nCounterRNA:Protein pancancer immune profiling panel launched by NanoString

NanoString Technologies, Inc., a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, today announced the commercial launch of the nCounter® RNA:Protein PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel.

The panel can be analyzed on the full line of nCounter Analysis Systems, including the new nCounter SPRINT™ Profiler, utilizing breakthrough technology, which simultaneously measures both RNA and Protein expression through multiplexed digital counting.

Data generation from an early access program has demonstrated that the technology is robust, reproducible and sensitive, detecting both RNA and protein with as few as 150,000 cells in a single reaction.

Martin McIntosh, Ph.D. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said:

Developing new cancer therapies and molecular diagnostics requires extracting all relevant biological information from clinical samples that are often too small to characterize using multiple different assays, such as small biopsies from recurrent tumors. We now routinely quantify RNA and cell-surface protein abundance for these and other types of samples using the NanoString digital barcoding technology because we have found the information highly relevant, and even catalytic, in so many areas.”

The RNA:Protein PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel from NanoString is the first example of an entirely new category of multiplexed digital assays, enabling the next generation of tumor profiling experiments.

Most cancer biologists already perform RNA and protein expression analysis using separate methodologies when sufficient tumor sample is available. However, in many cases the analysis has been limited to RNA due to lack of sample. The RNA:Protein PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel offers a potential solution to this problem, by enabling simultaneous measurement of RNA and protein in small amounts of tumor sample—with 800 RNA and protein measurements in as few as 150,000 cells.

This initial immuno-oncology focused RNA:Protein Profiling Panel builds on the success of the company’s existing PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel for gene expression analysis. The new panel combines the measurement of 30 proteins with 770 RNA measurements to create a targeted immuno-oncology solution.

The RNA measurements include genes indicated in the Hallmarks of Cancer, first described in seminal papers by Hanahan and Weinberg (Hanahan, D., and Weinberg, R.A. (2000). Cell 100, 57-70 and Hanahan, D., and Weinberg, R.A. (2011). Cell 144, 646-674), which identify immune cell types, cancer antigens, checkpoint blockades and key immune pathway genes for both innate adaptive and humoral immune responses.

The protein measurements focus on cell surface and immune checkpoint targets indicated in the Cancer Immunity Cycle, first described by Chen and Mellman (Chen DS, Mellman I. Immunity. 2013;39:1-10).

“NanoString is proud to be at the forefront of this new product category, providing our customers with the ability to measure gene and protein expression in a single experiment,” said Joseph M. Beechem, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research & Development at NanoString Technologies. “We believe that our initial RNA:Protein Profiling Panel will become a powerful tool for immuno-oncology researchers, particularly those focused on drug development, where an understanding of protein interactions is critical.”

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