Exagen Diagnostics Awarded $400,000 in Grants Under the QTDP Program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Exagen Diagnostics, Inc., a specialty diagnostics laboratory that discovers, develops and markets proprietary tests, today announced that it has been awarded $400,000 in funding under the IRS Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) program, which was created by Congress as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  Proceeds from the grants will be used to advance the development of biomarker studies underway, one of which is to determine patient responsiveness to anti-TNF therapy, a drug used to treat inflammatory diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and its sub-types, Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's Disease (CD).

Genomic tests are becoming an integral component of accurate disease prevention, risk evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment.  Laboratories such as Exagen play a critical role in bringing novel molecular genomic tests to the medical community.

"This award recognizes Exagen's unique discovery and development efforts in molecular diagnostics," said Scott Glenn, Exagen CEO.  "Our anti-TNF discovery will lead to targeted treatment options for GI, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriasis patients with chronic inflammation.  Our research may also provide insight into targeted dosing levels, drug intervals, and drug options—all of which today are optimized through trial and error."

Exagen recently launched its initial suite of internally developed molecular diagnostic tests for IBD, UC, CD, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Until these tests were delivered to the market, no genetic testing was available for these disease states. The most widely used tests were serology-based with sensitivities of 51 to 74%.  The Exagen molecular diagnostic tests achieve 84 to 92% sensitivity.

About Exagen Diagnostics, Inc.

Exagen Diagnostics is the emerging leader in laboratory-discovered and developed diagnostic tests specifically designed to provide objective information to physicians and patients for more accurate, efficient diagnosis and better disease management. Using Coperna®, the company's proprietary, algorithm-driven computational tool and search engine that runs on high-performance computational clusters, it combines the ability to process massive amounts of data contained in genomic datasets with intelligent, rapid search methods. Coperna's targeted and precise discovery model has no conventional equivalent in the industry as it can identify relevant marker sets with superior sensitivity and specificity relative to markers identified via traditional analytical methods. For more information, please visit www.exagen.com.

SOURCE Exagen Diagnostics, Inc.

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