Myriad Genetics acquires maker of blood test and rheumatoid arthritis app for $270 million

By Aditi Pai

MyRAMolecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics has acquired Crescendo Biosciences for $270 million, in cash, which included repayment of a $25 million loan that Myriad made to Crescendo in 2011. Investor Safeguard Scientifics has invested $11 million Crescendo Biosciences, giving it a 13 percent stake, and expect to earn $40 million as part of the deal.

Following the acquisition, William Hagstrom, president and CEO of Crescendo Bioscience stated that he envisions "multiple opportunities over the next several years where, as a combined company, we can expand our presence into international markets and provide new innovative products that help improve the lives of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases.”

While Crescendo Biosciences has mainly focused on understanding the biology underlying rheumatoid arthritis, the company has also developed a mobile app, MyRA, which helps those who live with rheumatoid arthritis to track their pain.

The free iOS app shows a picture of a body on which the patient can record where they feel pain, when they felt it, and what they were doing. Crescendo says the data from the app can complement the company's main offering, the Vectra DA (disease activity) blood test, or a rheumatologist’s clinical assessment of the user's arthritis.

Crescendo, like other companies who offer tools that collect patient data, has reserved the right to use the de-identified information and trend data gathered from patients who use the app. The company also said they would use the information for generating statistics and supporting research and development, and may share or transfer the aggregated information to their affiliates, licenses and partners.

According to Myriad, Crescendo's Vectra DA blood test represents a $3 billion global market opportunity.