Myriad Genetics' (MYGN) New Pact to Use MRD Testing Platform

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06/16/2023

Myriad Genetics MYGN recently entered into a research agreement with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Through the collaboration, Myriad will support MD Anderson researchers studying metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment selection and response.

The latest project will utilize MYGN’s minimal residual disease (MRD) testing platform, a tumor-informed high-definition assay that detects circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). The MRD test can be used to monitor ctDNA levels during both treatment and surveillance following diagnosis.

Significance of the MRD Test

At present, there is a lack of non-invasive testing platforms available for RCC. MRD tests based on the exome sequencing of the tumor may not track enough variants to be adequately sensitive.

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The joint efforts of Myriad and MD Anderson are set to determine if patients with RCC will benefit from a comprehensive genome-wide approach to MRD with this platform. The research team at the Cancer Center will investigate the use of Myriad’s MRD testing platform as a non-invasive tool to inform treatment selection, surveillance and radiotherapy treatment response in individuals with metastatic RCC.

Per a representative at MYGN, the MRD assay will be more sensitive in RCC, given that it tracks up to thousands of variants identified by sequencing the tumor's whole genome. This is a significant development because most currently available MRD tests monitor 50 or fewer variants from the tumor.

Industry Prospects

Per a Research report, the global renal cell carcinoma market was valued at $635.4 million in 2021 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.9% by 2029.

With cancer being the greatest cause of mortality worldwide, RCC is one of the most rapidly growing solid tumor cancers. The growing incidences of acquired cystic kidney disease and hepatitis C increases the risk of RCC, thereby boosting the market’s growth rate.

Recent Developments

In May 2023, Myriad Genetics announced the addition of Folate Receptor Alpha to its Precise Oncology Solutions portfolio. The new biomarker adds another companion diagnostic option for providers to help guide treatment decisions for patients with ovarian cancer.

Earlier in April, Myriad Genetics and Intermountain Precision Genomics, a service of Intermountain Health, received the New York State Clinical Laboratory Permit to offer solid tumor testing to patients in all 50 U.S. states. The NYS certification strengthens the advancement of precision medicines by increasing access to genetic testing, which can help patients with cancer and their providers determine more targeted treatment decisions.

Price Performance

In the past six months, MYGN shares have increased 35.2% against the industry’s fall of 11.6%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Myriad Genetics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector are Penumbra PEN, Lantheus LNTH and Haemonetics HAE. While Penumbra and Lantheus each sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Haemonetics carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Penumbra’s stock has risen 175.8% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Penumbra’s earnings per share (EPS) has remained constant at $1.56 for 2023 and at $2.56 for 2024 in the past 30 days.

PEN’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 109.42%. In the last reported quarter, the company registered an earnings surprise of 109.09%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lantheus’ 2023 EPS has remained constant at $5.60 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have improved 34.2% in the past year against the industry’s 22.7% decline.

LNTH’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.77%. In the last reported quarter, the company recorded an earnings surprise of 13.95%.

Estimates for Haemonetics’ EPS have increased from $3.29 to $3.55 for 2023 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have increased 40.5% in the past year against the industry’s 22.7% decline.

HAE’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 12.21%. In the last reported quarter, Haemonetics delivered an earnings surprise of 13.24%.

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