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DermTech International Adds Dr. Scott Menzies to Company's Melanoma Advisory Board


6/17/2008 9:20:11 AM

LA JOLLA, Calif., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- DermTech, a biotechnology company developing molecular diagnostics for the early detection of melanoma and other diseases, today added a widely-known skin cancer expert to the company's Melanoma Advisory Board. Scott Menzies, M.B. B.S., Ph.D., is Director of the Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre and an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Dermatology, University of Sydney, Australia. He has a strong research background in the development of diagnostic technologies for primary melanoma. He has been, or is currently, a member of 10 skin cancer advisory committees including the team which developed the Australian Guidelines for the Management of Cutaneous Melanoma.

"Dr. Menzies is an internationally recognized expert and we are delighted that he will be advising DermTech as we initiate clinical trials for our non-invasive melanoma assay and prepare to enter the Australian marketplace," said George Schwartz, CEO, DermTech. "Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world and we believe that our objective test, which is painless to the patient and based on precise genomic data, will become a widely used tool for the early detection of disease."

"There is a very real need for a melanoma assay that can be easily used by Dermatologists, General Practice physicians and their assistants to address what continues to be a serious national health issue in Australia and New Zealand," said Dr. Scott Menzies. "I am looking forward to working with DermTech and getting this genomic test into the hands of clinicians here so it can be applied to help identify melanoma early, when it is still highly curable."

Dr. Menzies completed both his M.B. B.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Sydney. He has authored and co-authored 3 books, 16 book chapters and 53 journal articles most of which have related to the detection and treatment of melanoma.

DermTech is developing a non-invasive, genomic-based test to differentiate melanoma from benign moles. DermTech's novel EGIR(TM) (Epidermal Genetic Information Retrieval) technology uses a custom adhesive film placed on the stratum corneum, i.e., the upper layer of the skin, to painlessly collect cells. After the tape is removed, the ribonucleic acid ("RNA") cells are extracted from the other material and are analyzed to determine their genetic patterns. RNA that matches genetically with "melanoma" can be seen distinctly using tools of molecular biology.

In Australia, the risk of developing melanoma is about four times as high as it is in the US, Canada and the UK. It is the most common cancer in people aged 15-39 years of age and the third most common cancer in men and women of all ages. The risk of an Australian having melanoma is 1 in 24 for males and 1 in 34 for females. Since 1993, there has been a 41% increase in melanoma. Over 73% of all skin cancer deaths arise from melanoma but if detected in the early stages, the disease is highly curable. (Data from the Australian Government, Department of Health and Aging).

About DermTech:

Headquartered in La Jolla, California, DermTech International is focused on the development and validation of molecular tests using specimens obtained from the skin. The company's proprietary Epidermal Genetic Information Retrieval (EGIR(TM)) technology is in clinical studies to evaluate its potential as a non-invasive diagnostic for melanoma and other major diseases. It is also being studied in the context of tracking treatment efficacy for a variety of dermatologic and other conditions, including the effects of drugs on skin at the molecular level in advance of observable clinical results. DermTech is actively pursuing research using EGIR(TM) and its applications in the areas of melanoma, prostate cancer and various skin disorders, such as psoriasis. For additional information visit http://www.dermtech.com.

CONTACT: George Schwartz, CEO, +1-858-450-4222; or Jennifer Larson,
+1-415-725-2017, jlarson@dermtech.com, both of DermTech

Web site: http://www.dermtech.com/



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