Vista-based Exagen Diagnostics launched a blood test for added insight in managing rheumatoid arthritis.

The company says this is the first validated test to detect autoantibodies against carbamylated proteins, or anti-CarP – valuable information when other arthritis lab tests are negative, as one example.

Elevated levels of anti-CarP suggest a more severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, more than doubling the chance for joint erosions in three years upon diagnosis.

"By continuing to bring innovative biomarkers like anti-CarP to the market, we are providing physicians the tools necessary to personalize care of those suffering from autoimmune rheumatic conditions", said CEO Ron Rocca, in a news release.

Last year, Exagen received a $25 million loan from Innovatus Capital Partners and $23 million from existing investors in a Series F round. The funds were for boosting commercialization.

Besides rheumatoid arthritis, the company’s tests are geared toward lupus and other autoimmune rheumatic conditions.

Exagen has 115 employees.