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Friendswood, TX, United States

Patent
Castle Biosciences | Date: 2014-02-28

The invention as disclosed herein in encompasses a method for predicting the risk of metastasis of a primary cutaneous melanoma tumor, the method encompassing measuring the gene-expression levels of at least eight genes selected from a specific gene set in a sample taken from the primary cutaneous melanoma tumor; determining a gene-expression profile signature from the gene expression levels of the at least eight genes; comparing the gene-expression profile to the gene-expression profile of a predictive training set; and providing an indication as to whether the primary cutaneous melanoma tumor is a certain class of metastasis or treatment risk when the gene expression profile indicates that expression levels of at least eight genes are altered in a predictive manner as compared to the gene expression profile of the predictive training set.


The invention as disclosed herein in encompasses a method for predicting the risk of metastasis of a primary cutaneous melanoma tumor, the method encompassing measuring the gene-expression levels of at least eight genes selected from a specific gene set in a sample taken from the primary cutaneous melanoma tumor; determining a gene-expression profile signature from the gene expression levels of the at least eight genes; comparing the gene-expression profile to the gene-expression profile of a predictive training set; and providing an indication as to whether the primary cutaneous melanoma tumor is a certain class of metastasis or treatment risk when the gene expression profile indicates that expression levels of at least eight genes are altered in a predictive manner as compared to the gene expression profile of the predictive training set.


Patent
Indiana University and Castle Biosciences | Date: 2013-06-22

Biomarkers are provided for detecting, diagnosing and prognosing thymic cancer in individuals having or suspected of having thymic cancer. In addition, kits are provided for measuring expression levels or the presence of the biomarkers associated with thymic cancer for detecting, diagnosing and prognosing thymic cancer. Furthermore, methods are provided for detecting, diagnosing and prognosing thymic cancer in individuals having or suspected of having thymic cancer via the biomarkers.


News Article | August 13, 2014
Site: www.xconomy.com

Castle Biosciences, a maker of biomarker-based tests for rare cancers, said Wednesday it has raised $11.8 million in a Series E investment round. The money will largely be used to expand the clinical availability of its gene expression profile test for patients with cutaneous melanoma. The tests were first made available last year. Castle, which is based in the Houston suburb of Friendswood, TX, is also gearing up for the launch of its biomarker assay for patients with esophageal cancer in early September. “This revolutionizes the identification of patients, leading to better treatment,” says Derek Maetzold, Castle’s founder and CEO. That remains to be proven. The tests for skin melanoma and esophageal cancer join Castle’s diagnostic assay for eye cancer, which was released in 2010,under the DecisionDX umbrella of assays. The company last year began working to develop a diagnostic test for rectal cancer, which could be available by the end of 2015, Maetzold says. Enabling healthcare providers to develop a more personalized treatment plan for patients with rare cancers is at the heart of Castle’s innovations, Maetzold says. Current diagnostic methods apply a one-size-fits-all approach that can result in unnecessary chemotherapy or fail to fully diagnose the progression of the disease. For example, Castle Biosciences says its melanoma test can detect high-risk patients who are currently diagnosed as lower risk. “The best tools today miss two out of three people who are at risk,” Maetzold says. For patients with esophageal cancer, standard treatment involves chemotherapy and surgery. But for up to a third of them, that therapy has no effect. “When you look at tissues after the surgery and chemo, they looked like they never even received treatment of chemotherapy,” Maetzold says. The Series E investment round makes a total of $19 million raised by Castle. Investors included HealthQuest Capital and previous firms such as Mountain Group Capital and Affiliates and Longfellow Venture Partners. Garheng Kong, managing director at HealthQuest, is joining Castle’s board of directors. Castle does not sell the assays as kits to healthcare providers. Instead, physicians send tissue samples to Castle’s lab in Phoenix where the assays are used to evaluate the samples. Because of this, the assays are considered to be lab-developed tests and are regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act, not the FDA. But FDA officials recently released draft guidance to Congress to bring the supervision of such tests to the agency. Such a change wouldn’t happen for several years, Maetzold says, but he supports it. “It’s something we’re aware of, and we’re planning for it,” he says.


FRIENDSWOOD, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Castle Biosciences, Inc., a provider of molecular diagnostics to improve cancer treatment, today appointed Patrick Hall, D.Ph., to the newly created role of Executive Director, Medical Affairs and announced the promotion of Robert W. Cook, Ph.D. The Company also announced the expansion of its sales force to meet the increasing demand among dermatologists, surgeons, oncologists and patients for its DecisionDx™-Melanoma diagnostic test services for cutaneous melanoma (see www.SkinMelanoma.com for further information). Dr. Hall will oversee the development of Medical Affairs strategies and programs at Castle Biosciences. He joins the Company with 27 years of industry experience in various roles in molecular diagnostics, bio-oncology, pharmaceutical sales and operations. Dr. Hall spent more than 11 years at Genomic Health, Inc., most recently as Director of Genomic Science Liaisons, where he oversaw the medical affairs activities of its breast, colon and prostate cancer assays. Previously, he served as Medical Science Liaison at Genentech, where he oversaw over 25 investigator-sponsored studies and physician-initiated trials for oncology products. In addition to this appointment, the Company announced the promotion of Robert W. Cook, Ph.D., who has served as Senior Scientist since 2011, to the newly created position of Executive Director, Research and Development. Dr. Cook joined Castle Biosciences in early 2011 as its first R&D employee. He oversees R&D activities including assay discovery, development and validation. In his four years at Castle Biosciences, Dr. Cook has co-invented several technologies including the DecisionDx-Melanoma test. Prior to completing a post-doctoral assignment at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Cook received his Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology from Northwestern University. Dr. Cook spent five years at Gen-Probe designing diagnostic assays using nucleic acid amplification technology prior to pursuit of his Ph.D. “The addition of Patrick Hall to our management team, the recognition of Bob Cook’s contribution and the doubling of our sales force prepares the company to meet the growing adoption of our molecular diagnostic tools to improve patient care,” said Derek Maetzold, President and CEO of Castle Biosciences. Castle Biosciences is a molecular diagnostics company dedicated to helping patients and their physicians make the best possible decisions about their treatment and follow-up care based on the individual molecular signature of their tumor. The Company currently offers tests for patients with uveal melanoma (DecisionDx™-UM), cutaneous melanoma (DecisionDx™-Melanoma) and esophageal cancer (DecisionDx™-EC), among others. Castle Biosciences is based in Friendswood, TX (Houston), and has laboratory operations in Phoenix, AZ. More information can be found at www.castlebiosciences.com. DecisionDx™-UM, DecisionDx™-Melanoma and DecisionDx™-EC are the trademarks of Castle Biosciences, Inc. Any other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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