Myriad teams up with Tesaro Inc. to evaluate HRD test

Companies will seek to determine which tumor types might respond to Tesaro's niraparib

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SALT LAKE CITY—Myriad Genetics Inc. has announced that biopharmaceutical company Tesaro Inc. will be using Myriad’s novel homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) test for the identification of tumor types that may respond to niraparib, its investigational poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.
“As an innovation-focused company, we are leading the way in developing breakthrough companion diagnostics that have the potential to create significant value for patients and physicians,” Jerry Lanchbury, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Myriad, said in a press release. “We also strive to be the research partner of choice. Myriad has a proven track record of providing our pharmaceutical partners with what they need to move their products forward and achieve success.”
Tesaro’s niraparib is an orally active and potent PARP inhibitor indicated for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer. The company is evaluating the compound as a daily dose treatment in two Phase 3 studies as a maintenance therapy in patients with platinum sensitive ovarian cancer and in patients with germline BRCA breast cancer.
Myriad’s proprietary HRD test offers the ability to detect when a tumor is no longer capable of repairing double-stranded DNA breaks, which in turn makes it more susceptible to DNA-damaging drugs. All breast cancer subtypes, and most other major cancers, present with high HRD scores. Previous data from Myriad demonstrated that the HRD test could predict drug response to platinum therapy in patients with triple-negative breast cancer. As Myriad estimates an HRD test could see a global market worth more than $3 billion, it is an area of significant interest for the company; this agreement with Tesaro represents the fifth collaboration Myriad has struck to evaluate HRD.
“The biology of cancer is complex and increasingly the goal of oncology is to use a companion diagnostic to pair a tumor type with the targeted activity of a specific medicine. Prior studies have shown that only a subset of patients will respond to PARP inhibitors. HRD is the most comprehensive test to identify those patients who might respond to treatment,” said Lanchbury. “The HRD test is engineered to look for evidence of genomic disrepair, which appears as a DNA scar. We believe using the HRD test may capture an enhanced number of responders to treatment with the exciting new class of PARP inhibitors.”
This is the second oncology agreement for Tesaro so far this month. On March 13, the company announced, along with AnaptysBio Inc., the establishment of an exclusive, worldwide license agreement and immuno-oncology antibody collaboration. Per the agreement, Tesaro will be granted rights to monospecific antibody drug candidates targeting TIM-3, LAG-3 and PD-1 and dual reactive antibody drug candidates targeting PD-1/TIM-3 and PD-1/LAG-3. The therapeutic antibodies chosen from those programs will provide a platform to enable Tesaro to develop monotherapy and combination treatments with immuno-oncology and anti-cancer agents in a number of indications, which candidates expected to begin clinical trials over the next 18 to 24 months.

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