ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept.13 /PRNewswire/ -- Exagen Diagnostics, Inc., an emerging leader in the rapid identification and productization of practical, genomic markers for prognostic testing, today announced that it has formed an advisory board to provide input on the company's genomic marker programs and clinical trials that impact treatment and management of hepatitis C infection (HCV). The board consists of four physicians, all of whom are among the nation's leading experts in the clinical assessment of new therapeutic alternatives for HCV. "We have initiated clinical discovery studies to define the best genomic markers for HCV prognostic testing. These markers will identify those patients most likely to benefit from treatment with interferon and ribviran and those at greatest risk of liver damage," said Waneta Tuttle, Ph.D., Exagen president and CEO. "We are very pleased to be working closely with this outstanding group of physicians to ensure the utmost effectiveness of the programs and trials we undertake for HCV." Members of Exagen's advisory board include: * Sanjeev Arora, M.D., FACP, advisory board chairperson, and executive vice chairman, department of internal medicine, at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). Since 2001, he has served as principal investigator for more than 17 clinical trials focused on ribaviran treatment for chronic HCV. * Michael Fried, M.D., professor of medicine and director of hepatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Fried has been the principal investigator on numerous Phase I, II and III clinical trials of various antiviral agents for chronic hepatitis B and C. * Robert Gish, M.D., divisional director of the Division of Hepatology and Complex GI at California Pacific Medical Center and medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at CPMC. He also serves as associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Since 1985, he has served as principle investigator for more than 50 research studies focused on various treatment methods for hepatitis B and C. * Paul Pockros, M.D., division head, Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. He currently practices general gastroenterology and has a special interest in liver disease. He is a principal or co-investigator in a large number of clinical trials for treatment of chronic liver disease, especially for hepatitis B and C. "We are pleased to help guide Exagen by providing input regarding unmet needs for prognostic tests," said Dr. Arora. "Exagen's work has the potential to significantly advance HCV disease management, benefiting patients and helping guide physicians in the future." The number of people infected with HCV worldwide is approaching 200 million, including four million people in the United States. HCV accounts for up to half of all cases of cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and liver cancer. The standard regimen of interferon and ribavirin is costly and plagued by side effects. About Exagen Diagnostics, Inc. As an emerging leader in prognostic testing, Exagen Diagnostics is uniquely able to define small sets of genomic markers that are more accurate than other approaches, whether for breast cancer, infectious disease or other indications. Exagen's proprietary discovery and implementation technologies enable the rapid identification and productization of optimized DNA or RNA genomic marker sets for prognostic or predictive testing, either for diagnostic testing by reference laboratories or for pharmaceutical R&D purposes. For more information, visit www.exagendiagnostics.com.
SOURCE Exagen Diagnostics, Inc.