SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced that it has published details of its myVision™ Myriad Variant Classification Program in the journal Clinical Genetics. myVision is the most advanced variant classification program available to determine whether a patient's genetic variant (mutation) is benign or deleterious. myVision employs a number of robust scientific methods and is backed by Myriad's 20 years of clinical research and testing in more than one million patients.
"Patients who receive a genetic test that identifies a variant of uncertain significance (VUS) do not know if their mutation is benign or deleterious and associated with hereditary cancer risk. This lack of clarity is emotionally difficult and confusing for patients who are making medical decisions and may translate into substantial downstream healthcare costs," said Richard Wenstrup, M.D., chief medical officer at Myriad Genetics Laboratories. "Myriad has been a leader in the field of variant classification and has significantly reduced the VUS rate for patients of all ethnic groups."
Since 2002, Myriad's variant classification program has significantly lowered the VUS rate for all major ethnic groups by approximately tenfold. For example, among patients of African ancestry, the VUS rate was reduced from 38.6 percent to 3.6 percent and for patients with Latin ancestry, the VUS rate was lowered from 26.1 percent to 3 percent.
These unparalleled results are attributable to Myriad's investment in two proprietary statistical classification tools including Pheno™ and MCo™, which were developed using a validation set of more than 400,000 patients. These tools provide classification accuracy of greater than 99 percent, whereas some of the statistical methods used by others, such as Sift Poly Phen, have classification accuracies as low as 57 percent.
Myriad has a lifetime commitment to provide the most up-to-date and accurate variant information to patients and their families. For example, the Company offers genetic testing at no cost to selected family members in order to clarify VUS results and reinforce previous findings. Myriad also continually evaluates new information as it emerges to classify VUS quickly and accurately. If a VUS is classified in the future, the Company sends this critical information to patients' healthcare providers at no additional cost to the patient.
"Our laboratory has classified thousands of VUS, and we continue to identify new VUS every week. We have the largest team of scientific and medical professionals in the industry working to classify genetic variants," said Dr. Wenstrup. "Our primary goal is to provide test results that can help physicians more effectively tailor treatment to each individual patient."
About Myriad Genetics
Myriad Genetics is a leading molecular diagnostic company dedicated to making a difference in patients' lives through the discovery and commercialization of transformative tests to assess a person's risk of developing disease, guide treatment decisions and assess risk of disease progression and recurrence. Myriad's molecular diagnostic tests are based on an understanding of the role genes play in human disease and were developed with a commitment to improving an individual's decision making process for monitoring and treating disease. Myriad is focused on strategic directives to introduce new products, including companion diagnostics, as well as expanding internationally. For more information on how Myriad is making a difference, please visit the Company's website: www.myriad.com.
Myriad, the Myriad logo and Myriad myVision Variant Classification Program are trademarks or registered trademarks of Myriad Genetics, Inc. in the United States and foreign countries. MYGN-F, MYGN-G.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the myVision variant classification program; data showing the VUS rates; the effectiveness of the myVision program; and the Company's strategic directives under the caption "About Myriad Genetics". These "forward-looking statements" are management's present expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to: the risk that sales and profit margins of our existing molecular diagnostic tests and companion diagnostic services may decline or will not continue to increase at historical rates; risks related to changes in the governmental or private insurers reimbursement levels for our tests; the risk that we may be unable to develop or achieve commercial success for additional molecular diagnostic tests and companion diagnostic services in a timely manner, or at all; the risk that we may not successfully develop new markets for our molecular diagnostic tests and companion diagnostic services, including our ability to successfully generate revenue outside the United States; the risk that licenses to the technology underlying our molecular diagnostic tests and companion diagnostic services tests and any future tests are terminated or cannot be maintained on satisfactory terms; risks related to delays or other problems with operating our laboratory testing facilities; risks related to public concern over our genetic testing in general or our tests in particular; risks related to regulatory requirements or enforcement in the United States and foreign countries and changes in the structure of the healthcare system or healthcare payment systems; risks related to our ability to obtain new corporate collaborations or licenses and acquire new technologies or businesses on satisfactory terms, if at all; risks related to our ability to successfully integrate and derive benefits from any technologies or businesses that we license or acquire; risks related to increased competition and the development of new competing tests and services; the risk that we or our licensors may be unable to protect or that third parties will infringe the proprietary technologies underlying our tests; the risk of patent-infringement claims or challenges to the validity of our patents; risks related to changes in intellectual property laws covering our molecular diagnostic tests and companion diagnostic services and patents or enforcement in the United States and foreign countries, such as the Supreme Court decision in the lawsuit brought against us by the Association for Molecular Pathology et al; risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the United States and internationally; and other factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in Item 1A of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as any updates to those risk factors filed from time to time in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Myriad undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.