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Myriad Collaborates With Merck, Tesaro to ID Best Responders to Investigational Cancer Therapy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Myriad Genetics announced today that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration with Tesaro and Merck. The two pharmaceutical companies will use Myriad's myChoice HRD companion diagnostic in a clinical trial of an investigational drug therapy combining Tesaro's PARP inhibitor, niraparib, with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, pembrolizumab (commercially sold as Keytruda).

The myChoice HRD test will be used to identify potential responders and evaluate treatment response in patients with triple negative breast cancer or ovarian cancer. MyChoice is a homologous recombination deficiency test that can detect when a tumor has lost the ability to repair double-stranded DNA breaks, resulting in increased susceptibility to platinum drugs or PARP inhibitors, Myriad said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The combination of a PARP inhibitor and anti-PD-1 antibody may offer a novel way to treat women with triple negative breast cancer or ovarian cancer," said Tesaro President and COO Mary Lynne Hedley in a statement. "Our goal is to use Myriad's assays to help enrich for those patients who will respond to the treatment and have the best chance for success."

The new partnership builds on a previous collaboration between Myriad and Tesaro, originally signed in March 2014, under which Tesaro agreed to use Myriad's original HRD test to identify best responders to niraparib. The company was also using Myriad's BRACAnalysis test to identify responders in two 2013 Phase III clinical trials involving niraparib: one in platinum-sensitive, high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients and a second in metastatic breast cancer patients who have germline BRCA mutations.