Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire proprietary technology for the diagnosis and prognosis of malignant melanoma using highly validated genetic markers from Melanoma Diagnostics, Inc. of Altadena, California. Under the agreement, Myriad has the right to commercialize all tests derived from the technology on a worldwide basis in exchange for upfront fees and contingent payments based upon the commercial success of the products.
Although melanoma is the seventh most common cancer in United States, its diagnosis remains problematic in a large number of cases. There are approximately 3 million skin biopsies done every year and physicians estimate that up to 450,000 of those cases have an ambiguous diagnosis. In fact, failure to accurately diagnose melanoma is one of the leading causes for medical litigation in the United States. Over-diagnosing melanoma can lead to significant patient trauma and additional, unnecessary healthcare costs. Misdiagnosing melanoma is one of the leading causes for medical litigation in the United States.