Firalis and HTG Molecular Diagnostics Announce an Agreement to Develop a Theranostic Tool to Predict Response to Anti‑TNFα Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Firalis SA, a provider of bioanalytical services and biomarker-based products to biopharma, biotechnology companies and academia, a participant of the RABIOPRED EC Funded Project, reached to an agreement with HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HTGM; “HTG”), a provider of instruments and reagents for molecular profiling applications; to develop a next‑generation sequencing (NGS)-based theranostic tool to identify likely non-responders from responders to anti‑TNFα therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects millions of people in the United States and Western Europe. TNFα-inhibiting therapies, the blockbusters representing a multibillion dollar market, have been a major breakthrough in the treatment of RA. However, these drugs are found to lack efficacy in an estimated 30 to 40 % of patients (non-responders). The RABIOPRED tool aims to identify the non-responders to improve patient management. Under the agreement, HTG will supply instrumentation and reagents to support Firalis’ development, validation and clinical deployment of RABIOPRED, a BIOmarker assay to PREDict treatment response in RA, using the NGS-based HTG EdgeSeq system.
“We are pleased to expand our relationship through this personalized medicine initiative,” said TJ Johnson, President and CEO of HTG.
“Millions of RA patients are treated with TNFα-inhibiting agents but the clinicians currently are unable to predict patient response to these expensive biologicals,” said Hüseyin Firat, President & CEO of Firalis, and TcLand Expression, the latter being the coordinator of RABIOPRED Project. “We believe the ability to predict response to anti‑TNFα treatment would greatly improve clinical decision-making, improve health outcomes for RA patients, and contribute to cost reduction and sustainability of the health care system.”
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, HTG’s mission is to empower precision medicine at the local level. In 2013, the company commercialized its HTG Edge instrument platform and a portfolio of RNA assays that leverage HTG’s proprietary nuclease protection chemistry. HTG’s product offerings have since expanded to include its HTG EdgeSeq product line, which automates sample and targeted library preparation for next-generation sequencing.