Cypress’ RA tests will expand Exagen’s portfolio, which currently has a gastroenterology focus.

Exagen Diagnostics will pay Cypress Bioscience $4 million to purchase its diagnostic business located in San Diego, CA. The initial fee will be split into two, 24 months apart, and Exagen could pay up to $4 million more in milestones as well as a 10% royalty on product sales. The deal covers all testing services, intellectual property rights, and equipment.

Cypress Bioscience is a pharmaceutical company developing drugs for patients suffering from a variety of disorders of the central nervous system. It also offers the Avise PG SM and Avise MCV SM therapeutic monitoring, diagnostic, and prognostic tests for rheumatoid arthritis. In February it picked up Cellatope’s diagnostic technology for $2 million up front and $3 million in milestone fees. The platform uses cell-bound complement activation products to diagnose and monitor debilitating autoimmune disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus.

“The Cypress products and technology complement our genomic testing platform and the suite of diagnostic products being sold by Exagen today,” remarks Scott Glenn, Exagen chairman and CEO. The firm’s current emphasis is on gastroenterology, particularly inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

“We look forward to expanding our customer base from the current gastroenterology focus to include rheumatologists,” Glenn continues. “Our next product out of our research group is in the area of therapeutic efficacy for the biologic agent anti-TNF. The initial test panel will provide the combined physician specialties with a diagnostic tool for identifying patients that will respond or not respond to this treatment.”

Exagen Diagnostics leverages Coperna®, its algorithm-driven tool and search engine that runs on high-performance computational clusters, to identify relevant marker sets. The platform combines the ability to process massive amounts of data contained in genomic datasets with intelligent, rapid search methods, according to Exagen.


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