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Teaming up on autoimmune disease
SAN DIEGO—This summer saw Exagen Inc., which is focused on differential diagnosis and optimizing therapeutic intervention for patients suffering from debilitating and chronic autoimmune diseases, announce a research collaboration with the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and Dr. Christian Lood, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology.
Lood studies the role of neutrophils in inflammation and autoimmunity, with an emphasis on the contribution of neutrophils to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis.
“Neutrophils are the main immune cells in the human circulation, participating in host defense through mechanisms including production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), phagocytosis and formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), a recently identified neutrophil cell death process in which DNA is extruded together with cytoplasmic and granular content to trap and eliminate extracellular pathogens. Although beneficial from a host-pathogen perspective, exaggerated neutrophil activation and NET formation has been linked to autoimmunity, particularly in SLE and RA,” Lood explained.
“We are excited to be working with Dr. Lood and his research regarding neutrophils and autoimmune diseases such as SLE and RA. We believe Exagen’s support for this promising research demonstrates our commitment to the advancement of clinical solutions for these complex and lifelong diseases,” said Dr. Thierry Dervieux, chief science officer and medical director at Exagen.