Castle Biosciences a company that develops and commercializes diagnostic and prognostic tests for cancers, recently announced it has raised $11.7 million to support the clinical adoption of the company’s DecisionDx-Melanoma genetic test that identifies the risk of metastases in patients with early stages of cutaneous melanoma.
DecisionDx-Melanoma is a gene expression profile (GEP) test designed to identify high risk Stage I and II patients based on biological information from 31 genes within their tumor tissue.
The finance round was led by Industry Ventures, as well as Mountain Group Partners, HealthQuest Capital and other investors. “We are excited to support the continued growth of Castle Biosciences’ clinically important molecular diagnostic tests, building on the commercial success of its uveal melanoma test, and continuing the fast pace of adoption of its cutaneous melanoma test,” Victor Hwang of Industry Ventures, said in a news release.
Castle Biosciences’ lineup includes gene tests for esophageal cancer, mesothelioma, glioblastoma multiforme, and assays in development for rectal cancer. “The funding enables us to expand our efforts to reach physicians and payers, and ultimately increase the number of patients who can benefit from improved cancer staging and better treatment decisions enabled by our molecular diagnostic tests,” Derek Maetzold, Castle Biosciences president and CEO, added in the news release.
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The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group recently announced it will begin patient enrolment in its Phase III cancer clinical trial that will compare two differently acting treatments that have previously shown to be effective in the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. After the study is closed, patients will be followed-up by their doctors to evaluate potential adverse side effects as well as to follow their condition. Importantly, those who have been previously treated with systemic therapy for an existing melanoma or treated with similar drug agents will be excluded from the study. The trial identifier is NCT02224781 and more information can be found here and in the ECOG-ACRIN website.