SAN DIEGO, January 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Exagen Inc. (Nasdaq: XGN), a leading provider of autoimmune testing solutions, and Queen Mary University in London, today announced the signature of a research collaboration and an exclusive license agreement. 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. There is currently no reliable test to predict a positive patient 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/.
About Exagen inc.
Exagen is dedicated to transforming the continuum of care for patients with debilitating and chronic autoimmune diseases by enabling rapid differential diagnosis and optimizing therapeutic intervention. Exagen has developed and markets a portfolio of innovative test products under its AVISE® brand, many of which are based on our proprietary Cell-Bound Complement Activation Products technology, or CB-CAPs. Exagen’s goal is to enable providers to improve patient care through the differential diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of complex autoimmune and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. For more information, please visit www.exagen.com.
About Queen Mary University of London and Queen Mary Innovation Ltd
Queen Mary University of London is a leading research intensive university with over 28,000 students representing over 160 nationalities.
A member of the prestigious Russell Group, we work in the humanities and social sciences, medicine and dentistry, as well as science and engineering, with inspiring teaching directly informed by our research.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, we were ranked 5th nationally for the proportion of research results that were world-class or internationally excellent. We offer more than 240 degree programs and our reputation for excellent teaching has been recognized with a silver medal in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) awards.
Queen Mary Innovation Ltd (QMI) is Queen Mary’s wholly owned technology transfer company and is responsible for the commercialization and management of the University’s intellectual property and portfolio of spin-off companies. QMI protects and exploits the intellectual property derived from Queen Mary’s research and helps to maximize the economic and societal impact of this research. QMI Biopharma’s Associate Director of Marketing, Dr. Michele Hill-Perkins, led the negotiation and licensing transaction for QMUL.
For more information on QMI, please visit http://www.qminnovation.co.uk.
Exagen cautions you that statements in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on Exagen’s current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the expected benefits of collaboration with Queen Mary University, London and any potential development and commercialization of new patented molecular signatures for the diagnosis, prognosis and surveillance of diseases. autoimmune. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be taken as a representation by Exagen that any of its plans will be realized. Actual results may differ from those presented in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Exagen’s business, including, without limitation: the development of new molecular signatures involves a long and complex process, and the collaboration may not lead to new patented molecular signatures or generate significant commercial test products in a timely manner, or not at all; the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, including our collaboration and development activities; risks associated with maintaining the collaboration and license agreement; and other risks described in previous Company press releases and documents filed by Exagen with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in Exagen’s annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent filing with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Exagen makes no commitment to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that occur. exist after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, which is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Kamal Adawi, Chief Financial Officer