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TcLand Expression And Its Collaborative Partners Receive €450,000 (552,000 USD) In Funding From The French National Research Agency For The Company's Companion Diagnostic Program In Rheumatoid Arthritis.

5/27/2010 11:12:23 AM

Nantes, France, May 27, 2010 – TcLand Expression SA, a global leader in the field of gene expression biomarkers in allo- and auto-immunity, today announced that the company and its collaborative partners have been awarded €450,000 in research funding by the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR) for a companion diagnostic program in rheumatoid arthritis. TcLand Expression is collaborating with the prestigious research groups led by Professor Pierre Miossec (Edouard Herriot Hospital, Lyon, France) and Professor Olivier Vittecoq & Dr Thierry Lequerré (Inserm 905 Unit "Physiopathology & biotherapy, inflammatory and immune mediated diseases", Rouen University Hospital, Rouen) to develop a highly innovative, blood-based diagnostic test to predict the response to biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - a severe chronic inflammatory disease affecting approximately 1% of the population worldwide.

Efficient treatment for RA is often hampered by the heterogeneity of the treatment response, with a great number of patients remaining refractory to treatment or demonstrating only partial improvement. The 2-year PRATT project "Predicting Responses to Anti-TNF alpha Therapy" will use state-of-theart technology to develop a diagnostic test based on the measurement of gene expression in an easy-toobtain, minimally invasive blood sample. The test will help to drive patient-centered therapy by identifying “responder” patients prior to treatment initiation; this will promote more effective treatments and enable “non-responder” patients to be fast-tracked to suitable alternative therapies. “This ANR funding will help us to progress our commitment to providing relevant, personalized medicine tools to the rheumatology community and to consolidate our partnership with the key opinion leaders Professors Miossec and Vittecoq”, said Alain Huriez, CEO at TcLand Expression.

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common severe type of inflammatory arthritis. It affects young individuals, with a greater prevalence in women. Given that the chronic inflammation in RA leads to joint destruction and cardiovascular damage, this disease constitutes a major public health concern. Despite significant progress in the treatment of RA over the last 10 years, many patients only respond partially and true remission is only achieved in a small proportion of cases. Joint destruction cannot be halted in all patients and the repair of existing damage (let alone a cure) is still an unattainable goal. Furthermore, some patients have to stop treatment because of toxicity and adverse events. The ability to predict the response to a treatment prior to its initiation would constitute a major step forward and would optimize patient care, reduce the risk of adverse events and substantially reduce healthcare costs.

About TcLand Expression

TcLand Expression is an acknowledged pioneer in the discovery, the development and the validation of gene expression biomarkers for unmet medical needs in transplantation and auto-immune disease. The company benefits from an exceptional scientific and clinical environment.

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