Myriad Genetics, a molecular diagnostic company, and biotechnology firm BioMarin Pharmaceutical have signed a research collaboration agreement for identifying tumor types that may be sensitive to BioMarin's investigational product candidate.

As per the collaboration agreement, BioMarin will use Myriad’s homologous recombination deficiency test to identify tumor types that may be sensitive to BioMarin’s investigational product candidate, BMN-673.

The companies have not disclosed the specific terms of the deal.

Myriad’s HRD test detects when a tumor has lost the ability to repair double-stranded DNA breaks resulting in increased susceptibility to DNA-damaging drugs.

Myriad chief scientific officer Dr Jerry Lanchbury noted the biology of cancer is complicated, and while the analysis of multiple gene targets may identify a subset of patients who will respond to PARP inhibitors, we need a more comprehensive test capable of identifying all patients who may benefit from treatment with PARP inhibitors or DNA damaging agents.

"While it is impossible to predict all of the genetic causes of DNA repair deficiency, our HRD test solves this problem by measuring the ultimate effect, which presents as a DNA scar," Dr Lanchbury added.

BioMarin chief scientific officer Len Post noted the company looks forward to partnering with Myriad and accessing their expertise in developing this assay.

"Myriad’s HRD assay has the potential to complement the development of our PARP inhibitor BMN 673 to identify cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from the therapy," Post added.

This is the second collaboration between Myriad Genetics and BioMarin.

In October 2013, BioMarin announced the use Myriad’s BRACAnalysis test in connection with its pivotal Phase 3 clinical study of BMN-673 for breast cancer.