results showed that the Vectra DA score at baseline was an independent predictor of radiographic progression over one year of DMARD treatment. Among the 201 patients with a high Vectra DA score at baseline, 21 percent had radiographic progression at one year. By contrast, of the 34 patients with a low/moderate Vectra DA score, only 3.4 percent had radiographic progression at one year, confirming that patients who do not have a high score are at low risk of progression. Vectra DA also effectively differentiated patients with and without disease progression better than the C-reactive protein (CRP) test, and other traditional measures of disease activity, including DAS28-CRP. These findings underscore the clinical value of Vectra DA for predicting disease progression in newly diagnosed patients with RA and its potential to help doctors manage patients based on their risk of disease progression. Importantly, these findings build on earlier results from the Leiden Early Arthritis Cohort study published in Rheumatology (Oxford), which showed that patients with a high Vectra DA score were at a six-fold higher risk of disease progression than those with a low Vectra DA score. "Our study demonstrates that Vectra DA provides highly relevant clinical information in patients with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis," said Ronald F. van Vollenhoven, M.D., Ph.D, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. "With this test taken before anti-rheumatic therapies are started, the clinician will have more knowledge about the patient's prognosis to help inform decisions regarding treatment, an important step toward personalized medicine in the treatment of this important musculoskeletal disease."