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Myriad, Intermountain Healthcare Partner on MDx Evaluation

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Myriad Genetics and Intermountain Health announced after the close of the market on Monday a collaboration to perform research and validation studies on molecular diagnostic tests being developed by Myriad.

The first project between Myriad and the Salt Lake City non-profit healthcare system will be to assess the ability of Myriad's Prolaris test to predict men who are at a heightened risk of biochemical recurrence for prostate cancer and therefore should receive more aggressive therapy. Dubbed PRO 008, the project will analyze biopsy samples from 200 patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The goal is to demonstrate the prognostic ability of Prolaris — a 46-gene expression assay launched in early 2010 — to assess a patient's risk of biochemical recurrence of disease and death from disease, the partners said.

"This research collaboration will have great potential to help patients by furthering research on molecular diagnostic tests which can assist healthcare providers to effectively guide treatment decisions and determine the risk of disease progression and recurrence," Myriad President and CEO Peter Meldrum said in a statement.

Meldrum said during Myriad's fiscal second-quarter earnings conference call in January that the firm was starting clinical studies on Prolaris in parts of Europe as part of its effort to accelerate demand for the test there. Marc Capone, president of Myriad Genetics Laboratories, added on the call that the firm would hasten commercialization of the test among payers and physicians and planned to double its urology sales team as part of that effort.