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DermTech Is Issued U.S. Patent for the Early Detection, Staging and Monitoring of Melanoma
Date:12/19/2007

LA JOLLA, Calif., Dec 19 /PRNewswire/ -- DermTech, Inc., a biotechnology company developing molecular diagnostics for the early detection of melanoma and other diseases, announced that it has been issued Patent No. 7,297,480 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent, entitled: "Method for Detection of Melanoma", includes claims focused on non-invasive methods for detecting early-stage melanoma and for staging, and claims for monitoring melanoma in a subject.

The patent claims the use of DermTech's "tape stripping" technology for the purposes of detecting, staging and monitoring melanoma. The methods claimed in the patent focus on the use of DermTech's EGIR (Epidermal Genetic Information Retrieval, a skin sampling technique known as "tape stripping" in combination with a molecular diagnostic assay). Specifically, adhesive tape is placed over a lesion suspicious for melanoma and then removed to harvest the top layer of skin cells. The RNA is extracted and analyzed to determine and compare the level of a key melanoma marker, Interleukin-2 Receptor 1 (IL-2 R1), with the level in a normal skin control sample. A decrease in IL-2 R1 is indicative of early-stage melanoma. The patent also claims the use of evaluating additional biomarkers based upon differences in gene expression such that a change in these messenger RNAs is indicative of late-stage melanoma. The ability to detect, stage and monitor disease is critical for improved clinical outcomes.

"DermTech welcomes the issuance of this patent as it will allow us to move forward and more fully develop and position our core EGIR technology for the staging as well as the detection, of melanoma," said George Schwartz, CEO, DermTech. "This patent is an important addition to our intellectual property portfolio."

The incidence rate of malignant melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer. Treatment involves surgical excision of the primary lesion, and vigilant monitoring to
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SOURCE DermTech, Inc.
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