Myriad Genetics, Angelina Jolie and Genomics in Focus

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Myriad Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) is seeing a benefit in its share price after actress Angelina Jolie wrote that a genetic test using Myriad’s gene sequencing tested positive for the gene with much higher risks for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The BRCA1 gene’s positive test led Angelina Jolie to have a double mastectomy.

What is interesting is that the news came at close enough to the same time that Genomic Health Inc. (NASDAQ: GHDX) filed to sell up to 10 million shares of common stock. That company is planning to raise the funds for general corporate purposes, which include working capital, capital spending, debt repayment or redemption, and future acquisitions and strategic investment opportunities.

Myriad Genetics has been at the center of much controversy because it has been in legal fights for years to protect that patenting of certain genes. By going after patenting the genes themselves, the argument was that Myriad was trying to own a piece of each and every one of us rather than merely patenting how it would identify certain genes or how to treat those genes.

Myriad shares are up 2.1% at $33.81 and the stock hit a new 52-week high of $34.67. Genomic Health Inc. is up 2.1% at $35.56 on the day. A much smaller player is Rosetta Genomics, Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), but its shares have not felt the same reward and interest has avoided the highly volatile stock name as it has lost more than 80% from its peak value in the last year.