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Why Myriad Genetics, Inc. Shares Popped Again

By Sean Williams – Feb 7, 2014 at 2:02PM

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Myriad shares climb after announcing a patent infringement resolution. Should investors be gobbling up this news or should they remain cautiously on the sidelines?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Myriad Genetics (MYGN 1.70%), a developer of molecular diagnostic tests, rallied by as much as 11% -- its second double-digit gain this week -- after announcing a patent lawsuit resolution with Gene by Gene before the opening bell.

So what: According to the press release, Gene by Gene has agreed to stop selling and marketing its clinical diagnostic tests within North America that specifically target the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are biomarkers that lend to a higher probability of developing breast and ovarian cancer in women. Gene by Gene will still be able to sell and market its BRCA1/BRCA2 diagnostic tests outside of North America, as well as conduct BRCA1/BRCA2 tests when it relates to whole genome and exome products. The agreement keeps Gene by Gene's products off the North American market until February 2016 or until the last BRCA patents expire, and in return Myriad agrees to drop its patent infringement claim against Gene by Gene without prejudice.

Now what: The reason Myriad is rallying so extensively yet again today is that its primary revenue-generating tool is its BRCA1/BRCA2 test known as BRACAnalysis. In its second-quarter results released Tuesday night, we saw that 69% of its total quarterly revenue was from this single gene test. We also know that Myriad had some of its gene patents related to this test invalidated in June, allowing competitors to enter the market and possibly erode its market share. Today's resolution helps remove another possible competitor from the fray and allows Myriad to instead focus on developing new products and getting the most out of its existing product line. There's still a big concern that Medicare reimbursement reductions could wipe out a decent portion of Myriad's growth, which has me personally sticking to the sidelines, but I'd nonetheless recommend adding the company to your watchlist at this point in time.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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