updated 12/20/2010 4:15:55 PM ET 2010-12-20T21:15:55

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 20, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced the launch of PANEXIA™, a predictive medicine product for hereditary pancreatic and related cancers. PANEXIA is a comprehensive analysis of the PALB2 and BRCA2 genes for assessing a person's risk of developing pancreatic cancer later in life. PANEXIA, Myriad's ninth molecular diagnostic product, is the second product launched by the Company this year.

"We are pleased to provide this important advancement for pancreatic cancer testing. Pancreatic cancer has long eluded significant clinical progress," said Mark Capone, President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc.  "PANEXIA promises to provide healthcare providers, patients and their families with a better understanding of not only their pancreatic cancer risk, but possibly their breast, ovarian, or other related cancer risks."

According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is estimated to affect more than 43,000 men and women in the United States in 2010. Pancreatic cancer generally has a very poor prognosis for most patients because it is usually detected at a late stage after the cancer has already metastasized to other parts of the body. Approximately 37,000 people will die of pancreatic cancer in 2010 making it the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among adults.

More than 20% of pancreatic cancer has been reported to have a familial component, and PALB2 and BRCA2 are the genes most commonly identified in the subset of families with pancreatic cancer. Individuals with a mutation detectable by PANEXIA have up to an 8.6-fold higher risk than the general population of developing pancreatic cancer.

Currently, the best option for patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer that has not invaded into surrounding organs or progressed to distant metastisis is surgical removal of the cancerous tumor and some surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, only 15-20% of all pancreatic cancer is caught early enough for this potentially curative surgery to be appropriate. If an individual with a family history of pancreatic cancer receives the PANEXIA test and is identified as having a deleterious mutation, increased surveillance and other steps can be taken in an effort to detect the cancer at an early stage where it may be more treatable.

The occurrence of pancreatic cancer in combination with other cancers in families such as breast, colon, melanoma, ovarian and endometrial cancer, may point to other inherited cancer predisposition syndromes for which additional genetic testing may be appropriate. Myriad offers testing for the most common of these syndromes such as hereditary breast/ovarian (BRACAnalysis®), hereditary colon/endometrial or colon polyps (COLARIS®, COLARIS AP®), and hereditary melanoma (MELARIS®).

The list price for PANEXIA is $3,025. Myriad has begun training its field personnel and will begin accepting patient samples for PANEXIA testing in January 2011.

About Myriad Genetics

Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a leading molecular diagnostic company focused on developing and marketing novel predictive medicine, personalized medicine and prognostic medicine products. Myriad's news and other information are available on the Company's Web site at www.myriad.com .

The Myriad Genetics, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6336

Myriad, the Myriad logo, BRACAnalysis, Colaris, Colaris AP, Melaris, TheraGuide, Prezeon, OnDose, Prolaris and Panexia are trademarks or registered trademarks of Myriad Genetics, Inc. in the United States and foreign countries. MYGN-G

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to PANEXIA providing improved prognosis for more than 43,000 pancreatic cancer patients in the U. S.; PANEXIA providing healthcare providers, patients and their families with a better understanding of not only their pancreatic cancer risk, but possibly their breast, ovarian, or other related cancer risks; and the acceptance of patient samples for PANEXIA testing in January 2011. These "forward-looking statements" are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the risk that sales and profit margins of our existing molecular diagnostic products may decline or will not continue to increase at historical rates; the risk that we may be unable to develop or achieve commercial success for additional molecular diagnostic products in a timely manner, or at all; the risk that licenses to the technology underlying our molecular diagnostic products and any future products are terminated or cannot be maintained on satisfactory terms; risks related to delays or other problems with manufacturing our products or operating our laboratory testing facilities; risks related to public concern over our products; risks related to regulatory requirements or enforcement in the United States and foreign countries and changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems; uncertainties about our ability to obtain new corporate collaborations and acquire new technologies on satisfactory terms, if at all; the development of competing products and services; the risk that we or our licensors may be unable to protect the proprietary technologies underlying our products; the risk of patent-infringement claims or challenges of our patents; risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the United States and internationally; and other factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2010, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as any updates to those risk factors filed from time to time in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Myriad undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

CONTACT:  Myriad Genetics, Inc.
          Suzanne Barton, Director, Investor Relations
          (801) 584-1138
          sbarton@myriad.com

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