Cofactor Genomics has acquired Narus Biotechnologies, for an undisclosed price, in a deal designed to advance the buyer’s expansion into RNA-based diagnostics

Cofactor said the acquisition will also further solidify its plans to develop and deliver RNA-based tests for cancer and neurodegenerative disease. The company said its initial products will be aimed at the preclinical and clinical segments of the pharmaceutical market, where Cofactor has agreements with nine pharmaceutical giants for studies using RNA to understand disease.

Based in San Francisco, Narus is a biomarker development company focused on creating RNA diagnostic tests intended to help inform therapeutic selection for patients with neurological diseases, including  multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

St. Louis-based Cofactor was founded by three former Human Genome Project molecular and data scientists, and has already won funding from seed accelerator Y Combinator.

“This acquisition brings two major changes to Cofactor: It establishes Cofactor’s San Francisco presence, and secures the resources necessary to change the face of medicine by using RNA to detect disease and monitor treatment progression,” Cofactor CEO Jarret Glasscock, Ph.D., said in a statement.

Narus co-founder Raman Talwar, who will become Cofactor’s director of diagnostic development, added: “We’re excited to integrate the techniques we’ve developed using cell-free RNA with the proven track record of an institution like Cofactor.”

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