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Danaher's Leica Microsystems, Stanford to Develop Spatial Biology Tools for Cancer Drug Screening

NEW YORK – Danaher on Thursday announced a collaboration with Stanford University's Department of Bioengineering to develop spatial biology tools for cancer drug screening.

Under the collaboration, researchers from Danaher subsidiary Leica Microsystems will work with the lab of Emma Lundberg, associate professor of bioengineering and pathology at Stanford, to apply microscopy and AI to identify spatial, proteomic, and metabolic changes in tumor microenvironments with the aim of better predicting response to different therapies.

The collaboration is part of the Danaher Beacons program, a series of partnerships between the company and academic researchers in areas including genomic medicine, precision diagnostics, next-generation biomanufacturing, human systems, and data science.

Financial and other terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

"We're at the brink of a new era when it comes to spatial biology and structural cell modeling," Lundberg said in a statement. "This research collaboration will seek to apply the latest microscopy and AI tools at the scale needed to understand treatment responses based on differences in protein expression that change across regions of the tumor."

"Many oncology drug trials fail because we cannot yet capture and analyze the nuances of the tumor microenvironment and how key proteins spatially interact with each other," said Chandra Ramanathan, VP and head of external innovation at Danaher's DH Life Sciences subsidiary. "Addressing this challenge will require collecting data at scale and designing new ways to analyze it. We are delighted to commit Danaher's expertise to seek to develop AI-driven phenotyping that could improve drug screening and bring more effective and safer drugs to cancer patients."