In Myriad’s $270M deal for Crescendo Bioscience, biotech and digital health converge

Myriad Genetics (Nasdaq: MYGN) has acquired Crescendo Bioscience in a $270 million deal. The move helps Myriad move into the autoimmune market. It also adds a mobile and web-based molecular diagnostic platform for rheumatoid arthritis to help patients manage their condition and improve engagement with physicians. It also gives Safeguard (NYSE: SFE) a big exit […]

Myriad Genetics (Nasdaq: MYGN) has acquired Crescendo Bioscience in a $270 million deal. The move helps Myriad move into the autoimmune market. It also adds a mobile and web-based molecular diagnostic platform for rheumatoid arthritis to help patients manage their condition and improve engagement with physicians. It also gives Safeguard (NYSE: SFE) a big exit — after an $11 million investment it stands to collect $40 million from the deal, according to a company statement.

Crescendo’s Vectra DA Test is used to detect 12 biomarkers in the blood to confirm a diagnosis and to indicate the severity level of rheumatoid arthritis. The test gives a score between 1 to 100 — the lower the number the lower the disease activity. Doctors can also use the test to determine whether there is joint erosion, bone erosion or cartilage breakdown. The diagnostic came out on the market last year.

About 1.5 million people 18 and older in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis, according to Centers for Disease Control data from 2006.

The deal helps Myriad diversify its diagnostic platform, which includes BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests for breast cancer and other tests across oncology, urology and dermatology. The company reported a 43.7 percent jump in net profits to $50.4 million, on sales of more than $200 million for its fiscal second quarter.

Last year, Crescendo CEO William Hagstrom told MedCity News that there’s a particularly acute need for a more personalized approach for RA on the therapy side.

“With nine approved drugs in the biologics class, there’s a lack of sophisticated tools to allow physicians to understand what patient needs which drug at what dose. Our belief is having a great tracking system will lead to more patients being successfully managed to remission and improved outcomes.”

Through its MyRA app, RA patients can identify parts of the body where they experience pain and make notes. They can also click on an image to show how they are feeling day to day. The app also helps users generate a visual summary report tracking their data so patients and their doctors can see how they’re doing between visits.

The tool also offers pharmaceutical companies a high level of insight into the dose effect of their drugs.

The deal marks the fourth exit for Safeguard in the past few months. It follows acquisitions of Alverix, ThingWorx, and NuPathe, the specialty pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to buy last month.

Photo from flickr user s_falkow