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NanoString, OHSU Partner on Myeloid Gene Expression Panels

This article has been modified from a previous version to update a statement made by NanoString Senior VP of R&D Joseph Beecham.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – NanoString Technologies has announced a partnership with Oregon Health & Science University to create research use-only panels for myeloid cell gene expression.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Seattle-based diagnostics firm will partner with OHSU Knight Cancer Institute researcher Lisa Coussens to develop two gene panels for studying the innate immune response in cancer.

"The Myeloid panel is a collection of genes that encompass the many characteristics of the innate immune response that will help advance cancer research with additional applications in infectious disease as well," NanoString Senior VP of R&D Joseph Beecham said in a statement. "These myeloid panels are highly complementary to NanoString's 770 gene PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel, which is by-design, more T-Cell focused. The myeloid panel will provide an orthogonal view of the regulation of the immune response."

Coussens, her collaborators, and the Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Dream Team will get an early version of the Myeloid Innate Immunity Panel this month. The panels will be available to all researchers shortly thereafter.

"We will enable a more complete understanding of the local interplay between myeloid immune components and neoplastic cells in tumors," Coussens said in a statement.

Myeloid cells are known to play key roles in both tumor-promoting and anti-tumor functions. NanoString and Coussens are developing tests to quantitatively evaluate heterogeneous myeloid cell populations. The collaboration marks another academic partnership for NanoString. The firm is also working with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop RNA and protein assays.

In a statement, NanoString said the panels would work across several sample types, including fresh frozen tissues, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and cell lysates.