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Myriad Inks Deal to Acquire Crescendo for $270M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Myriad Genetics said after the close of the market Tuesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Crescendo Bioscience for $270 million in cash, though the amount Myriad will pay will be reduced by $25 million for repayment of a loan it previously made to Crescendo.

South San Francisco, Calif.-based Crescendo develops molecular diagnostic tests. Its lead product is Vectra DA, a quantitative, protein-based test for rheumatoid arthritis. It also has developed bioinformatics tools including VectraView, which allows a comprehensive overview of all RA patients' level of disease activity and trends, and a patient tracking and communications tool called MyRA.

According to Myriad, during the quarter ended Dec. 31, Crescendo tested 27,000 RA patient samples, an increase of 23 percent over the prior quarter. The firm said that Vectra DA represents a $3 billion global market opportunity, and Crescendo's products will complement its current portfolio of tests in oncology, women's health, urology, and dermatology.

Myriad had signaled its interest in buying Crescendo late last year. It had received notice from Crescendo that it had achieved a minimum revenue milestone under an earlier agreement between the firms, which gave Myriad the option to acquire Crescendo. As part of that 2011 agreement, Myriad had made a $25 million investment in Crescendo.

"Crescendo has pioneered protein-based diagnostics for monitoring disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and this acquisition diversifies our business into a new high growth, multibillion dollar market opportunity," Myriad President and CEO Peter Meldrum said in a statement.

Myriad expects to complete the acquisition, subject to customary closing items and regulatory approval, before the end of its fiscal year 2014, which closes on June 30. It said that Crescendo will retain its name and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Myriad.