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Myriad Genetics to Acquire Rules-Based Medicine for $80M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Myriad Genetics has inked a definitive agreement to acquire molecular diagnostics developer Rules-Based Medicine for $80 million in a deal that it expects will help build its companion diagnostics franchise.

The Salt Lake City-based firm said after the close of the market Wednesday that the deal will expand its portfolio into new disease areas including psychiatric disorders, infectious diseases, and inflammatory conditions. It also will add eight molecular diagnostic product candidates to Myriad's pipeline.

In addition, Myriad said that the acquisition will provide it with access to patient cohorts for new diagnostic development and add protein discovery and analysis capabilities to Myriad's existing DNA and RNA technologies.

"RBM's extensive product pipeline includes tests for anti-psychotic drug safety, hepatitis C drug response, and detection of kidney damage in diabetes patients and will augment Myriad's strong oncology pipeline," Myriad President and CEO Peter Meldrum said in a statement.

Privately-held Rules-Based Medicine had 2010 revenues of around $25 million and has approximately 160 employees. It will continue to operate out of its facilities in Austin, Texas as a wholly-owned subsidiary called Myriad RBM and will be focused on working with pharmaceutical partners in developing companion diagnostics.

Myriad said that it will pay for the acquisition with cash on hand. It has around $500 million in cash and cash equivalents and no debt.

Myriad expects to close the deal on or before May 31.

In early trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Myriad were up 1 percent at $20.75.