Exagen Inc. is a life sciences company which provides physicians innovative services for advanced testing for autoimmune conditions. Among the goals of the company are to offer products which result in timely and accurate diagnosis, along with prognosis and monitoring of these health conditions. The company went public and now offers shares available for purchase by investors. A look into the beginning of the company, along with the progress it's made in the life sciences sector has yielded some impressive and interesting information that we believe could be useful for investors, physicians and those who struggle with autoimmune conditions. Here are 20 things about Exagen that you probably didn't know, but might be glad to hear about.
1. Exagen is a leader in comprehensive diagnostic technology
Among the many life sciences products that Exagen offers, is the Avise CTD. This is a special diagnostic tool that features CB-CAPs technology which is scientifically proven to distinguish some very important differences in CTD as well as like-diseases which may have some of the same symptoms. This can make all the difference in avoiding a misdiagnosis which is common when two diseases present with many of the same symptoms. This is one of the ways that Exagen is taking the guesswork out of modern diagnostics and improving the accuracy.
2. The company also offers predictive products
Exagen's Avise SLE Prognostic is a test which may be piggybacked with the Avise CTD to take the diagnosis a step further. This test also provides additional assessment for the potential risks for the involvement of the organs which could occur through a variety of different complications, including cardiovascular events, thrombosis, neuropsychiatric Lupus and Lupus Nephritis.
3. Exagen attempts to reduce costs
One of the things that we found interesting about Exagen's goals is that they place an emphasis upon real solutions which are not only reliable, but safe, and perhaps just as important, cost-effective. Saving money on medical testing is an issue that concerns all stakeholders involved, including patients, physicians, clinics and health insurance companies. This is a part of the company's mission statement.
4. Exagen is a pioneer in SLE diagnostics
Exagen has pioneered the field of testing for a unique test that is the first of its kind. It's a technical test for PC4d which is used in assessing the condition of SLE. Until Exagen's development of this test, known as the Avise SLE Monitor test, no other diagnostic tool was available to test for PC4d.
5. Exagen is a company that tackles the toughest problems
One of the things that Exagen is known for is tackling complex issues when it comes to accurate diagnosis of diseases which are extremely difficult to diagnose accurately. Lupus is a disease which affects an estimated 5 million worldwide and it's one of the most difficult to disease, particularly in the early stages. Exagen is committed to tackling the tough problems and developing the solutions that simplify the diagnostic process so earlier treatment is possible.
6. They're making a difference in the quality of healthcare
Exagen's new advanced diagnostic products have been examined through multiple studies and the results show that the tools have made a significant impact on the speed and accuracy of testing. The tool is more precise than traditional lab testing alone. There has been a 33% increase in testing year over year and there isn't any sign that they're going to slow on the progress. Exagen Inc is busy maintaining a schedule of research, development, marketing, and distribution of their products.
7. Exagen is accredited and certified through major health organizations
Another confidence booster in Exagen Inc is that the company is accredited by the College of American Pathologists, aka CAP. It is also certified by the CLIA as a rheumatology specialty laboratory. They're recognized for their focus upon finding solutions in meeting the needs for faster and more accurate testing of CTD as well as for tools and products for projecting a prognosis and monitoring these diseases.
8. They're breaking new ground
Exagen is breaking new ground in the development of solutions which fully address the continuum of care for patients with CTD. The lab maintains a focus on the unmet needs of physicians in the diagnostic and prognostic arenas, which significantly reduces the margin of error in diagnoses as well as increasing the speed of producing these better results. They're groundbreakers in the field of diagnostics. Prior to the development of their advanced diagnostics and prognostic tools, physicians had less confidence in making diagnoses, hence these new developments enhance physician confidence, making it possible to deliver a better quality of services for their patients.
9. The company has a large social media presence
Exagen has done an excellent job of establishing an online presence where people can find more information on the company, and their mission. They also include product information on the site as well as what's going on currently in the company. They maintain an official website at www.exagen.com; and social media accounts on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
10. The work environment at Exagen is reported to be challenging
Employees of Exagen submitted reviews of the company from a worker's perspective. There was a consistent complaint that the top leadership behaved unprofessionally towards staff. Several employees remarked that public belittling and bullying events were common and that the work environment was at times hostile, and in general, fast-paced and stressful. Still, other workers gave the company overall, higher ratings and with both the good and the bad reviews tallied together and averaged, Exagen was given a score of 3.1 out of 5 for its work environment, management and pros and cons.
11. Exagen went public
Exagen's initial public offering was met with a bit of skepticism and the offering wasn't that well received by the market at NASDAQ. The share prices first launched with prices ranging between $14 to $16 per share. On opening day, there were gains with stock shares increasing to $17 per share. Exagen is still posting losses but they are manageable within the available budget of the company. Many investors are still leery of the stock until there is a marked change in the trends.
12. There are some big opportunities on the horizon
Leadership isn't too concerned with the recent losses experienced by Exagen, as they currently have 9 test products through the AVISE brand. These testing and diagnostic tools show great potential for becoming a commercial success, given their proven effectiveness in clinical trials. They've made a deal with Janssen Biotech to promote the Simpoin brand for RA treatment in adult patients. This is the type of collaboration that helps to cut down the overhead costs and lessen the risk of loss. Just two of the Simponi products sold more than a billion dollars worth last year, which was a positive indicator.
13. Valuation, IPO, and debt
Anyone who is considering making an investment is Exagen should know that at its initial public offering, the company sold 3.33 million shares of stock at $14 per share. The total amount raised at IPO was $46.7 million. There are still outstanding shares in the amount of $11.2 million in value. The Exagen, Inc company is currently valued on the market at $157 million. The outstanding debt of the company is estimated at $9 million.
14. It was founded by a female CEO
Waneta Tuttle is the founder of Exagen Diagnostics, Inc. Tuttle was the first chief executive officer of the company. She decided that it was time for her to devote her attention to her venture development company, which is Southwest Medical Ventures, but she remains on the board of directors for Exagen. She was succeeded by James McClintic.
15. The company also offers breast cancer products
There are several different markets within the life sciences industry that Exagen is involved in. They provide a prognostic test for breast cancer called the Key2 test. Clinical studies show that the Key2 Breast Cancer Prognostic tests have improved the tiemlines and accuracy of testing for breast cancer and making a diagnosis.
16. Exagen has had some solid investors
The nature of the work that is done through Exagen carries a large overhead, particularly the research and manufacturers'divisions. They went through several rounds of funding. In a series B round, the main investors were Wasatch Venture Fund, Spring Capital, adn Tullis-Dickerson & Co. One of the deciding factors in their decision to participate in funding Exagen was the tremendous determination and vision of the founder, Dr. Tuttle.
17. Exagen Diagnostics offers products for multiple diseases
In addition to breast cancer and rheumatoid autoimmune disease, Exagen also makes products for the faster and more accurate testing of other diseases. A few examples include testing and diagnostics for infectious disease, cancer, and several other types. There is still so much room for improvement in teh testing, diagnostics, and treatment of disease that there is a lot more research and development that is needed. Exagen is a company that remains committed to continuing in the research and development of better products with a focus on improved accuracy and speed but within a broader context.
18. Exagen is a fairly small company still
Although they've gone public, Exagen is a relatively small company, even though they do some tremendous work and they're making global impacts in the life science industry. The latest SEC filings for Exagen shows that they have annual revenue of $32.4 million. They employ 144 full-time workers in their research, development and manufacturing facility. We expect the company to experience growth in the near future as the number of products that they're manufacturing is increasing, and they are meeting the needs in niche markets within the life science industry which have previously not been met. Exagen is developing solutions in healthcare which are badly needed and they have the potential for enhancing doctor confidence in delivering a higher quality of healthcare to patients.
19. The CEO Approval rating is above average
According to www.owler.com, Exagen has a CEO approval rating of 83 out of 100. The current President/CEO of Exagen is Ron Rocca. While employee reviews were mixed when it comes to their perceptions of upper management, there are indications that executive leadership is doing a good job. There does however seem to be a degree of dissatisfaction among those who report to middle and upper management and complaints of nepotism, favoritism and unprofessional behaviors at these levels. Most acknowledge that there is room for improvement in the work environment, but an overall rating of 83% approval is a strong indicator that the workforce at Exagen has a high confidence level in their leader.
20. Exagen is an up and coming life sciences company
Exagen was founded in the year 2002, and it's been in business for less than two decades. It takes time for new companies to get themselves on solid footing, particularly when copious amounts of research and development efforts are required to create a line of products which are FDA approved and ready for sale and distribution. They've achieved several of these milestones and are not at the point in their development when there is a good potential for increasing revenues through strategic marketing. Since one of the aims of the company is to keep its products cost-efficient, the profits are likely to be lower unless there are higher demand and an increased volume of product orders and deliveries. All of this is possible and we believe that Exagen is a company that bears watching over the next few years. Millions of dollars in investment funds have gone into the company showing that there is a measure of confidence in its potential to become profitable.
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Written by Allen Lee
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