HalioDx and NanoString Technologies said today they will partner to develop and commercialize advanced gene expression assays for assessing response to cancer immunotherapies.

The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

NanoString and HalioDx said they will jointly offer products and associated services designed to enable researchers and drug developers to assess responses to immunotherapies, as well as select patients most likely to benefit from the therapies.

The collaboration offers the potential for future companion diagnostic collaborations with biopharma partners, the companies added.

The companies said they will jointly develop immune gene expression assays for use on NanoString’s nCounter® Analysis System. The system uses a digital color-coded barcode technology invented at the Institute for Systems Biology under the direction of Leroy (Lee) Hood, M.D., Ph.D.

NanoString was founded in 2003 with an exclusive license to develop and market the barcode technology, which is based on direct multiplexed measurement of gene expression, as well as single-molecule imaging to detect and count hundreds of unique transcripts in a single reaction. nCounter offers single-tube multiplexing of up to 800 genes or regions from as little as 300 ng of DNA.

“We selected the nCounter platform because of its robustness, turn-around time, and compatibility with formalin-fixed-paraffin-embedded tissue samples,” HalioDx founder and CEO Vincent Fert said in a statement. “Our co-developed immune gene expression assays will complement the breakthrough Immunoscore® IHC [immunohistochemistry] assay, to foster the development of more precise immunotherapies.”

Added NanoString President and CEO Brad Gray: “This collaboration with HalioDx adds another powerful tool to the nCounter immuno-oncology toolkit to support our customers’ efforts in developing clinically validated predictive biomarkers for cancer immunotherapies.”

HalioDx said the assays will be based on discoveries by Jérôme Galon, Ph.D., research director at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm), and his Integrative Cancer Immunology Laboratory team (Inserm UMRS1138) at the Cordeliers Research Center. Dr. Galon joined the former management team of Ipsogen in founding HalioDx in 2014.

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