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NanoString, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Collaborate


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NanoString Technologies, Inc. has announced that it has signed a multi-year, multi-investigator research collaboration with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital to accelerate the translation of genomic biomarker discoveries into clinical cancer diagnostics. Using NanoString’s Elements™ reagents, assays will be developed to detect gene expression, copy number variations, and fusions from a diverse range of tumor samples.

NanoString’s nCounter® Analysis System is an automated and easy-to-use platform that utilizes a novel digital barcoding chemistry to deliver high precision multiplexed assays across a number of important research applications. The research collaboration will enable the researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to evaluate and analyze a repository of patient derived tumor tissues for identification of gene signatures and gene expression profiles that typify a specific tumor type.

This knowledge is expected to fuel the development of validated diagnostic tests with potential to vastly improve clinical decisions involved in treatment of cancer patients. Under the terms of the agreement, NanoString retains the right to license diagnostic content developed within the scope of the collaboration.

“BWH’s ultimate goal is to augment the highest quality care we provide to all our patients,” said Jeffrey Golden, MD, chair of the Department of Pathology at BWH. “This collaboration is designed to support not only the discovery of the underlying biology of cancer, but the rapid development of clinical tests. Together we believe we will improve our ability to diagnose, provide better prognostication, improve treatment stratification including qualifications for clinical trials, and conduct biomarker discovery and validation.”

“We are excited to partner with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to accelerate the process of taking assays the ‘last mile’ from late stage translational research to clinically-validated assays,” said Brad Gray, president and chief executive officer of NanoString Technologies. “This collaboration builds on our growing suite of nCounter Elements offerings by combining Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s world-class translational research capabilities with NanoString technology to develop robust, highly multiplexed assays that allow researchers to move genomic discoveries quickly from bench to bedside.”

Scott Rodig, MD, is the lead investigator at BWH spearheading the effort with BWH physician colleagues Deborah Dillon, Jon Aster, Michael Kluk, and Neal Lindeman. “Gene-expression profiling is a powerful tool for classifying human tumors that, until recently, has not been amenable to the tissue biopsy specimens analyzed in pathology laboratories,” said Rodig. “Further, the work-flow efficiencies of nCounter Elements reagents enable development of highly multiplexed assays for fusion genes and CNVs, offering the potential to develop more efficient, scalable panels than those currently available using FISH or qPCR. This collaboration provides the potential to translate many of the most important discoveries in cancer biology over the last 10 years into the clinic for the first time.”

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