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Myriad Expands Collaboration with TESARO, Merck

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Myriad Genetics has announced a strategic research collaboration with TESARO and Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, to help identify potential responders to an investigational combination drug therapy using TESARO's PARP inhibitor (niraparib) plus KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will use Myriad's myChoice HRD™ test and new tumor tests to evaluate treatment response in a clinical trial evaluating the combination of niraparib plus pembrolizumab in patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) or ovarian cancer.  Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The combination of a PARP inhibitor and anti-PD-1 antibody may offer a novel way to treat women with triple negative breast cancer or ovarian cancer," said Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., president and COO of TESARO.  "Our goal is to use Myriad's assays to help enrich for those patients who will respond to the treatment and have the best chance for success."

"Treatment options for patients with triple negative breast cancer are extremely limited," said Jerry Lanchbury, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Myriad Genetics, Inc.  "We are very excited to expand our collaboration with TESARO and Merck to determine if our novel companion diagnostic assays can optimize the potential for this experimental combination therapy."

The new agreement builds upon a collaboration with TESARO that began in March 2014.  Since then, Myriad has been working with TESARO to use the myChoice HRD test to identify ovarian cancer patients who may respond to niraparib, which is in Phase 3 clinical development.