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Exagen Diagnostics Inc. Partners with Medco Research Institute® to Develop NIMBLE Personalized Medicine Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Date:5/23/2011

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., and ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Exagen Diagnostics, Inc., a specialty diagnostics laboratory that discovers, develops and markets proprietary tests, and Medco Research Institute, LLC -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) -- announced today they have started a joint pilot program called NIMBLE [Novel Interventions in Methotrexate Boosts Levels of Effectiveness] designed to help physicians optimize the effectiveness of low-dose methotrexate therapy for patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100609/MEDCOLOGO)

An estimated 1.3 million adults suffer from RA in the United States, many of whom are treated with low-dose methotrexate (MTX).  MTX is safe, relatively low cost and highly effective; however, it is difficult to determine the optimal dose for individual patients due to the highly variable absorption, excretion and metabolism rates for each patient. Historically, physicians have depended solely on clinical signs and patient symptoms, which do not always indicate how changes to the treatment therapy might benefit the patient. In many cases, if a patient does not respond to MTX therapy within six to eight weeks, they are often prescribed biologic therapies.

The NIMBLE pilot program will use Exagen's proprietary Avise PG lab test to measure whether patients are receiving an appropriate dose of MTX. Avise PG measures MTX polyglutamate levels, the active metabolites of MTX. These measurements can help establish how MTX is being absorbed, retained and me
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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