HTG Molecular Diagnostics Partners with John Wayne Cancer Institute to Commercialize Melanoma Signatures

June 1, 2012 at 10:27 AM EDT

TUCSON, Ariz. (June 1, 2012) – The John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California selected HTG Molecular Diagnostics as an exclusive commercialization partner for recently identified HTG melanoma signature assays which may be useful for diagnostic and prognostic applications along the melanoma continuum. HTG Molecular Diagnostics developed research assays and analyzed over 400 annotated cases of melanoma from benign nevus to metastatic disease resulting in several promising signatures. These discoveries highlight the benefits of a multi-year collaboration between HTG Molecular Diagnostics and JWCI. HTG Molecular Diagnostics is determining its commercial strategy which may include licensing the signatures to primary reference laboratories or submissions to the FDA for appropriate product clearances or approvals.

The most impactful approach to reducing melanoma-related deaths is early detection and treatment. In the U.S., the overall rate of melanoma diagnosis is increasing faster than any other cancer, with recent estimates for the lifetime risk of developing invasive melanoma at 1 in 49. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. will die from melanoma in 2012.

“This partnership will be the embodiment of the clinical application of molecular gene expression to which HTG Molecular Diagnostics dedicates our resources in our mission to improve patient care and ultimately help save lives.” said TJ Johnson, CEO of HTG Molecular Diagnostics.

Dave S. Hoon, M.Sc., Ph.D. Chief of Scientific Intelligence at the John Wayne Cancer Institute states, “HTG’s unique advantages in working with archival paraffin-embedded tissues enabled these novel discoveries and this agreement is an exciting and critical next step in the process of applying translational molecular oncology to the detection and treatment of melanoma.” JWCI’s international clinical trial network is a unique melanoma resource generating biospecimens and long-term annotated clinical follow up data from greater than 7,000 patients with early or advanced melanoma enrolled in JWCI-sponsored phase III clinical trials.

HTG Molecular Diagnostics is a privately held, Tucson-based company providing products for gene expression profiling, miRNA, and mRNA measurement for clinical research, companion diagnostic and prognostic applications in oncology. The company’s qNPA molecular technology platform is well suited for reliably detecting changes in gene expression levels especially from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. Additional information is available at

John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center is a cancer research institute dedicated to the understanding and curing of cancer in order to eliminate patient suffering worldwide. Its mission is accomplished through innovative clinical and laboratory research and the education of the next generation of surgical oncologists and scientists. One of the largest melanoma centers in the United States, the John Wayne Cancer Institute conducts landmark research to identify new or recurring melanoma at its earliest stages, predict and monitor the response to systemic treatments, and develop active and passive immunotherapies for surgical and nonsurgical patients. For more information, please visit