Scipher Medicine and Quest Diagnostics have announced a multiyear collaboration to expand access to diagnostic services for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Under the terms of the agreement, Quest will provide advanced RNA extraction and next-generation sequencing services for Waltham, MA-based Scipher's PrismRA test, a blood-based molecular assay designed to predict a patient's response to TNF inhibitor (TNFi) therapy, a treatment commonly prescribed for patients with RA. In addition, Quest will provide specimen collection at approximately 7,300 patient access points and over 2,100 patient service center locations, as well as transport of specimens.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
While TNFi therapy is a first-line treatment for RA, an autoimmune disorder affecting approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S., it is ineffective for 1 in 3 patients. For those patients, the delay in effective treatment leads to worse outcomes, including pain, joint damage, and disability, as well as wasted healthcare spending.
According to the firms, Quest will extract and sequence RNA at its Marlborough, MA, laboratory from PrismRA blood specimens to identify approximately two dozen molecular traits associated with response to TNFi therapies. RNA transcripts in the blood can be incorporated into Scipher's molecular classifier analysis.
Scipher will incorporate the molecular data with patient data, as well as the results of anticyclic citrullinated peptide (antiCCP), an RA antibody marker. Healthcare providers will then receive a predicted response score based on analysis of the laboratory and patient data through the electronic health record.
"We are excited to work with Quest Diagnostics to provide patients access to our PrismRA test," Alif Saleh, Scipher Medicine’s CEO, said in the statement. "This relationship will significantly expand the availability and make an impact on patients suffering from RA."