Myriad Genetics Supports New ACMG Recommendation Statement on Increasing Access to Carrier Screening for All Ethnicities
SALT LAKE CITY, July 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN), a leader in genetic testing and precision medicine, today announced its support for a new recommendation statement by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), advising that genetic carrier screening be offered to all people who are pregnant or considering a pregnancy. The statement recommends screening for more than 110 genetic disorders regardless of family history or ethnicity. ACMG previously recommended more limited carrier screening and for only certain ethnicities.
The new recommendation statement makes ACMG one of the first medical societies to advise that carrier screening for conditions besides only cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy be offered as a first-line test for all potential parents, no matter their ethnicity. Additionally, ACMG recommends that insurers cover the costs of such tests, which will improve equitable patient access. The statement is partially based on a ground-breaking study by Myriad Genetics, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, demonstrating that when carrier screening is limited to only certain ethnicities, a substantial number of pregnancies affected by serious genetic conditions fail to be identified. For example, ethnicity-based screening guidelines identify only 6% of affected pregnancies among East Asians and 21% of affected pregnancies among Hispanics. Screening without regard to ethnicity, as ACMG has recommended, avoids such inequity in care. Myriad Genetics has been a leader in establishing the evidence base for carrier screening and for developing inclusive products that serve patients of all ancestries. Seven studies by Myriad were cited in the new statement, including those that demonstrate the clinical utility of carrier screening, reveal the limitations of an ethnicity-based approach, and establish a system of classifying the severity of genetic disease.
“We applaud ACMG for its new, and more inclusive statement, recommending carrier screening to patients of all ethnicities for a broad panel of conditions,” said Nicole Lambert, president of Myriad Genetic Laboratories. “Increasing access to carrier screening will enable more families to benefit from understanding their risk to have a child with a severe genetic condition.”
Carrier screening is a type of genetic testing that determines the isk of carrying a genetic variant associated with a serious, inherited disease that could be passed on to a child. In most cases, a child must inherit the genetic variant from each parent for a disease, such as cystic fibrosis, to be present in the child. Knowing this information in the family planning stages, or early in pregnancy, can help parents prepare for the birth of an affected child.
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