Data on DermTech's Non-invasive Test for Melanoma are Published in the British Journal of Dermatology

By Dermtech Inc., PRNE
Sunday, February 6, 2011

Genomic Test is 100% Sensitive -

LA JOLLA, California, February 7, 2011 - DermTech International, Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to
bringing genomic medicine to dermatologists, today announced that the
discovery data on its new genomic assay for melanoma have been published in
the British Journal of Dermatology. The test is based on the EGIR(TM)
technology (Epidermal Genetic Information Retrieval) that non-invasively
collects cells from the skin's surface using a custom adhesive. Details from
the paper titled "Non-invasive Genomic Detection of Melanoma" show that the
test is 100% sensitive in identifying melanoma.

The EGIR-based technology assessed pigmented skin lesions thought to be
suspicious for melanoma and identified all the lesions containing either in
situ (early stage) or invasive disease correctly 100% of the time. The test
registers 88% specificity (12% false positives). These results are more
accurate than any currently available melanoma detection tool. The study was
performed at 18 sites across the United States.

"Once the technology becomes available for clinical use, dermatologists
will be able to detect the presence of melanoma at the molecular level using
a simple process, instead of deciding to take a 'wait and see' approach on
lesions that may not look overly suspicious, but could well be early
melanomas," said Rainer Hofmann-Wellenhof, MD, Medical University of Graz.
"The melanoma test in development by DermTech appears to provide important
adjunctive information for the evaluation of pigmented lesions," added Susana
, MD, PhD, University Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. "Because this method
of sample collection is non-invasive, I would expect that dermatologists will
be able to use this test to evaluate a fuller spectrum of lesions on a
patient. Additionally, by limiting the number of biopsies required, it
appears that the new test may help reduce health care costs. Finally, the
technique may facilitate recognizing the genetic information of the tumor
before the excision."

The paper shows that the EGIR method, which uses adhesive to harvest
cells from the skin, identified genes that were differentially expressed in
melanomas versus normal skin and nevi. Class prediction modeling identified a
17-gene biomarker that detects both in situ and invasive disease. As part of
the year-long multi-center study, 202 total lesional samples were collected
(samples included superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma and
lentigo maligna, often misdiagnosed as solar lentigo, a sun spot).

"Worldwide, the incidence rate of melanoma is climbing faster than any
other cancer," said Daniel M. Siegel, MD, incoming President-Elect of the
American Academy of Dermatology. "Accurate detection remains the most
significant challenge that dermatologists face daily in their practices.
Early detection and full excision with proper margins is the only cure for
this disease and dermatologists will benefit from tools that help them
identify all instances of melanoma. The EGIR technology in development
appears to be a major step in this direction."

The current standard of care, an invasive biopsy followed by
histopathologic evaluation, typically reveals the presence of melanoma just
3.5-5% of the time. The marked increase in specificity of the genomic test
may better identify which of the patient's lesions contain melanoma,
effectively helping to direct biopsies.

Many experts believe that, in addition to limiting invasive procedures,
the genomic test may be more accurate than today's detection methods. In one
case, as reported in the paper, a lesion that was read to be benign by
standard review of histopathology was called positive for melanoma using the
biomarker-based test. The patient's tissue was then serial sectioned and
re-examined by the pathologists, at which time invasive melanoma was

DermTech is now translating these discovery data onto a quantitative PCR
platform. Preliminary results suggest the feasibility of using this 17-gene
biomarker in a clinical laboratory setting. Additional sample collection
activities are ongoing in the US, Australia and Europe.

"If these findings are confirmed in an expanded clinical validation
study, it would establish the EGIR-based assay as a more accurate and cost
effective alternative to the currently available tools for melanoma
detection," said George Schwartz, CEO, DermTech.

About DermTech International Inc.:

Headquartered in La Jolla, California, DermTech is focused on the
development of the company's patented Epidermal Genetic Information Retrieval
(EGIR(TM)) technology. The EGIR technology uses a custom adhesive tape to
non-invasively and easily collect cells from the stratum corneum, i.e., the
upper layer of the skin. Genetic material (RNA) from these cells is then
isolated, amplified and analyzed using molecular biology tools to determine
genetic profiles to be used for a range of applications including: the
non-invasive, early detection of disease, pharmaceutical R&D and
theranostics. DermTech is actively pursuing research using the EGIR
technology in the areas of melanoma, prostate cancer and a number of skin
conditions. For additional information visit:

About Melanoma:

Since 1930, there has been a 2000 times increase in the lifetime risk of
developing melanoma. By 2010, current estimates indicate that 1 out of 50
people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime.(1) Melanoma is
the most common cancer in women aged 25-29. 5% to 10% of cases of cutaneous
melanoma are the result of hereditary genetics in first-degree relatives.(2)
Unlike most other cancers, melanoma only infrequently responds to treatment
and those that are available are highly toxic and impact quality of life.(3)
If melanoma is treated before it spreads, it is 99% curable.(4) The ten-year
survival rate for melanoma patients whose disease is detected and treated at
the earliest stages is 95-99% but drops to less then 5% for a Stage 4
melanoma (invasive)(5).

    (1) CA Cancer J Clin 2008
    (2) Karolinska Institute, Aug 2008
    (3) NCI Melanoma Treatment Options
    (4) AAD Fact Sheet 2007
    (5) American Joint Committee on Cancer - AJCC.

For broadcast media go to:

    George Schwartz, CEO

    For DermTech
    Jennifer Larson

George Schwartz, CEO, DermTech, +1-858-450-4222, Jennifer Larson, for DermTech, +1-415-725-2017, jlarson at

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