NEW YORK (360Dx) — CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has struck a deal to evaluate the clinical impact of Exagen Diagnostics' Avise Lupus test for the differential diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the companies announced today.
The deal is part of CareFirst's recently launched HealthWorx program under which the payor works with early-stage companies to generate evidence demonstrating the clinical utility of their tests and technologies in order to accelerate the coverage determination process. Earlier this year, CareFirst began coverage of Exosome Diagnostics' ExoDx Prostate IntelliScore prostate cancer test based on the results of their HealthWorx alliance.
Avise Lupus is a 10-marker panel based on Exagen's proprietary cell-bound complement activation products, which are fragments formed upon complement activation that bind covalently to cells in circulation — such as erythrocytes, platelets, and B and T lymphocytes — and can be used as biomarkers for certain diseases.
Under the terms of their deal, CareFirst will make the Avise Lupus available to its members to aid in SLE diagnosis, and will work with Exagen on an exploratory study to determine how the test's results impact primary care physician practice referral patterns.
Additional terms were not disclosed.
"This is a unique collaboration, which has the potential of ultimately benefiting patients with SLE by enabling earlier diagnosis and consequently earlier and more appropriate treatment," Exagen Chief Medical Officer Arthur Weinstein said in a statement.