NanoString Announces Significant Clinical Research Collaboration

NanoString Technologies and Merck recently announced a clinical research collaboration to develop an assay that will optimize immune-related gene expression signatures and evaluate the potential to predict benefit from Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), in multiple tumor types. The collaboration between NanoString Technologies and Merck, through a subsidiary, will utilize NanoString’s nCounter Analysis System to optimize gene expression signatures as part of the clinical development program for KEYTRUDA.

“Our commitment to advancing the science of immuno-oncology includes pursuing cutting-edge RNA and DNA approaches to identify a range of biomarkers, such as immune-related gene expression signatures, that in addition to PD-L1 expression, may help to identify patients who may be more likely to experience improved benefit with KEYTRUDA,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology Early Stage Development, Merck Research Laboratories. “Our collaboration with NanoString Technologies is an important advancement for our early stage, immuno-oncology development program.

“We are excited to work with Merck to help direct treatment with KEYTRUDA,” said Brad Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer of NanoString Technologies. “New approaches in immuno-oncology, like KEYTRUDA, have the potential to transform cancer care across many different tumor types. With our nCounter technology and in vitro diagnostic capability, NanoString is ideally positioned to address the critical challenge of matching patients to powerful new therapies. This collaboration with Merck complements our existing relationships with MD Anderson and the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, and builds on our leadership position in immuno-oncology biomarker development.”

NanoString Technologies provides life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products. The company’s nCounter Analysis System has been employed in life sciences research since it was first introduced in 2008 and has been cited in over 700 peer-reviewed publications. The nCounter Analysis System offers a cost-effective way to easily profile the expression of hundreds of genes, proteins, miRNAs, or copy number variations, simultaneously with high sensitivity and precision, facilitating a wide variety of basic research and translational medicine applications, including biomarker discovery and validation. For more information, visit