Expands DecisionDx®-Melanoma Coverage to Veterans Health Administration and Military Health System Medical Centers
FRIENDSWOOD, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Castle Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSTL), a dermatologic diagnostics company providing personalized genomic information to inform treatment decisions, today announced that it has been awarded a five-year U.S. Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for its DecisionDx®-Melanoma gene expression profile test.
The VHA is a component of and implements the healthcare program for U.S. veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The contract became effective on Aug. 15, 2021, and provides greater access to DecisionDx®-Melanoma for veterans being treated through the VHA, the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., as well as active-duty service members and their families seeking medical treatment through the Military Health System (MHS).
“At Castle, we are committed to improving the lives of patients with skin cancer,” said Derek Maetzold, president and chief executive officer of Castle Biosciences. “We believe that adding the personalized genomic information provided by our DecisionDx-Melanoma test to traditional clinical and pathology factors can help clinicians make improved treatment decisions for their patients. This contract provides veterans and active-duty service members treated in VA and MHS medical centers greater access to our test, allowing them to incorporate DecisionDx-Melanoma into their management plans.”
Melanoma is the most frequently diagnosed and most deadly form of skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, according to a 2017 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) titled “Skin cancer in the military: A systematic review of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer incidence, prevention, and screening among active duty and veteran personnel,” active-duty military personnel and veterans are at increased risk of developing melanoma due to occupational sun exposure.
In early-stage melanoma, reliance upon clinicopathologic staging factors alone has been shown to result in a significant overuse of sentinel lymph node biopsies and miss patients with aggressive tumor biology. DecisionDx-Melanoma uses an individual patient’s tumor biology to predict the risk of cutaneous melanoma metastasis or recurrence, as well as sentinel lymph node (SLN) positivity, independent of traditional staging factors, to improve patient outcomes and inform disease management decisions.
About Veterans Health Administration
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,293 health care facilities, including 171 VA Medical Centers and 1,112 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. VA Medical Centers provide a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy.
About Military Health System
The Military Health System (MHS) is one of America’s largest and most complex health care institutions, and the world’s preeminent military health care delivery operation. The MHS saves lives on the battlefield, combats infectious disease around the world, and is responsible for providing health services through both direct care through military treatment facilities and private sector care to approximately 9.6 million beneficiaries, composed of uniformed service members, military retirees and family members.
About U.S. Federal Supply Schedule
The U.S. Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), also known as the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule and the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), is a long-term government-wide contract with commercial companies that provide access to millions of commercial products and services at fair and reasonable prices to the government. MAS makes buying easy and efficient with the use of modern technology to connect government buyers and industry.
DecisionDx®-Melanoma is a gene expression profile test that uses an individual patient’s tumor biology to predict individual risk of cutaneous melanoma metastasis or recurrence, as well as sentinel lymph node positivity, independent of traditional staging factors, and has been studied in more than 5,700 patient samples. Using tissue from the primary melanoma, the test measures the expression of 31 genes. The test has been validated in four archival risk of recurrence studies of 901 patients and six prospective risk of recurrence studies including more than 1,600 patients. To predict likelihood of sentinel lymph node positivity, the Company utilizes its proprietary algorithm, i31-GEP, to produce an integrated test result. i31-GEP is an artificial intelligence-based neural network algorithm (independently validated in a cohort of 1,674 prospective, consecutively tested patients with T1-T4 cutaneous melanoma) that integrates the DecisionDx-Melanoma test result with the patient’s traditional clinicopathologic features. Impact on patient management plans for one of every two patients tested has been demonstrated in four multicenter and single-center studies including more than 560 patients. The consistent performance and accuracy demonstrated in these studies provides confidence in disease management plans that incorporate DecisionDx-Melanoma test results. Through June 30, 2021, DecisionDx-Melanoma has been ordered 78,277 times for use in patients with cutaneous melanoma.
More information about the test and disease can be found at www.CastleTestInfo.com.
About Castle Biosciences
Castle Biosciences (Nasdaq: CSTL) is a commercial-stage dermatologic diagnostics company focused on providing physicians and their patients with personalized, clinically actionable genomic information to make more accurate treatment decisions. The Company currently offers tests for patients with cutaneous melanoma (DecisionDx®-Melanoma, DecisionDx® -CMSeq), cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (DecisionDx®-SCC), suspicious pigmented lesions (myPath® Melanoma, DecisionDx® DiffDx™-Melanoma,) and uveal melanoma (DecisionDx®-UM, DecisionDx®-PRAME and DecisionDx®-UMSeq). For more information about Castle’s gene expression profile tests, visit www.CastleTestInfo.com.
Castle also has active research and development programs for tests in other dermatologic diseases with high clinical need, including its test in development to predict systemic therapy response in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and related conditions. Castle Biosciences is based in Friendswood, Texas (Houston), and has laboratory operations in Phoenix.
For more information, visit www.CastleBiosciences.com.