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Myriad Genetics Acquires Melanoma Technology

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Myriad Genetics announced after the close of the market on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to acquire technology from Melanoma Diagnostics for the diagnosis and prognosis of malignant melanoma using genetic markers.

Myriad has the global right to commercialize all tests based on the technology. In exchange, Melanoma Diagnostics will receive upfront fees and payments contingent on the commercial success of the products.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a statement, Mark Capone, president of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, said that tests developed from the deal may allow doctors to differentiate melanoma from other benign moles and to understand the aggressiveness of a patient's disease.

"This will expand our presence in the solid tumor market as we develop a dermatology commercialization team that will also market our existing Melaris test for melanoma predisposition," he said.

The clinical validation for the markers was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study, the five markers achieved a sensitivity of 95 percent and specificity of 91 percent. A second publication in Clinical Cancer Research indicated that the genetic markers were the most significant factor in predicting disease-specific survival when compared to other clinical factors, Salt Lake City-based Myriad said.

Melanoma Diagnostics is a molecular diagnostics firm based in Altadena, Calif., developing technology licensed from the University of California, San Francisco.