Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced the launch of PANEXIA™, a predictive medicine product for hereditary pancreatic and related cancers. PANEXIA is a comprehensive analysis of the PALB2 and BRCA2 genes for assessing a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer later in life. PANEXIA, Myriad’s ninth molecular diagnostic product, is the second product launched by the Company this year.
“We are pleased to provide this important advancement for pancreatic cancer testing. Pancreatic cancer has long eluded significant clinical progress,” said Mark Capone, President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc. “PANEXIA promises to provide healthcare providers, patients and their families with a better understanding of not only their pancreatic cancer risk, but possibly their breast, ovarian, or other related cancer risks.”
According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is estimated to affect more than 43,000 men and women in the United States in 2010. Pancreatic cancer generally has a very poor prognosis for most patients because it is usually detected at a late stage after the cancer has already metastasized to other parts of the body. Approximately 37,000 people will die of pancreatic cancer in 2010 making it the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among adults.
More than 20% of pancreatic cancer has been reported to have a familial component, and PALB2 and BRCA2 are the genes most commonly identified in the subset of families with pancreatic cancer. Individuals with a mutation detectable by PANEXIA have up to an 8.6-fold higher risk than the general population of developing pancreatic cancer.
Currently, the best option for patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer that has not invaded into surrounding organs or progressed to distant metastisis is surgical removal of the cancerous tumor and some surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, only 15-20% of all pancreatic cancer is caught early enough for this potentially curative surgery to be appropriate. If an individual with a family history of pancreatic cancer receives the PANEXIA test and is identified as having a deleterious mutation, increased surveillance and other steps can be taken in an effort to detect the cancer at an early stage where it may be more treatable.
The occurrence of pancreatic cancer in combination with other cancers in families such as breast, colon, melanoma, ovarian and endometrial cancer, may point to other inherited cancer predisposition syndromes for which additional genetic testing may be appropriate. Myriad offers testing for the most common of these syndromes such as hereditary breast/ovarian (BRACAnalysis®), hereditary colon/endometrial or colon polyps (COLARIS®, COLARIS AP®), and hereditary melanoma (MELARIS®).
The list price for PANEXIA is $3,025. Myriad has begun training its field personnel and will begin accepting patient samples for PANEXIA testing in January 2011.
Myriad Genetics, Inc.