SAN DIEGO, CA, December 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Exagen Inc. (Nasdaq:XGN), an organization dedicated to transforming the care continuum for patients suffering from debilitating and chronic autoimmune diseases by enabling timely differential diagnosis and optimizing therapeutic intervention, today announced that it has formed a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) consisting of national experts in the clinical management of rheumatic autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Ron Rocca, President and CEO at Exagen stated, “Our new scientific advisors will help guide the organization’s leadership team on the design and execution of research projects as well as weigh-in on known and anticipated advances in technologies affecting clinical management of autoimmune diseases.” Members of the SAB include; Dr. Arthur Weinstein, Dr. Joel Kremer, Dr. Anca Askanase, Dr. Andrew Concoff, Dr. Maureen McMahon, and Dr. Vasileios Kyttaris.
Dr. Arthur Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer at Exagen explained, “I am delighted to serve as Chairperson for the Exagen SAB and I am confident we have assembled the right people to provide sound guidance to the company on all research-related matters. The group was formalized during a recent meeting of the American College of Rheumatology and routine meetings will occur quarterly to help ensure timely execution of projects. The composition of experts represents a broad array of clinical and academic experience and includes expertise in lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, health economics, and patient registries.” Additional biographical highlights are listed below for each member.
Anca Dinu Askanase, MD is the founder and Director of Columbia’s Lupus Center and the Director of Rheumatology Clinical Trials. Dr. Askanase is Associate Professor of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and an internationally renowned clinician, diagnostician and researcher with more than 20 years specializing in complex Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Dr. Askanase trained as a rheumatologist at New York University where she remained for more than 15 years on faculty, directing clinical trials, training fellows and residents, and treating challenging cases of SLE at NYU’s prestigious hospitals.
In addition to numerous publications and benchmark clinical trials, Dr. Askanase is a member of the two major international consortia aimed at providing the collaboration between lupus doctors needing to improve outcomes and therapies in Lupus: the SLICC (SLE international Collaborating Clinics) and the LNTN (Lupus Nephritis Trial Network). Dr. Askanase served as the Site Principal Investigator in the registrational study that led to the FDA approval of Belimumab, the first new Lupus drug in over 50 years. Dr. Askanase also designed and executed the only study looking at a rational approach (based on pharmacogenetics and metabolite measurement) to use azathioprine in the treatment of Lupus.
Andrew Concoff, MD, FACR, CAQSM brings a tremendous range of clinical experience to the Exagen Scientific Advisory Board. Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Concoff applied his training as one of the few doctors in the nation to have completed fellowships in both Rheumatology and Sports Medicine to his private practice at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California. Along with his clinical practice at St. Jude, he served as Medical Director for Outpatient Rehabilitation, leading the transition to evidence-driven physical therapy and the development of a value-based low back pain assessment and treatment program at St. Jude. Dr. Concoff presently serves fulltime as Executive Vice President, Chief Value Medical Officer with United Rheumatology.
Dr. Concoff received a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health for his research in exercise for knee osteoarthritis. He has remained active in clinical research and teaching, including lecturing nationally on topics including sports injuries, ultrasound, and tendon disorders. His published research includes health economic analyses in rheumatic diseases and participation in guideline development on behalf of numerous medical societies. Dr. Concoff has served as a clinical reviewer for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review cost-effectiveness assessments of targeted synthetic and biologic medications for rheumatoid arthritis.
Joel M Kremer, MD graduated from Temple University School of Medicine in 1974 where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society. After training at Albany Medical Center and Albany Medical College he joined the faculty there and became Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Rheumatology in 1990. While at AMC he was in charge of the Medicine course for 2nd year students (156 teaching hours) for 6 years and the fellowship director for Rheumatology. He was also appointed to be fellowship director for the Department of Medicine in 1996 and prepared each division for a successful ACGME review.
His research activities have focused on the clinical efficacy and toxicity of methotrexate (MTX) following a cohort with multiple publications through 13 years of treatment. He established the hepatic safety of MTX with prospective liver biopsies and frequent lab testing. He has published extensively on the metabolism, mechanism of action, efficacy and toxicity of the drug including pulmonary, hepatic, laboratory, cutaneous, infectious and malignancy associations. He was a recipient of the Engalitcheff Award from the Arthritis Foundation in 1997 for “outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology in the past 10 years”. He has also published on the dietary effects of n-3 fatty acids (fish oil) in patients with RA.
Since 1999, his research has focused more on the clinical safety and toxicity of both biologic agents and targeted therapies of RA. He has been an invited speaker at the annual meeting of the ACR on 7 occasions focusing on MTX, fish oil and the value of different research modalities. He has published 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 11 book chapters and 4 books.
In 2001, Dr. Kremer founded Corrona a registry of patients with rheumatic diseases that has contributed 144 peer-reviewed manuscripts to the rheumatology literature. He is a Master of the ACR and has served on the Editorial Boards of Arthritis and Rheumatism, The Journal of Rheumatology and Arthritis Care and Research. He is President and founder of the not-for-profit Corrona Research Foundation that engages and empowers academic physicians from around the country to use Corrona data. He is the Pfaff Family Professor of Medicine at Albany Medical College.
Vasileios Kyttaris, MD is Assistant Professor and Director Rheumatology Training Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. He received his medical degree from University of Patras School of Medicine in Greece and has been in practice for more than 20 years. His Rheumatology training was at the Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University Hospital under Dr Arthur Weinstein (clinical) and Dr George Tsokos (laboratory). Dr. Kyttaris serves as a reviewer to numerous top tier journals and received the Top Medical Reviewer award from Arthritis & Rheumatology in 2018. He was also the recipient of the Mary Betty Stevens award for young lupus investigator 2016. As an expert in the clinical and laboratory features of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Dr. Kyttaris has authored over 75 publications and presents lectures at the national and international level.
Maureen A. McMahon, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief, Division of Rheumatology at the UCLA School of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker school of Medicine in 1997. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago in 2000 and served as chief resident in Medicine in 2001. Dr. McMahon completed a fellowship in Rheumatology at UCLA in 2003 and received a master’s degree in Clinical Research from UCLA in 2005.
Arthur Weinstein, MD, FRCP, MACR., will serve as Chair of the SAB and has been Exagen’s Chief Medical Officer since October 2017. Dr. Weinstein has a long academic career with a clinical and research focus on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and other Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases. Currently, he is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Georgetown University and has served as Professor since 2002. He is also Clinical Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University. In addition, Dr Weinstein is Emeritus Chief of Rheumatology, Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medstar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. He has served in leadership roles on the Board of Directors for the Lupus Foundation of America’s D.C./ Maryland/ Virginia Chapter since 2002. Dr. Weinstein was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) in 2011 and was recognized as Master (2009) and received a Distinguished Service Award (2015) by the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Weinstein received an M.D. from the University of Toronto and completed his residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at the University of Toronto and University of London (UK).
About Exagen Inc.
Exagen is dedicated to transforming the care continuum for patients suffering from debilitating and chronic autoimmune diseases by enabling timely differential diagnosis and optimizing therapeutic intervention. Exagen has developed and is commercializing a portfolio of innovative testing products under its AVISE brand, several of which are based on our proprietary Cell-Bound Complement Activation Products, or CB-CAPs, technology. Exagen’s goal is to enable rheumatologists to improve care for patients through the differential diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of complex autoimmune and autoimmunerelated diseases, including SLE and rheumatoid arthritis. For further information please visit www.exagen.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Exagen cautions you that statements in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the Company’s current beliefs and expectations. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the expected guidance from the Exagen Scientific Advisory Board, and any potential for increased use of AVISE laboratory tests. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Exagen that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Exagen’s business, including, without limitation: Exagen’s commercial success depends upon attaining and maintaining significant market acceptance of its testing products and promoted therapeutics among rheumatologists, patients, third-party payers and others in the medical community; risks associated with maintaining third-party collaborations such as consulting advisors and Exagen’s performance thereunder;; and other risks described in the Company’s prior press releases and in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 and any subsequent filings with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, which is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.