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Exagen, QMUL to Develop Molecular Signatures for Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy Selection

NEW YORK – Exagen announced on Sunday that it has signed a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement with Queen Mary University of London to develop patented molecular signatures for rheumatoid arthritis therapy selection. 

Under the agreement, Exagen and Queen Mary University will develop and optimize RNA expression signature-based approaches to therapy selection for rheumatoid arthritis, ultimately commercializing molecular tests that segment patients by gene expression in synovial tissue biopsies, Exagen said in a statement. 

Through the deal, Exagen has acquired an exclusive global license from Queen Mary University to a family of patent-pending tests that use RNA expression patterns to predict patient response to commonly prescribed therapeutics for the disease. The tests assess synovial tissue biopsies for RNA expression data, and that data is then run through proprietary algorithms that return results on the predicted response to biological therapeutics based on an individual patients' RNA expression patterns.

Exagen CEO Ron Rocca said in a statement that Exagen intends to market the new tests as Avise RADR, short for rheumatoid arthritis drug response.

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