Myriad Genetics to buy pharmacogenomics specialist Assurex Health for up to $410 mn

US molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics yesterday struck a deal to buy Assurex Health for up to $410 million, in order to expand its genetic testing for psychotropic medicine selection.

Under the terms of the deal, Myriad will make an upfront payment of $225 million and an additional $185 million if performance-based milestones are met.

Myriad plans to fund the transaction through cash on hand and debt, and has obtained committed debt financing from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The deal will gives Myriad its first commercial neuroscience diagnostic test, GeneSight, whose potential market exceeds $4 billion, based upon current and future indications, according to Myriad.

''This acquisition provides an experienced commercial organization in the neuroscience market that we believe will be one of the highest growth areas for personalized medicine and completes our infrastructure expansion consistent with our four-in-six strategy,'' said Myriad president and CEO Mark Capone.

Assurex was founded in 2006 with patented technology licensed from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic.

It develops genetic tests and specialises in pharmacogenomics, a study of the genetic factors that influence an individual's response to drug treatments, as well as evidence-based medicine and clinical pharmacology.

It offers GeneSight - a genetic test that helps healthcare providers to take an individual approach for prescribing medicine for patients. It also offers GeneSight Psychotropic, a test that analyzes genes that affects a patient's response to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications, and GeneSight Analgesic, a test that analyzes how genes affect the way the body respond to medicines prescribed to treat acute or chronic pain.
 
Assurex generated revenue of more than $60 million and tested more than 150,000 patients in last year.

The deal will give Myriad access to the more than 76 million people in the US who have some form of mental disorder and also help the company's in-development offerings in neuroscience, including myPath Bipolar, a differential diagnosis tool for bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.