“The selection by ACR of two Ignyta presentations reflects the importance of the work that Ignyta is contributing to the rheumatology field,” said Jonathan Lim, M.D., CEO of Ignyta, Inc.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 09, 2012
Ignyta, Inc., the personalized medicine company dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, will present two of its scientific research studies during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting, Nov. 10 to 14, in Washington DC.
An oral presentation entitled “The DNA Methylation Signature in Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes (FLS) Defines Critical Pathogenic Pathways in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA),” will be delivered on Monday, Nov.12 at 2:30 p.m. by Gary Firestein, M.D., Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine at UCSD, and Ignyta co-founder. Ignyta scientists are listed as co-authors on the presentation.
Ignyta’s Chief Scientific Officer, David Anderson, Ph.D., will present a poster entitled "The DNA Methylome of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) From Whole Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs)," during the session on “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - Human Etiology and Pathogenesis,” on Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
“The selection by ACR of two Ignyta presentations reflects the importance of the work that Ignyta is contributing to the rheumatology field,” said Jonathan Lim, M.D., CEO of Ignyta, Inc. “Ignyta continues to make rapid progress in advancing novel biomarkers and molecular diagnostics for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.”
The Ignyta poster will be available for download on Monday, Nov. 12 at http://ignyta.com/nexdx_scientific_presentations.php.
Both presentations reflect Ignyta’s scientific emphasis on epigenetic mechanisms. Within cells, the DNA signatures caused by methylation, a dominant epigenetic regulator, are potentially a novel and important source of biomarkers to better diagnose RA and other autoimmune diseases for the following reasons:
- Epigenetic mechanisms are the key regulators of gene expression implicated in autoimmunity.
- In addition to its role in gene regulation, methylation controls the remodeling of chromatin, the protein material that packages DNA in human chromosomes, so that epigenetic markers, such as methyl groups, can gain access to genes.
- Methylation controls the generation of microRNAs, the tiny snippets of RNA that silence the expression, or activity, of genes.
Epigenetic mechanisms recently have been shown to have a significant impact on several human diseases, including RA and systemic lupus erythematosus. Because aberrant DNA methylation might play an important role in the pathogenesis of RA, DNA methylation signatures could be developed as a valuable diagnostic tool.
These signatures are a more chemically and biologically stable source of molecular diagnostic information than RNA and many proteins, and reflect past environmental conditions leading to persistent changes in how cells transcribe their genome, leading to the expression of genes and their protein products.
The prevalence of DNA methylation biomarkers is higher than most genetic markers of disease and can be associated with multiple sites within a cell, potentially affecting several genes or other regulatory molecules. These biomarkers can be detected with very high sensitivity and specificity in blood-based tests, serving as tools for diagnosing diseases, as well as assessing patients' prognoses and personalized responses to therapy.
ABOUT IGNYTA, INC.
Ignyta, Inc., located in San Diego, California, is a personalized medicine company developing revolutionary new products and services to customize diagnosis and treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
The company, launched in August 2011 by Jonathan E. Lim, M.D., former president, CEO, and board director of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., and Gary S. Firestein, M.D., director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute and Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine at UC San Diego, is a trailblazer in the application of “omics” technologies integrated with bioinformatics to the development and commercialization of novel biomarkers and tests for diagnostic and therapeutic applications in autoimmune diseases.
The scientific discoveries that fueled the founding of Ignyta were published in July 2012 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (http://bit.ly/QOZ8Zr). In June 2012, the company successfully closed a $2.1 million Series B financing led by City Hill Ventures, LLC (http://www.cityhillventures.com/) and a $500,000 capital term loan from Silicon Valley Bank (http://www.svb.com/). For more information, please visit: http://www.ignyta.com.