Akoya Biosciences & NeraCare Enter Exclusive Agreement to Enable Personalized Therapy Selection for Early Stage Melanoma Patients

Akoya Biosciences, Inc. and NeraCare recently announced an exclusive agreement under which the parties will develop market opportunities for combining Akoya’s PhenoImager HT platform and NeraCare’s Immunoprint assay for patient stratification and therapy selection in early-stage melanoma patients.

Melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer-related deaths, with over 235,000 new diagnoses globally every year. Recent approvals of immune- and targeted therapies have greatly expanded the available treatment options for adjuvant therapy. Nonetheless, a significant number of early-stage melanoma patients remain at high risk of relapse and mortality without access to such therapies. As the majority of melanoma patients are diagnosed with early stage disease, there is a critical unmet medical need to identify those at-risk patients to potentially enable earlier access to life-saving therapeutic agents.

“NeraCare’s Immunoprint assay has demonstrated robust clinical performance in identifying early-stage melanoma patients at high risk of relapse through multiple, independent, prospective and retrospective clinical studies. The Immunoprint high-risk patient group has a risk of relapse comparable to those patients in later stages with approved adjuvant therapies. Therefore, the Immunoprint high-risk patient group is ideally suited to potentially benefit from these therapeutic options that would usually only be administered in later stages. We believe Immunoprint is in a class of its own in terms of the potential to positively impact patients’ lives,” said Daniel von Janowski, Co-Founder of NeraCare.

At this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting, updated clinical data from the MELARISK-001 study in stage IB/IIA will be presented.

“We are pleased to partner with Akoya Biosciences, a leader in spatial biology. The PhenoImager HT platform, with its powerful multiplex immunofluorescence capabilities, is an excellent match for our Immunoprint assay. This combination enables precise and efficient spatial phenotyping while using a minimal number of tissue sections,” said Friedrich Ackermann, Co-Founder of NeraCare.

“We are thrilled to partner with NeraCare in efforts to bring this game changing test to market and drive better patient care. Our collaboration is a testament to the power that spatial multiplexing can bring beyond research and into the clinic,” said Brian McKelligon, CEO of Akoya Biosciences. “Immunoprint has demonstrated unparalleled clinical utility to identify high risk patients, and our collaboration is a critical first step towards helping to serve the unmet need to increase therapeutic intervention for patients with this life-threatening disease.”

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 response to therapy. Akoya offers a full continuum of spatial phenotyping solutions to serve the diverse needs of researchers across discovery, translational, and clinical research: PhenoCode Panels and PhenoCycler, PhenoImager Fusion, and PhenoImager HT Instruments. To learn more about Akoya, visit www.akoyabio.com.

NeraCare is a developer of laboratory tests for individualized survival prediction of melanoma patients with offices in Frankfurt, Germany and New York, USA. The current portfolio includes two assays: (i) Immunoprint, an immunohistochemistry-based assay which identifies patients with early-stage melanoma who are at high-risk of relapse and death and (ii) MelaGenix, a gene-expression-based assay which was used as an inclusion criterion in the NivoMela trial. NivoMela is the first clinical trial in melanoma to select patients for adjuvant treatment based on individualized risk for relapse. To date, NeraCare has raised $20+ million in venture capital financing.