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Fluidigm, GenomOncology Partner to Create Integrated Workflow for Immuno-Oncology Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fluidigm and GenomOncology announced today that they have partnered to create what they're calling the Immuno-Oncology Gene Expression Workflow, with the goal of accelerating the development of checkpoint immunotherapies and the identification of potential predictive biomarker signatures for therapeutic response.

The workflow for immuno-oncology research will span RNA extraction through data analysis and will combine Fluidigm's Advanta Immuno-Oncology Gene Expression Assay with GenomOncology's data analysis software, the GO Immuno-Oncology Workbench powered by GenomAnalytics.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Gene expression profiling of the tumor microenvironment has proven effective in measuring immune response during cancer progression and therapeutic response. The Advanta IO Gene Expression Assay, which was launched in July 2017, uses microfluidic technology to detect 170 gene expression markers involved in checkpoint therapeutic response. It's designed for use with the Biomark HD system, and works with both FFPE and fresh frozen tumor samples. The assay can analyze biomarkers across defined T cell subsets, immune regulation, immune cell fate, cytokines, chemokines, and others, according to the firm.

Fluidigm also offers the Advanta FFPE RNA Extraction Kit, which produces high-quality RNA from tumor samples and improves the sensitivity of tumor transcript detection, as well as a synthetic template representing the amplification targets of all 170 genes as a positive control. When used together, the kit, control, and Advanta IO Gene Expression Assay can accurately assess 24 to 96 tumor samples at a time with high confidence and efficiency, Fluidigm said.

At the end of the new workflow will be GenomOncology's GO Immuno-Oncology Workbench, which was developed for analysis of immuno-oncology datasets. Fluidigm signed a deal to distribute and co-market the GO Clinical Workbench software in November 2016, and began offering the software to customers for the interpretation of somatic variants identified using its Juno targeted next-generation sequencing library preparation systems.

Among its other capabilities, the GO Immuno-Oncology Workbench enables researchers to identify meaningful gene expression biomarkers that correlate with therapeutic response, the companies said. In a statement, GenomOncology CEO Manuel Glynias also noted that the software integrates molecular and phenotypic data with immuno-oncology-specific annotations.

"Fluidigm is the research partner of choice within the immuno-oncology research community, enabling deep interrogation of the tumor microenvironment and immune response with mass cytometry," added Fluidigm President and CEO Chris Linthwaite. "By providing a comprehensive view of tumor immunity, utilizing microfluidics and mass cytometry technologies, researchers will be empowered to uncover unique health insights that could transform the future of cancer care."