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Castle Biosciences Licenses BAP1 Gene from Wash U. for Melanoma Metastasis Detection

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Castle Biosciences today announced it has licensed the BAP1 gene from Washington University in St. Louis for detecting metastasis in patients with melanoma.

The Friendswood, Texas-based firm has begun validation studies for use of the technology in both uveal melanoma, or ocular melanoma, and cutaneous melanoma and plans to incorporate the gene into its DecisionDx-UM assay. It also has an option for use of the gene for other cancers.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

William Harbour and Anne Bowcock, both of Washington University, first reported on the link between BAP1 and metastasis in a 2010 Science article.

The DecisionDx-UM assay, developed at Washington University, is a gene expression assay for classifying primary uveal melanoma tumors as Class 1 or Class 2 tumors

Castle Bio also has an exclusive worldwide license from the university for the assay's underlying technology and has completed development and validation studies for it, the firm said. The assay is offered as a laboratory test service.