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New York Approves Exagen Lupus Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exagen Diagnostics today said that New York has approved its Avise SLE diagnostic, SLE-Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

The Albuquerque, NM-based firm said that its Avise SLE brand is now available for lupus and connective tissue disease patients across the US. Exagen, which raised $5.3 million last month, runs its CLIA-certified laboratory in Vista, Calif.

Avise SLE is a blood-based test comprising five biomarkers used for ruling in lupus and ruling out other rheumatic diseases. Exagen also offers Avise SLE+ Connective Tissue, a test for helping in the differential diagnosis of autoimmune diseases.

Together, they provide a 19-marker diagnostic that offers greater sensitivity and specificity than methods based on standard antinuclear antibodies and double stranded DNA, the company said.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.