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Scipher Medicine Taps Ambry Genetics to Scale Up TNF Inhibitor Response Test

NEW YORK – Scipher Medicine and Ambry Genetics said on Thursday that they have partnered to scale up the availability of Scipher's PrismRA blood-based molecular test to predict response to tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) therapies in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Under the multi-year agreement, financial details of which were not disclosed, Ambry, a part of Konica Minolta Precision Medicine, will use its RNA sequencing capabilities and capacity to "ensure the validation, integrity, and scalability of Scipher's test pipeline," beginning with PrismRA, the companies said in a statement.

Specifically, the partnership "provides the infrastructure for rapid scaling of Scipher's test to make it available to patients and providers with the added reliability of a global leader in genomic testing," a spokesperson for the companies said in an email. "Scipher will remain the provider of the test and test results, which are dependent on additional proprietary aspects outside the expertise of Ambry."

According to the spokesperson, the companies began building a "robust sequencing process" for PrismRA earlier this year.

PrismRA is a transcriptional signature intended to identify rheumatoid arthritis patients who fail to respond adequately to TNFi therapies and thus may be candidates for alternative treatments. The test was borne from a signature development method created by Scipher to identify predictive gene expression markers.

Earlier this summer, the company published results from a clinical validation study of PrismRA in the journal Network and Systems Medicine showing that patients identified by the test to be non-responders were almost seven times more likely to inadequately respond to TNFi therapy compared to individuals without the molecular signature.

In February, Scipher completed the second close of a Series B financing round, raising $25 million to accelerate its work on PrismRA.