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Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics has announced an $80 million cash acquisition of Rules-Based Medicine of Austin, Texas.

The Texas firm, with nearly 160 employees, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Myriad under the name Myriad RBM. Myriad, with annual revenues of more than $350 million, currently has about 650 employees in Utah and 315 sales representatives located elsewhere.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Chambers said Myriad will move a "small number" of Texas employees to Utah to work in the firm's commercial diagnostic operations. The bulk of RBM's workforce will remain in Texas.

RBM specializes in diagnostic research into psychiatric disorders, infectious and inflammatory diseases"and adds eight new molecular diagnostic products candidates to Myriad's already strong pipeline," according to a Myriad statement.

"We believe the acquisition … will enhance Myriad's capacity to deliver transformative molecular and companion diagnostic products to patients suffering from major, common diseases," Peter Meldrum, Myriad's president and CEO, said in the statement.

All of RBM's eight pipeline products are in development and not yet on the market, Chambers said. As an example, one of the eight is being designed to determine a patient's genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. RBM also provides information to pharmaceutical and biotech partners to accelerate drug development and improve clinical-trial outcomes, she added.

Myriad, located in Research Park adjacent to the University of Utah campus, was founded in May 1991 and went public in October of 1995.