NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – HTG Molecular Diagnostics announced yesterday that it has signed a master companion diagnostics development agreement with Merck KGaA, which will initially focus on a test for use with the German drugmaker's investigational Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor M7583.

BTK is an enzyme associated with B cell development and implicated in certain autoimmune diseases and cancers. Merck is developing M7583 as a treatment for B cell lymphoma and expects to begin clinical testing of the drug this year.

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