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Myriad Genetics Reports Encouraging myChoice HRD Data

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Molecular diagnostics major Myriad Genetics, Inc. (MYGN - Free Report) recently announced that its myChoice HRD test recognized more patients with ovarian cancer who may benefit from treatment with niraparib. The myChoice HRD test was assessed in the NOVA study (NCT01847274) of nirarapib, an orally active small molecule PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) inhibitor being developed by Tesaro to treat ovarian cancer.

NOVA is a well-controlled Phase 3 trial of niraparib which was tested on 553 patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who responded to their most recent platinum-based chemotherapy. This trial was designed to evaluate progression free survival (PFS) in majority of patients who were assigned to one of two cohorts based on germline BRCA mutation status.

The study claims that more than double the number of ovarian cancer patients who tested positive with myChoice HRD witnessed a significant improvement in PFS. Hence myChoice HRD is an improved version of the germline BRCA testing alone.

We note that MyriadGenetics’ myChoice HRD is a companion diagnostic test that detects a tumor which has lost the ability to repair double-stranded DNA breaks, resulting in increased vulnerability to medicines that target a deficiency in the DNA repair pathway. The myChoice HRD test is being developed alongside the clinical development of niraparib. The company’s partnership with Tesaro dates back to March 2014 and includes several current clinical trials in a variety of tumor types. 

Recently, management at Myriad Genetic found that the myChoice HRD test released positive drug response to platinum therapy in some patients with triple-negative breast and ovarian cancer.

As per a Global Industry Analysts report, the global companion diagnostics market is forecasted to reach a worth of $5.8 billion by 2022. Companion diagnostics are tests which are being developed and conducted to identify patients most likely to benefit from specific treatments based on their own genetic condition.

Myriad Genetics is believed to capture the growing potential of the companion diagnostics market. The company estimates that annually 1.4 million people in the U.S. and Europe diagnosed with cancer may be candidates for treatment with DNA-damaging agents. Therefore, in the fourth-quarter 2016 report, the company claims to build a $6 billion global companion diagnostic market for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer patients.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Myriad Genetics currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the medical product sector are GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Free Report) , Quidel Corp. (QDEL - Free Report) and NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA - Free Report) . GW Pharmaceuticals and Quidel sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while NuVasive carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

GW Pharmaceuticals reported a 86.94% gain year to date, far better than the S&P 500’s 4.54% over the same period. The trailing four-quarter average earning surprise is 41.67%.

Quidel recorded 16.84% in the past one year, higher than the S&P 500’s 6.64%. Over the next five years, the stock is estimated to record earnings growth rate of 20%, higher than the industry average of 14.8%. 

NuVasive gained 30.54% over the past one year compared to the S&P 500’s 6.64%. Over the next five years, the stock is expected to see 16.7% earnings growth compared to the industry average of 14.8%.

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