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Akoya Biosciences, UCSF Launch Predictive Cancer Biomarker Collaboration

NEW YORK – Akoya Biosciences and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center have launched a collaboration to develop predictive and prognostic cancer biomarkers for translational research studies.

The group will use Menlo Park, California-based Akoya's Phenoptics multiplex immunofluorescence platform to develop biomarkers to help select the most effective neoadjuvant and adjuvant immunotherapies for patients with early-stage breast cancer.

The collaboration will be co-led by UCSF immunologist Michael Campbell and surgery and radiology department professor Laura Esserman. The UCSF team will be standardizing on Phenoptics for the I-SPY Trials and other multi-institutional translational research studies.

"There is a clear need for biomarkers to guide both the choice and assessment of immune-targeted combinations for high-risk early-stage cancers, where opportunities for cure are much greater," Esserman said in a statement. "We believe that multiplexed immunofluorescence will lead to robust, predictive assays, because it enables better understanding of the cell-level biology underlying disease progression and response to therapy, by revealing the spatial arrangements and interactions of cells in the tumor microenvironment."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"With Dr. Esserman's focus on practical and effective steps to improve drug development and the standard of care, we believe this collaboration will have a real impact on patient treatments in the coming years," Cliff Hoyt, VP of translational and scientific affairs at Akoya, said in a statement.