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Net loss grows for Myriad

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Myriad Genetics Inc. saw a slight increase in its net loss in the most recent quarter, although revenues from its molecular diagnostics business experienced a 46 percent increase.

For the fiscal 2007 second quarter ended Dec. 31, the Salt Lake-based biopharmaceutical company reported a loss of $8.8 million, or 22 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $8 million, or 22 cents per share, for the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenues totaled $37.2 million, up from $27.3 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Molecular diagnostics revenue totaled $34.2 million, up from $23.4 million in the year-earlier period. Gross profit margins from sales of molecular diagnostics products were a company-record 78 percent.

"We are pleased to once again report excellent growth in our molecular diagnostics business and continued progress in advancing our drug candidates through the regulatory process," Peter Meldrum, president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement.

"As we have seen in previous years, our second quarter was particularly strong, with record revenues and strong profit margins."

Myriad reported that research and development expenses reached $24.8 million for the quarter, compared with $19 million for the same quarter of the prior year.

At the end of calendar 2006, Myriad had about $204 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable investment securities. It had no debt and no convertible securities.

The company's stock rose 82 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $35.87 per share Tuesday on Nasdaq. During the past year, the price has ranged from $20.87 to $36.44.

The company noted that its Flurizan drug candidate for the treatment of mild Alzheimer's disease will continue with a Phase 3 trial in the U.S. for a full 18-month period, without an interim analysis of data after 12 months. Flurizan also is in Phase 3 human clinical trial in Europe.

E-mail: bwallace@desnews.com