Myriad celebrates positive study results for companion Dx for ovarian cancer

Myriad Genetics ($MYGN) is celebrating a bright point for its DNA cancer diagnostic after a study showed that the test could identify more ovarian cancer patients who could benefit from a new therapy.

The results, which were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that Myriad’s myChoice HRD test could pinpoint twice as many patients who are a good fit for Tesaro’s ($TSRO) investigational oral PARP inhibitor, niraparib.

“Patients with ovarian cancer who tested positive with myChoice HRD experienced a clinically meaningful improvement in progression free survival (PFS),” Myriad CMO Johnathan Lancaster said in a statement. "We estimate that myChoice HRD identifies more than double the number of patients who may benefit compared to germline BRCA testing alone."


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

The study included 553 patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who have responded to chemotherapy. Patients were divided into two groups based on the germline BRCA mutation. One group got tested with Myriad’s diagnostic, while the other did not.

Myriad’s test helped tack years onto patients’ lives, the study found. Patients who got tested and started on niraparib lived an average of 21 months. Individuals who didn’t get tested lived an average of 5 months.

The findings represent a win for Myriad, who has relied on biotech partnerships to boost business after losing a key battle over BRCA testing a few years ago. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated 5 of the company’s patents for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, opening the floodgates of competition from other testmakers.

Myriad didn’t cower in a corner, though. The Salt Lake City, UT-based company has worked hard to build its business, striking deals with biotech heavyweights such as AstraZeneca ($AZN), Tesaro and BioMarin ($BMRN) to develop cancer tests for the companies’ cancer drugs.

Suggested Articles

By employing heart rate signals, physical activity and sleep quality, common Fitbit trackers may be able to predict the spread of the flu.

Nanox has raised $26 million to help fuel the development and commercialization of its "Star Trek"-inspired digital X-ray bed.

Oncology is clearly a major medical and societal issue, but one that sees too much focus from biopharmas at the expense of other killers.