Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire proprietary technology for the diagnosis and prognosis of malignant melanoma using highly validated genetic markers from Melanoma Diagnostics, Inc. of Altadena, California. Under the agreement, Myriad has the right to commercialize all tests derived from the technology on a worldwide basis in exchange for upfront fees and contingent payments based upon the commercial success of the products.
Although melanoma is the seventh most common cancer in United States, its diagnosis remains problematic in a large number of cases. There are approximately 3 million skin biopsies done every year and physicians estimate that up to 450,000 of those cases have an ambiguous diagnosis. In fact, failure to accurately diagnose melanoma is one of the leading causes for medical litigation in the United States. Over-diagnosing melanoma can lead to significant patient trauma and additional, unnecessary healthcare costs. Misdiagnosing melanoma is one of the leading causes for medical litigation in the United States.
“The tests that may be developed from the technology that we are acquiring may provide physicians with important information in the differential diagnosis of melanoma from otherwise benign moles, and in understanding the aggressiveness of the patient’s disease,” said Mark Capone, President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc. “This will expand our presence in the solid tumor market as we develop a dermatology commercialization team that also will market our existing Melaris® test for melanoma predisposition.”
The clinical validations for the melanoma genetic markers were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Kashani-Sabet, a world leader in melanoma research and the founder of Melanoma Diagnostics, Inc.
“The sale of our technology to Myriad with their existing substantial capabilities is a tremendous opportunity for the future development and commercialization of novel molecular diagnostic tests,” said Dr. Kevin Scanlon, CEO of Melanoma Diagnostics. “Pathologists and oncologists may have access to key diagnostic and prognostic tests that will shed light on the complex nature of melanoma, enabling them to make more confident clinical decisions that should improve the quality of patient care and lower the cost of disease management.”
SOURCE Myriad Genetics, Inc.