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Falcon R&D Program

 

SkylineDx develops diagnostic tests based on gene expression signatures. In our R&D centered partnerships with clinicians and academia, entrepreneurial drive interacts with scientific expertise to tackle unmet needs in personalized healthcare.

 

In melanoma, this extensive collaboration is named the Falcon R&D Program. As the falcon bird is known as an intelligent creature with unprecedented senses and skills, our R&D program is uniquely equipped to unveil new, detailed insights in the genomic, biologic and clinical nature of melanoma.

 

Under the wings of the Falcon R&D Program, a series of specific studies and projects is initiated, aimed at developing and introducing an array of diagnostic utilities, to provide physicians with the tools to optimize the clinical pathway of their patients. Not by coincidence, related series of studies are named after birds of prey in the Falcon family.

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Merlin Study Initiative

Extensive validation studies ongoing for the Merlin assay that predicts a patient’s risk for nodal metastasis. It provides a tool for physicians to identify patients that can safely forgo sentinel lymph node surgery.
Clinical utility Merlin Assay
Clinical Utility Peregrine Assay

Peregrine Study Initiative

Advanced stages of research to develop a test that predicts a patient’s prognosis and identifies patients with a high risk for disease relapse who may benefit from early adjuvant therapy.

Background

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the pigment-producing melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Risk for developing melanoma is influenced by several factors including exposure to radiation from sunshine, skin type, age and gender. If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. However, melanoma is responsible for the majority of skin cancer related deaths, because it has a propensity to spread to other sites of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, an estimated 232,000 people around the world are diagnosed with invasive melanoma each year.

Treatment

With the introduction of immunotherapy, the treatment options for metastatic melanoma has changed tremendously. This has led to research interest in many areas of treatment optimization, treatment response, treatment resistance and toxicity management. Early detection and efficacious personalized treatment strategies will impact the overall survival and contribute to the discussion of curing this devastating disease. Biomarkers that drive the tests developed under the Falcon Program are aimed to facilitate these endeavors in early detection and personalized treatment.

CP-GEP Model

CP-GEP Model is the scientific name for Merlin’s underlying algorithm.The CP-GEP model combines the clinicopathologic (CP) variables patient age and tumor thickness with the gene expression (GEP) of 8 genes from the primary tumor to calculate a patient’s risk of nodal metastasis. The genes involved in this model are known to play a role in the development of cancer in general or melanoma specifically.

United States
Australia
Germany
Netherlands
Denmark

Our partners

The Falcon R&D Program aims to build an extensive, global network with research institutes. Not only for research and validation studies within the existing Study Initiatives but as well to broaden the scope of the Falcon Program by starting new Study Initiatives that would entail the whole spectrum of melanoma related clinical utilities. These countries are currently participating.

Falcon’s scientific references

 

The Falcon R&D Program aims to publish its scientific and clinical research as open access peer reviewed manuscripts, available for every stakeholder in the melanoma field. Click the read more button to find references to scientific abstracts that have been presented at – and published by (international) melanoma related conferences.

Model combining tumor molecular and clinicopathologic risk factors predicts sentinel lymph node metastasis in primary cutaneous melanoma.

Bellomo et al. 2020. JCO Precision Oncology. Open Access.

Primary cutaneous melanoma risk stratification using a clinicopathologic and gene expression model: a pilot study.

Arias-Mejias et al. 2020. International Journal of Dermatology. Open Access.

Deselecting melanoma patients for sentinel lymph node biopsy during COVID-19: clinical utility of tumor molecular profiling.

Meves & Eggermont 2020. Mayo Clin Proc Inn Qual Out. Open Access.

Identification of stage I/IIA melanoma patients at high risk for disease relapse using a clinicopathologic and gene expression model.

Eggermont et al. 2020. European Journal of Cancer. Open Access

read more

A molecular model to identify patients who can safely forgo sentinel lymph node biopsy in primary cutaneous melanoma.

Bellomo et al. 2019. CIM Conference. Poster access.

Stromal gene expression predicts sentinel lymph node metastasis of primary cutaneous melanoma.

Sominidi-Damodaran et al. 2019. EADO Conference. Poster access.

Validation of a ClinicoPathological and Gene Expression Profile (CP-GEP) model for sentinel lymph node metastasis in primary cutaneous melanoma.

Mulder et al. 2019. ESMO Conference. Poster access.

Validation of a Model Combining Clinicopathologic Risk Factors and a Gene Expression Profile to Identify Primary Melanoma Patients Who Can Safely Forgo Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy.

Yousaf et al. 2020. ESMO Conference. Poster access.

Using a clinicopathologic and gene expression model to identify melanoma patients at high risk for disease relapse.

Eggermont et al. 2020. ASCO Conference. Abstract access. Poster access.

Identification of stage IIA melanoma patients at high risk for disease relapse using a clinicopathologic and gene expression model.

Wever et al. 2020. ASCO Conference. Abstract access.

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