Exagen Diagnostics Completes $7 Million Series B Financing - Funds Accelerate Go-to-Market Plans and Pipeline Advances -



    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Exagen Diagnostics, Inc., an
 emerging leader in the commercialization of practical IVD kits based on
 proprietary genomic markers for prognostic or predictive testing, today
 announced it raised $7 million in Series B financing.  Tullis-Dickerson & Co.
 led this second round, with the participation of vSpring Capital and Wasatch
 Venture Fund.  Exagen completed a $5.7 million Series A round of financing in
 early 2004.
     "This round of funding gives Exagen the resources to accelerate our
 go-to-market plans and advance our pipeline," says Waneta Tuttle, Ph.D.,
 Exagen president and CEO.  "We plan to be the first provider of genomic marker
 IVD kits for breast cancer that enable widespread use in any CLIA-certified
 laboratory.  Our first tests are the Key2(TM) Breast Cancer Prognosis panel of
 products that detect changes in DNA copy number in both hormone
 receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative tumors."
     Exagen commercializes and sells IVD kits that measure genomic markers to
 predict likelihood of disease progression or response to pharmaceutical drug
 treatment.  In addition to breast cancer, other IVD products will include a
 panel of tests for hepatitis C to identify those patients most likely to
 respond to standard treatment with interferon and ribavirin.  Kits will
 initially be licensed to key laboratories and later sold to pathologists
 globally.  Exagen will also partner with pharmaceutical companies to develop
 companion response-prediction kits for new therapeutics.
     Using its proprietary discovery technology, Exagen mines genome-wide data
 to discover the best, small combination of genes for a specific testing
 purpose.  Because the best combinations use only three to five genes, Exagen
 readily implements tests using "pattern of genomic amplification" (PGA) FISH
 (fluorescent in situ hybridization), a procedure common in laboratories
 performing oncology tests.  The success of Exagen's proprietary discovery
 technology has been demonstrated in over 10 projects covering multiple
 therapeutic areas.
     "We believe Exagen is poised to significantly advance patient testing in
 the very near future," said Thomas Dickerson, chairman of Tullis-Dickerson &
 Co. and chairman of the board of directors, Exagen.  "The company's early
 success so clearly validated our initial investment that we were eager to lead
 this second round of funding."
     Dinesh Patel, Ph.D., partner, vSpring Capital, stated, "We are excited to
 add resources that keep Exagen focused on bringing its first two products to
 market next year."
     Todd Stevens, managing director, Wasatch Venture Fund, said, "We have
 tremendous confidence in the company's leadership and anticipate the addition
 of new members of the management team as Exagen accelerates its go-to-market
 plan in the coming year."
 
     About Exagen Diagnostics, Inc.
     As an emerging leader in prognostic and predictive IVD kit development,
 Exagen Diagnostics is uniquely able to discover, validate and productize small
 sets of genomic markers for use in oncology, infectious disease and other
 indications.  Exagen aims to commercialize IVD kits that can be performed by
 existing diagnostic laboratories and to develop tests that accompany the
 launch of new therapeutics and/or support pharmaceutical R&D/Phase IV.  For
 more information, visit www.exagendiagnostics.com.
 
     About Tullis-Dickerson & Co.
     Tullis-Dickerson & Co., Inc. is one of the country's largest health
 care-focused private equity groups, providing capital to small and mid-sized
 companies.  The firm provides seed through late stage capital to creative,
 committed management teams leading growth companies.  Within health care,
 Tullis-Dickerson focuses on segments including biotechnology and life
 sciences, health care information technology and informatics, health care
 services/managed care, medical devices and medical distribution.
 
     About vSpring Capital
     vSpring is an early-stage venture capital fund focusing on investment
 opportunities in Information Technology and Life Sciences.  vSpring
 capitalizes on the managerial skills and operating experience of its
 principals to successfully invest in and mentor early-stage companies.
 vSpring is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with additional offices in
 Albuquerque and Los Alamos, New Mexico.
 
     About Wasatch Venture Fund
     Wasatch Venture Fund specializes in early-stage, information technology
 and life science investments.  With headquarters in Salt Lake City, Wasatch
 also maintains offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona.  Since
 its inception in 1994, Wasatch has focused exclusively on working with driven
 entrepreneurs to build successful technology companies.  For more information,
 visit www.wasatchvc.com.
 
 

SOURCE Exagen Diagnostics, Inc.

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