NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Myriad Genetics officials said this week that they would likely use between $150 million and $200 million of the firm’s cash on hand to fund its pharma business, which it intends to spin off next year.
Speaking earlier this week at the Piper Jaffray Health Care Conference held here, company officials said that would provide sufficient cash to support the pharma business for around four years. As of the end of the firm’s first quarter on Sept. 30, Myriad had $442.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable investment securities. This number is expected to grow to around $500 million as of the end of this month, the executives said at the meeting.
Myriad had announced in October that it would spin off its drug development businesses from its molecular diagnostics business, creating two separate publicly traded firms. The firm reiterated this week that it expects Myriad Genetics’ stock to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MGX, while Myriad Pharmaceuticals will be listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the company's current ticker symbol, MYGN.
Despite the difficult economic climate, Myriad intends to follow through on the split next year. Gregory Critchfield, president of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, noted at the conference that widespread insurance coverage for the firm’s products means that its revenues have been somewhat protected from the current economic downturn.
He also said that its ongoing direct-to-consumer campaigns in the Northeast and in Texas and Florida have been paying off. According to Critchfield, following Myriad’s DTC campaign in the Northeast, Ob/Gyn orders from that region increased roughly 79 percent.