NanoString Technologies said today it has expanded access to its developmental Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) quantification technology through commercial partnerships with five contract research organizations.

NanoString identified four of its five commercial CRO partners: Covance, Cancer Genetics Incorporated, Core Diagnostics, and Propath UK. The fifth CRO is undisclosed.

DSP is expected to be available for early access instrument placements late in 2018 followed by a full commercial launch in 2019, according to NanoString.

“By joining forces with this network of select CRO partners, we hope to increase customer awareness of DSP, accelerating its adoption following our full commercial launch,” Chad Brown, SVP of sales and marketing at NanoString, said in a statement. “Interest in our Digital Spatial Profiling platform is high, especially among biopharmaceutical researchers.  We are excited to be working with innovative CRO partners to reach these potential early adopters through our Technology Access Program.”

DSP is designed to enable precise quantification of highly-multiplexed protein and gene expression spatially for regions of interest across a heterogeneous tissue sample. According to NanoString, regions of interest can be any shape and size, down to the single cell level. The company reasons that combining both multiplexed nucleic acid and protein on the same platform gives researchers the ability to spatially measure RNA when suitable antibodies do not exist.

NanoString said it has demonstrated the ability of DSP to spatially profile approximately 50 proteins and 30 mRNAs in Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tissue biopsies using the company’s nCounter® platform. Introduced in 2008, nCounter is designed for easier profiling of the expression of hundreds of genes, proteins, miRNAs, or copy number variations.

DSP has also shown the ability to simultaneously profile more than 1,000 mRNAs using DSP in combination with next-generation sequencing platforms, NanoString added.

All five CROs have been allowed to market DSP services to their customers in advance of the expected commercial launch of the DSP instrument platform in 2019, through a Technology Access Program (TAP). Announced more than a year ago, TAP has engaged more than 30 customers, NanoString said, and has enabled the company and its collaboration partners to highlight the performance of DSP in more than 10 abstracts presented at major scientific meetings.

TAP is offered through NanoString’s Spatial Genomics Services research laboratory. NanoString said it and its CRO partners are now accepting applications to run DSP projects through TAP.

NanoString said companies that are interested in accessing DSP should contact it at [email protected], or contact the CROs.

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