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HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Firalis Partner on NGS-Based RA Theranostic

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – HTG Molecular Diagnostics and French biotechnology firm Firalis announced yesterday that they have formed a partnership to develop a next-generation sequencing-based assay for identifying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients like to respond to anti-TNF-alpha therapies.

Called RABIOPRED, the assay was developed through a EU-funded project led by French personalized medicine firm Tc Land Expression and Firalis. It is based on a gene-expression panel that includes more than 2,100 microRNAs and runs on HTG's EdgeSeq platform.

Under their arrangement, HTG will supply instrumentation and reagents to support Firalis' development, validation, and clinical deployment on the EdgeSeq system. Additional terms were not disclosed.

"Millions of RA patients are treated with TNF-alpha-inhibiting agents, but the clinicians currently are unable to predict patient response to these expensive biologicals," Firalis President and CEO Hueseyin Firat said in a statement. "We believe the ability to predict response to anti-TNF-alpha treatment would greatly improve clinical decision making, improve health outcomes for RA patients, and contribute to cost reduction and sustainability of the healthcare system."