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DioGenix Raises $1.5M for Clinical Trial of MS Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics firm DioGenix today announced it has raised $1.5 million in a Series B financing round.

Existing investors including life sciences fund Nerveda participated in the round.

The financing will be used to support a prospective clinical trial to validate the firm's next-generation sequencing-based test for the early detection and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Called MSPrecise, the test measures DNA mutations found in rearranged immunoglobin genes in B cells isolated from cerebrospinal fluid. The mutations result when the adaptive immune system responds to a perceived challenge to a patient's central nervous system, and the changes "correspond to the production of diverse antibody libraries aimed at fighting the perceived foreign invader," DioGenix said.

It added that its method of measuring changes in immunity in the early stages of disease can also discern patients with more progressed disease that requires more aggressive treatment.

MSPrecise outperformed the specificity of the current standard of care for CSF analysis in patients suspected of having MS by almost two to one in a recently complete study, with no loss in sensitivity, the Gaithersburg, Md.-based firm said.

Last month DioGenix and Fast Forward announced a deal to develop a molecular diagnostic test for MS. As part of the agreement, Fast Forward provided funding to DioGenix for its ongoing clinical trial for MSPrecise.