After withdrawing IPO, DermTech raises $2.4M for its RNA-based, biopsy-free melanoma diagnostic

San Diego skin cancer diagnostics startup DermTech is developing gene classifiers and expression tests to help more accurately screen for dermatologic issues. It just raised $2.4 million to do so, according to a regulatory filing – an interesting funding notice, given its announcement last year that it was readying for – and then withdrawing – a $25 […]

San Diego skin cancer diagnostics startup DermTech is developing gene classifiers and expression tests to help more accurately screen for dermatologic issues.

It just raised $2.4 million to do so, according to a regulatory filing – an interesting funding notice, given its announcement last year that it was readying for – and then withdrawing – a $25 million IPO. Poor market conditions, it said. Renaissance Capital writes:

The La Jolla, CA-based company was founded in 1995 and booked $0 million in sales for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014. DMTK. DermTech initially filed confidentially on 4/4/2014.

The company’s lead assay is tests pigmented lesions for gene expression that matches melanoma. It’s a noninvasive test that could, ostensibly, cut down on unnecessarily surgical biopsies. Actually, the company just gave notice that it received a patent for this test.

The tests work by extracting RNA from skin tissue samples that are collected by stripping a negligible amount of skin off with an adhesive patch. Using this RNA, it then analyzes the expression of melanoma-associated genes.

[Image from flickr user Christiana Care]