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Myriad Genetics Presents Trial Outcomes in Breast Health

Zacks Equity Research

Myriad Genetics, Inc. MYGN presented favorable study results on the company’s polygenic risk score (PRS) for breast cancer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) in San Antonio, TX. The key focus of the validation study was to prove the significant improvement in precision and accuracy of breast cancer risk estimates in women of European ancestry having pathogenic variants (PV) in high- and moderate-penetrance breast cancer genes.

Per the company, its main focus is to devise ways through which women can better understand the risk of breast cancer and take appropriate steps to minimize the adverse effects. Furthermore, the company emphasizes on the necessity of hereditary cancer testing with the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test, especially for women having a family history of breast cancer.

With the positive study outcome, Myriad Genetics aims to strengthen its Hereditary Cancer testing business, an arm of the broader Molecular Diagnostic Testing segment, on a global scale.


Why is the Positive Trial Result Significant?

Myriad Genetics, through the study presentation, demonstrated that women who test positive for a mutation in one of the five most common breast cancer genes face an increased risk of cancer. The reason for the higher risk, per the company, is the influence exerted by additional genetic factors called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Moving ahead, the company plans to publish the study outcomes in a peer reviewed medical journal as well as provide access to PRS to U.S. women of European ancestry, who test positive for mutations in breast cancer genes. Currently, the PRS is available as part of myRisk Hereditary Cancer, enhanced with riskScore for women of European ancestry, who test negative for pathogenic mutations in the breast cancer genes.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Grand View Research, the global molecular diagnostics market size was valued at $9.9 billion in 2018 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 9.1% between 2019 and 2026. Factors like technological advancements in molecular diagnostics, rising prevalence of various types of cancers and increasing awareness are expected to drive the market.

Given the growing potential of the market, the presentation of favorable outcomes has been well-timed.

Recent Developments in Molecular Diagnostic Testing

Myriad Genetics announced the publication of a new study of the Prequel Prenatal Screen in the online journal, Prenatal Diagnosis, this December. The key focus of the study was to prove the superiority of Prequel over the traditional non-DNA screening for identifying chromosomal abnormalities in pregnant women, including those with high body mass index (BMI).

The company received Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s (MHLW) approval for the BRACAnalysis Diagnostic System (BRACAnalysis) in November 2019. The system will be used to help care providers identify the women with breast cancer having Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome and qualifying for additional medical management.

In the same month, the company’s Vectra test was included in the American College of Rheumatology’s new recommendations on disease activity measures for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

In October, the company received the FDA approval for its myChoice CDx to be used as a companion diagnostic by medical care providers. The test will help identify women with advanced ovarian cancer, who are eligible for GlaxoSmithKline plc’s GSK Zejula (niraparib) PARP Inhibitor in the late-line treatment setting.

Price Performance

In a year’s time, shares of Myriad Genetics have declined 12.2% against the industry’s 4.1% growth.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Myriad Genetics carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Haemonetics Corporation HAE and ResMed Inc RMD.

Haemonetics has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

ResMed’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14%. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank of 1.

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