AstraZeneca has expanded its agreement with US group Myriad Genetics to identify women with advanced ovarian cancer most likely to benefit from its medicines.

The Anglo-Swedish drugs giant will use Myriad’s myChoice HRD Plus test to evaluate in which ovarian cancer patients Lynparza (olaparib) and Avastin (bevacizumab) are likely to be most effective.

Financial specifics of the deal were not revealed, but the firms did note that Myriad will use myChoice HRD Plus to assess patients enrolled in an ongoing Phase III trial, to identify cases with homologous recombination deficiencies (HRD).

This indicates that a tumor has lost the ability to repair double-stranded DNA breaks, resulting in increased susceptibility to DNA-damaging drugs such as platinum drugs or PARP inhibitors.

The companies’ ongoing collaboration to develop a novel companion diagnostic test to identify candidates for treatment with olaparib began in 2007.

"We are excited to continue our collaboration with AstraZeneca and to apply innovative new technologies like myChoice HRD Plus to increase the number of patients who may benefit from Lynparza," said Jerry Lanchbury, Myriad’s chief scientific officer.

"myChoice HRD Plus is the most comprehensive test for identifying defects in DNA repair pathways.  We are optimistic that myChoice HRD Plus will identify more women with ovarian cancer who could benefit from therapy with Lynparza than previous tests that only identify germline BRCA1/2 mutations."