The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Myriad Genetics, Sanofi, Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca

CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Myriad Genetics Inc. (Nasdaq: MYGN), Sanofi (NYSE: SNY), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Myriad Teams Up with Sanofi

Myriad RBM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics Inc. (Nasdaq: MYGN), has recently collaborated with global pharmaceutical products maker Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) and Population Health Research Institute ("PHRI") at Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University. This association comes as a major breakthrough for Myriad, which is currently aiming to establish itself as a strong player in the companion diagnostic market.

As per the agreement, Myriad RBM will analyze more than 8,000 serum samples from pre and early diabetic patients to conduct the protein biomarker research for the ORIGIN (Outcome Reduction with Initial Glargine Intervention) study. The company expects to conduct the research with its DiscoveryMAP 250+ quantitative immunoassay panel.

Funded by Sanofi and analyzed and managed by PHRI, ORIGIN is the world's longest and largest randomized clinical trial in pre- and early diabetes. Covering over 40 countries worldwide, this cardiovascular outcomes trial evaluated Lantus (insulin glargine) versus standard care in over 12,500 patients at high cardiovascular risk with pre-diabetes or early type 2 diabetes mellitus. Both Myriad and Sanofi are optimistic about the protein biomarker research for ORIGIN study using Myriad RBM's technology, which they expect will identify the biomarker profiles that might improve treatment and patient care.

Myriad expects this new alliance to add up to $10 million in its companion diagnostic service revenue over the next two fiscal years. Myriad stated that the agreement was presumed in the company's earlier provided companion diagnostic outlook for fiscal 2013 ($25–$28 million).

Myriad is conducting multiple studies in various areas in the companion diagnostic market. Over the recent past, the company has entered into several agreements that would further strengthen its foothold in this growing market. Apart from Sanofi, it has agreements with several pharmaceutical majors including Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN).

Moreover, RBM is expected to place Myriad as a leader in this arena based on the former's proprietary protein technology and its 550 immunoassays. These developments should augur well for the long-term development of the company. The stock retains a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy in the short term).

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