DioGenix, the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based molecular diagnostics company, announced it has raised $1.5 million. Nerveda LLC, a life science fund, participated in the Series B round.
DioGenix Raises $1.5 Million in Series B Financing for Novel Molecular Diagnostic for Multiple Sclerosis, MSPrecise
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 18, 2012 — Molecular diagnostics company DioGenix, Inc. today announced it raised $1.5 million in Series B financing. Existing investors including life sciences fund Nerveda LLC participated in the round to support a prospective, multi-site clinical trial to validate MSPrecise™, DioGenix’ proprietary next-generation sequencing test for the early identification and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).
In a recently completed study, MSPrecise outperformed the specificity of the current standard of care for cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) analysis in patients suspected of having MS by almost two to one with no loss of sensitivity. The results of the clinical study are consistent with two prior DioGenix studies, warranting further validation of the deep-sequencing approach in a large, 150-subject validation trial that is currently underway.
“DioGenix continues to execute its strategy to develop MSPrecise as a diagnostic to accurately identify patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis. The team has a solid track record developing and commercializing products that elevate the standards of diagnosing disease, and I have confidence they can do it again,” said Cam Gallagher, Chairman of DioGenix and President of Nerveda LLC, a private life science fund dedicated to advancing novel therapeutic and diagnostic technologies for neurodegenerative diseases.
“We’ve made excellent progress executing our plan to give physicians superior tools and greater confidence when they diagnose multiple sclerosis. We expect MSPrecise to provide a vast improvement in the information available to neurologists as they evaluate patients presenting with variable symptoms of neurodegenerative disease,” said Larry Tiffany, President and Chief Executive Officer, DioGenix, Inc.
MSPrecise uses next-generation sequencing to measure DNA mutations found in rearranged immunoglobin genes in B cells isolated from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These mutations are a result of the adaptive immune system’s response to a perceived challenge to a patient’s central nervous system. The changes in the B cell DNA correspond to the production of diverse antibody libraries aimed at fighting the perceived foreign invader. Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Nancy Monson and her team at the University of Texas Southwestern, DioGenix’ novel method of measuring changes in immunity during the early stages of the disease may also be able to discern individuals whose disease is more progressive and requires more aggressive treatment.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable neurological disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue, in this case neurons, in the CNS. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. These problems may be permanent or may be relapsing and remitting. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, at least 400,000 Americans have MS, and every hour someone is newly diagnosed.
About DioGenix, Inc.
DioGenix is developing novel molecular tests using application-specific, high-resolution state-of-the-art technologies that measure well-established human biology. With a focus in immune-mediated neurological diseases and disorders, DioGenix combines powerful insight into clinical diagnostic pathways with proprietary technology that results in earlier, more personalized intervention and treatment. The company’s lead product, MSPrecise™, is currently being evaluated in a trial to evaluate its clinical performance in identifying patients that have, or are at risk of developing multiple sclerosis. DioGenix is based Gaithersburg, MD. For additional information, please visit http://www.diogenix.com.