Year: 2012-13

Company: Castle Biosciences

Liaison(s): Derek Maetzold

Castle Biosciences Inc. is a privately held company specialized in developing diagnostics for rare cancers. Castle Biosciences works alongside leading cancer institutions to develop diagnostics designed to individualize treatment plans. Castle Bioscience’s mission is to provide improved prognostic guidance to medical practitioners for patients with rare cancers. The company’s proprietary diagnostic technology platform— DecisionDx—is the outcome of both technology in-licensing from centers of excellence in oncology as well as internal development. The company currently has four commercially available diagnostic tests for uveal melanoma, thymoma, glioma and glioblastoma. Castle Biosciences is currently pursuing the launch of a novel diagnostic for esophageal cancer (DecisionDx-EC) and a second diagnostic test for cutaneous melanoma (DecisionDx-Melanoma). The first phase of the project involved a literature search to identify potential biomarkers for company-selected rare cancers, which might provide utility in predicting therapeutic response. To facilitate this goal, the team constructed a database which consolidated numerous biomarkers across a number of rare cancers, as well as a second database consisting of key opinion leaders with expertise in both cutaneous melanoma and esophageal cancer. These efforts are expected to support Castle Bioscience’s efforts to identify new diagnostic targets for portfolio expansion. The second phase of the project involved demonstrating the economic value proposition for their esophageal cancer and cutaneous melanoma diagnostic tests. The Castle Bioscience TMP constructed and distributed surveys aimed at identifying a surgeon’s willingness to alter treatment strategies based on a predictive assessment of neoadjuvant therapy. Ultimately, the Castle Bioscience TMP will publish results from this survey as foundational support for the product launch. Additionally, the team built a budget impact model designed to identify the financial benefit to stakeholders providing care for patients diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma. The end goal for this objective is to provide a data-based economic rationale for the adoption of DecisionDx-Melanoma by clinicians who seek to better predict the occurrence of aggressive manifestations caused by cutaneous melanoma.