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NanoString, Merck Ink Collaboration for Cancer CDx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Merck and NanoString Technologies today announced a research collaboration to develop an assay to evaluate the potential benefits to a patient treated with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

The assay will be based on immune-related gene expression signatures and will be developed using NanoString's nCounter analysis system to optimize gene expression signatures as part of the clinical development of Keytruda.

Keytruda is a monoclonal antibody that blocks interaction between PD-1 and its ligands.

"This collaboration with Merck complements our existing relationships with MD Anderson and the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, and builds on our leadership position in immune-oncology biomarker development," NanoString President and CEO Brad Gray said in a statement.

Financial and other details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Earlier this month, NanoString signed on to a research project with the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network to find biomarkers to predict clinical outcomes of immunotherapies.  In April, NanoString signed a collaborative agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop genetic and proteomic assays.