There are a myriad of diseases out there, and Myriad Genetics is working to detect which ones you might develop based on your genes. The company develops and sells molecular diagnostic tests in three main areas: predictive medicine (to assess a patient's risk for developing disease), personalized medicine (to identify likelihood of drug response to therapies), and prognostic medicine (to assess risk of disease progression or recurrence). Its biggest revenue maker, BRACAnalysis, helps determine risk for breast or ovarian cancer. Myriad Genetics markets its products in the US through its own sales force and uses collaborations to sell them elsewhere.
The company operates in three segments: research, molecular diagnostics and companion diagnostics. The research segment is focused on the discovery of genes related to major common diseases and includes corporate services such as finance, human resources, legal, and information technology. The molecular diagnostics segment provides testing that is designed to assess an individual's risk for developing disease later in life, identify a patient'slikelihood of responding to drug therapy and guide a patient's dosing to ensure optimal treatment, or assess a patient's risk of disease progression and disease recurrence. The companion diagnostics segment provides testing products and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical research industries.
Myriad Genetics' primary line of molecular diagnostic testing products includes BRACAnalysis, COLARIS, and MELARIS. The company markets these to physicians engaged in preventive, rather than reactive, treatments. These tests are designed to assess whether a patient's genetic makeup makes the patient more likely to develop certain cancers, such as breast, colorectal, and skin. Myriad is ramping up its sales, marketing, and education efforts aimed at OB/Gyn doctors in the US, a market that targets women.
The company's personalized medicine line of products gauges a patient's response to certain drugs and dosages, which then helps physicians tailor treatments to the individual. The THERAGUIDE 5-FU product shows oncologists whether a cancer patient, through a small blood sample, is likely to have adverse reactions to a common chemotherapy.
A third set of tests includes prognostic medicine diagnostics that assess disease progression or recurrence rates. Its PROLARIS product helps physicians predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer in men.
Based in the US, the company serves major markets in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. In the US Myriad Genetics operates from offices and labs in Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City; and Lake Placid, New York. In Europe it has sales offices in Munich, Paris, Madrid, and Milan, laboratory operations in Munich, and an international headquarters in Zurich.
Myriad Genetics reported a 23% increase in revenues in 2011, thanks to increased molecular diagnostic testing volume (18% of revenue growth) thanks to increased demand for its BRACAnalysis, COLARIS & COLARIS AP and other products, and higher companion diagnostic service revenues (5% of growth) thanks to the acquisition of the Rules-Based Medicine company.
The 11% increase in net income in 2011 was primarily due to higher revenues offset by higher research and development expenses.
In order to develop the next generation of molecular diagnostic products, Myriad Genetics continues to develop its own proprietary technologies, including bioinformatics and robotics, to better understand genes and proteins and their role in human disease. It also seeks to license or acquire biomarkers or genes from third-party organizations to augment its own in-house product development programs. For instance, in 2012 Myriad Genetics obtained an exclusive, worldwide license (excepting co-exclusivity in Germany), to commercially test the RAD51C gene for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk. That year it also signed a deal with Cephalon to conduct BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation testing on patients to be enrolled in a Phase I/II clinical study.
In 2011 the company moved to expand its offerings by acquiring Austin, Texas-based diagnostics firm Rules-Based Medicine for some $80 million. The purchase added biomarker products that aid in the diagnoses of neurological disorders and inflammatory and infectious diseases, as well as companion diagnostic offerings and additional products under development. Renamed Myriad RBM, it operates as an R&D subsidiary in Austin.
In 2010 a federal court revoked two of Myriad Genetics' patents related to the BRACAnalysis test on the premise that isolated DNA strains are not patentable since they are products of nature. The ruling could affect future research projects and have a lasting impact on the entire biopharmaceutical development market.
In 2012 Royce and Associates, LLC owned 12.4% of the company.
Myriad Genetics spun off its drug development operations in mid-2009. The spin-off of its drug development arm, Myriad Pharmaceuticals, into a separate, publicly traded company (called Myrexis) has allowed Myriad Genetics to dedicate substantial focus on molecular diagnostics. Previously, the company had used revenue from its profitable diagnostics business to fund its drug development efforts. But with the company reaching profitability overall for the first time in 2008, it revisited the dual business structure and decided to split itself into two. – less