Akoya & AstraZeneca to Collaborate on Spatial Biology Approach to Profiling Tumor-Immune Biology

Akoya Biosciences, Inc. recently announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca to advance new multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) workflows and spatial biomarker signatures, based on Akoya’s Phenoptics platform. The agreement between one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and a top innovator in spatial biology technologies has the aim of elucidating the immune biology of cancer, in greater detail, to streamline drug development, clinical trials, and biomarker discovery.

Immunotherapies, a rapidly growing treatment modality, utilize the immune system to combat cancer and are revolutionizing the field of oncology. While they have shown tremendous promise, only a subset of patients achieves durable response, impacting drug efficacy rates and approvals. There is a pressing need for predictive biomarkers that can accurately stratify responders from non-responders. However, identifying suitable biomarkers requires an in-depth understanding of tumor pathophysiology. A recent multi-institutional study of immuno-oncology biomarker modalities found that mIF-based spatial biomarkers have the potential to address this gap by analyzing the spatial architecture of tumor tissue sections, and mapping how tumor and immune cells organize and interact within the tumor microenvironment.

With this collaboration, AstraZeneca’s immuno-oncology division will partner with Advanced Biopharma Solutions (ABS), a premium service offering from Akoya, to leverage the comprehensive spatial phenotyping capabilities of the Phenoptics platform to study drug mechanism of action, confirm target biology prevalence, and discover predictive signatures for subsequent trial designs. The aim of this collaboration will be the development and implementation of predictive assays and analysis frameworks to enable AstraZeneca, and the pharmaceutical industry in general, to advance a spatial biomarker-informed drug development strategy for immunotherapy. The results could lead to increased trial success rates and advancement of precision medicine.

“We are very pleased to work with AstraZeneca and share their commitment in enabling next-generation innovations in the field of immuno-oncology,” said Brian McKelligon, Chief Executive Officer of Akoya. “The combination of AstraZeneca’s scientific leadership in immuno-oncology and Akoya’s groundbreaking spatial biology capabilities promises to reshape the future of biomarker development and ultimately cancer care.”

As The Spatial Biology Company, Akoya Biosciences’ mission is to bring context to the world of biology and human health through the power of spatial phenotyping. The company offers comprehensive single-cell imaging solutions that allow researchers to phenotype cells with spatial context and visualize how they organize and interact to influence disease progression and treatment response. Akoya offers two distinct solutions, the CODEX and Phenoptics platforms, to serve the diverse needs of researchers across discovery, translational and clinical research. For more information, visit www.akoyabio.com.