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NanoString Technologies, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Partner on Cell Therapy Project

NEW YORK – NanoString Technologies and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, or PICI, on Tuesday said they have partnered on a project to identify molecular features of cell therapies and improve their activity.

Within the collaboration, Seattle-based NanoString will apply its molecular profiling technologies, specifically its nCounter Analysis System and a 780-gene CAR-T Characterization Panel, to analyze gene expression in existing cell therapies.

The gene expression data, in turn, will allow the researchers to home in on different biological characteristics of existing CAR T-cell therapies and identify which of them go hand in hand with the therapies' effectiveness, toxicity, and persistence. San Francisco-based PICI will conduct this research within its network of academic centers.

According to NanoString and PICI, differences across existing cell therapies in design and manufacturing processes have made it difficult for researchers to define the molecular pathways that comprise optimal treatment. The partners hope that the knowledge gleaned from this collaboration will help standardize cell therapy development and improve patient outcomes.

NanoString and PICI will make their findings publicly available to the scientific community via PICI's Cancer Data and Evidence Library analysis platform.

"This collaboration provides an important opportunity to deeply examine cell therapies and lay out a road map for future development and manufacturing that can overcome the challenges of treating solid tumors," Lisa Butterfield, PICI's VP of research and development, said in a statement.

In addition to this project, NanoString and PICI have been working together to validate NanoString's GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler as a tool to characterize patients' immunotherapy responses.