Myriad Genetics, Inc. has announced it has
discovered a novel prostate cancer susceptibility gene, which
resulted in a
$1 million payment to Myriad from Schering-Plough Corporation
under terms of the Companies' 1997 research collaboration
To identify this gene, researchers at Myriad employed a proprietary
form of linkage analysis that involves tracking a disease susceptibility
gene to its location on a specific chromosome. Based on its analysis
of prostate cancer families, Myriad determined that inherited
mutations in this gene may significantly increase the risk of prostate
cancer. The mutation profile of the new prostate cancer gene
indicates the potential to form the basis of a prostate cancer
The discovery of this gene will allow Myriad scientists to more
thoroughly investigate the full spectrum of genetic mutations
associated with prostate cancer and the role they play in the
development of the disease. Furthermore, the gene has been
included in a ProNet® pathway discovery program to identify
additional genes within the pathway that may provide drug
"The combination of elegant science and the Company's vast
genomic resources have again produced outstanding results," said
Peter Meldrum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Myriad
Genetics, Inc. "The delivery of this gene to Schering-Plough
provides great potential for the development of both diagnostic and
therapeutic products for a devastating disease, which kills 40,000
men a year."
Prostate cancer accounts for more than 35% of all cancer incidents
in men. In excess of 200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in
the United States alone, of which 5 -10% are thought to be
The alliance between Myriad and Schering-Plough was established
specifically to uncover the genetic basis of prostate cancer.
According to the agreement, Myriad retains all diagnostic product
rights to this gene and will receive a royalty on all sales of relevant
therapeutic products developed by Schering-Plough. United States
and foreign patents have been filed for this newly discovered gene.
Historically, Myriad has achieved unparalleled success in the
identification and characterization of major disease causing genes.
These discoveries include genes for hereditary breast cancer,
ovarian cancer, brain cancer, melanoma, diabetes, heart disease,
and now prostate cancer. The Company has made substantial
advances in the process of gene cloning and has been awarded
several U.S. patents for technologies that enhance and accelerate
The discovery of the prostate cancer gene culminates a research
project between Myriad and its prostate cancer family database and
linkage collaborators, which include research groups led by Drs. Lisa
Cannon-Albright at the University of Utah, Johanna Rommens at the
University of Toronto and Jacques Simard and Fernand Labrie at
Laval University Hospital and Endorecherche.
Myriad Genetics, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company
focused on the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products
that are based on the use of genomic and proteomic technologies.
The Company has established two wholly owned subsidiaries --
Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which develops and intends to market
therapeutic compounds, and Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc.,
which develops and markets proprietary molecular diagnostic
services and has introduced products in the fields of predictive
medicine and personalized medicine. The Company has established
strategic alliances with Bayer, Eli Lilly, Hitachi, Monsanto, Novartis,
Roche, Schering AG and Schering-Plough. Interested parties can view the Myriad Web site at www.myriad.com.