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Myriad Genetics Inc. (MYGN - Analyst Report) presented clinical data from a study on the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The study was planned as part of a phased launch for myRisk Hereditary Cancer test.

myRisk is a novel diagnostic test that uses next-generation sequencing technology to evaluate 25 genes associated with eight major hereditary cancers including breast, colorectal, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, gastric and melanoma.

The clinical data demonstrates the superiority of this diagnostic test over other testing modes. It was found that myRisk has the ability to identify 51% more patients with higher risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer than testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes alone.

The study measured mutations in 25 cancer-causing genes among patients who were referred for BRCA1/2 testing. Amongst 1,951 patients, 275 patients tested positive for the harmful mutation with the myRisk test whereas testing with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes detected only 182 of the mutation carriers.

This implies a straight 51% increase in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer mutation detection using the myRisk test. Furthermore, in this study, myRisk test delivered a remarkable accuracy of 99.99%.

The study results come close on the heels of the recently presented data on the myRisk test at the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer (CGA) Annual Meeting. Myriad had reported a 61% improvement in detection of hereditary colon cancer and 99.9% accuracy with the myRisk test.

Such positive results come as a breather for Myriad, as it is currently going through a difficult time. The company has been sued by Invitae Corporation in response to a previous lawsuit filed by Myriad, regarding Invitae’s BRCA and MUTYH genetic tests. Invitae has dismissed the allegations of infringement.

Moreover, the recent proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to cut down on the payment of BRACAnalysis greatly affected the share prices of the company.

Myriad is banking on these encouraging study results to help it get back into form and garner greater market share on the back of this revolutionary cancer detection test.

Currently, Myriad Genetics carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors interested in the industry may also consider stocks like Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Heska Corporation. (HSKA - Snapshot Report) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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