Agreement adds the marketed VeriPsych test, eight diagnostic candidates, and new research areas beyond cancer.

Myriad Genetics is acquiring Rules-Based Medicine (RBM) for $80 million in cash. The deal adds a marketed molecular diagnostic and eight new diagnostic candidates as well as expands Myriad’s research portfolio into new disease states. In particular, Myriad says that RBM’s history of alliances coupled with its position in PARP inhibitors and PI3K inhibitors will bolster companion diagnostic development.

RBM’s VeriPsych is a blood-based test sanctioned to aid in the diagnosis of schizophrenia. It was launched in October 2009, and the company reported earning revenues of $25 million in fiscal year 2010. Myriad’s revenues for FY ’10 increased 11% to $362.6 million from $326.5 million the year before.

Commenting on products in development, Peter Meldrum, president and CEO of Myriad Genetics, says, “RBM’s extensive product pipeline includes tests for antipsychotic drug safety, hepatitis C drug response, and detection of kidney damage in diabetes patients and will augment Myriad’s strong oncology pipeline.”  

Myriad reports that RBM’s research activities include psychiatric disorders, infectious diseases, and inflammatory diseases. Using microsphere technology, RBM has developed a multi-analyte profile service for the discovery and development of biomarkers. The firm says its process provides reproducible, quantitative multiplexed immunoassay data for hundreds of proteins from a single drop of blood serum or plasma.

“RBM has succeeded in developing over 550 immunoassays and a proprietary multiplex immunoassay technology for the discovery of novel protein biomarkers,” notes Craig Benson, president and CEO of RBM.
Myriad intends to continue to operate RBM from its facilities in Austin, TX, as a wholly owned subsidiary under the name Myriad RBM. The company will perform companion diagnostic discovery and development in collaboration with its pharmaceutical partners in addition to research projects for internal development.

Myriad will place RBM’s commercial diagnostic operations under its molecular diagnostic laboratory in Salt Lake City, UT. Myriad believes that the acquisition should be accretive to earnings within two years.

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