Exagen Inc (XGN) announces collaboration with Queen Mary University of London to develop patented molecular signatures for the biological therapeutic selection of rheumatoid arthritis


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Exagen Inc. (Nasdaq: XGN), a leading provider of autoimmune testing solutions, and Queen Mary University of London, today announced the signing of a collaborative research and licensing agreement exclusive. The collaboration will focus on the development and optimization of patent-pending precision medicine approaches, based on RNA expression signatures, to personalize the selection of therapeutic agents for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (PR). Both parties will contribute to the development of patent-pending tests, leading to the commercialization of new molecular tests that segment patients based on gene expression in their synovial tissue biopsies.

RA is estimated to affect approximately two million patients in the United States and is twice as common in women as in men and may be difficult to manage due to the variability in response to treatment of an patient to another. The selection of therapeutic agents for patients with RA remains a significant unmet need. Patients with RA often try several therapies empirically before finding one that decreases the activity of their disease. Placing a patient with RA on ineffective therapy risks advancing and aggravating the disease, further damaging the joints, and wasting a great deal of expense on expensive therapeutic agents. Currently, there is no reliable test to predict a patient’s positive response prior to the selection of commonly prescribed biological therapeutic agents.

Based on Professor Costantino Pitzalis and Dr Myles Lewis’s definition of molecular pathology of disease course and response to treatment, Exagen has acquired an exclusive worldwide license for a family of patent-pending tests relating to RNA expression models used in predicting patient response to prescribed csDMARDs and biologic therapies for RA. The tests use minimally invasive synovial tissue biopsies as input, which are then evaluated for RNA expression data. This data is then processed by proprietary algorithms that provide actionable information about the predicted csDMARD and the biological therapeutic response for patients with RA based on the RNA expression patterns of an individual patient.

Professor Pitzalis, Professor of Rheumatology in Arthritis and Deputy Director of the William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University in London, said: “I am delighted to be a part of this research collaboration with Exagen and I look forward to contributing to the development of diagnostics aimed at integrating molecular pathology into clinical algorithms to better define specific pathways leading to disease diversity in individual patients. This would better inform clinicians about patient prognosis and improve their ability to make informed decisions about prescribing drugs. Exagen’s track record in bringing diagnostics to market takes this opportunity to a whole new level, bringing the promise of precision medicine closer to clinical implementation.

Professor Pitzalis is a leading authority on rheumatoid arthritis. He leads a team of 50 clinical researchers and is the author of over 300 peer-reviewed publications in the field of inflammation, immunity and arthritis. Professor Pitzalis formulated this revolutionary approach to gene expression models with Dr Myles Lewis, head of the bioinformatics / biostatistics group at the Center for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology. “We are delighted to be working with Professor Pitzalis and Dr Lewis of Queen Mary University in London to accelerate the development of their highly innovative RNA-based biomarker assays to better serve patients with RA. Professor Pitzalis is a well-respected thought leader in arthritis research, and Exagen looks forward to working with his group to deliver exciting and revolutionary products to improve the continuum of care for patients with the disease. rheumatoid arthritis, ”said Ron Rocca, President and CEO of Exagen Inc.“ Exagen is committed to developing and commercializing these tests to inform treatment decisions throughout the patient’s journey with RA. We intend to market the new tests under the name AVISE® RADR (Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Response).

For more information on AVISE® RADR, please visit https://exagen.com/tests/avise-radr/.


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