NanoString and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Collaborate to Optimize Cell Therapies to Treat Cancer

NanoString Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of life science tools for discovery and translational research, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy announced that they are collaborating on an expansive molecular characterization project for cellular therapies.

Logo Logo
June 15, 2021 10:00 UTC

Collaboration Will Utilize the nCounter Analysis System to Characterize CAR-T Regimens Designed to Improve Patient Outcomes

SEATTLE & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- NanoString Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSTG), a leading provider of life science tools for discovery and translational research, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) announced today that they are collaborating on an expansive molecular characterization project for cellular therapies. The collaboration will define the characteristics that make a cell therapy effective, providing a standardized approach to developing CAR-T regimens that may improve patient outcomes across all cancer types, especially solid tumors.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The collaboration will leverage the cell therapy expertise of PICI’s network, including world-class academic research centers, and empower research teams with NanoString’s widely recognized nCounter® Analysis System and CAR-T Characterization Panel. The technology utilizes a standardized gene expression panel of 780 genes, which the team will use to profile eight different biological characteristics of existing cell therapies. By analyzing the factors that correlate with optimal cellular therapies, the team will define the characteristics that make a therapy more likely to be effective. The team will also make the findings publicly available to the scientific community through PICI’s Cancer Data and Evidence Library (CANDEL) analysis platform.

CAR-T cell therapy has produced significant advancements in the treatment of hematological malignancies, which has led to an explosion of research aimed at adapting these therapies for solid tumors. Despite this activity, several significant challenges remain. There is a particular need in the field to define key aspects of CAR-T activity, including molecular pathways that regulate effectiveness, toxicity, and persistence. This challenge is compounded by varying strategies used during the design and manufacturing process, and the variability associated with these patient-derived treatments. Overcoming these barriers can help unlock the benefits of cellular therapies for cancer patients currently in need of more effective treatments.

“By working together, NanoString and PICI will generate meaningful information from our scientific community to develop a standardized approach to cell therapy development, allowing us to better understand the attributes that make treatments effective and to ultimately improve patient outcomes,” said Joseph Beechem, Ph.D., NanoString’s chief scientific officer and senior vice president of Research and Development.

“PICI’s approach is based on bringing together the brightest minds to solve cancer’s toughest problems,” said Lisa Butterfield, Ph.D., PICI’s vice president of Research and Development. “This collaboration provides an important opportunity to deeply examine cell therapies and layout a road map for future development and manufacturing that can overcome the challenges of treating solid tumors.”

NanoString and PICI are working together on other collaborative projects in parallel, including a multi-site validation of the GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler and the GeoMx as a tool to characterize patient response to immunotherapy. Work is underway for both projects, which includes processing nearly 1,000 cell therapy samples from across PICI’s network with nCounter.

The team aims to provide updates on its work to the community through conferences and round table discussions.

About the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) is radically changing the way cancer research is done. Founded in 2016 through a $250 million gift from Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker, the San Francisco-based nonprofit is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunotherapy researchers and cancer centers, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The institute also supports top researchers at other institutions, including City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Institute for Systems Biology and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. By forging alliances with academic, industry and nonprofit partners, PICI makes big bets on bold research to fulfill its mission: to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies to turn all cancers into curable diseases. Find out more at

About NanoString Technologies, Inc.

NanoString Technologies is a leading provider of life science tools for discovery and translational research. The company’s nCounter® Analysis System is used in life sciences research and has been cited in more than 4,000 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. The company’s GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler enables highly-multiplexed spatial profiling of RNA and protein targets in a variety of sample types, including FFPE tissue sections. For more information, please visit

NanoString, NanoString Technologies, the NanoString logo, GeoMx, and nCounter are trademarks or registered trademarks of NanoString Technologies, Inc. in various jurisdictions.

View source version on


Doug Farrell, NanoString
Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

John Infanti, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
Senior Science Communications Manager

Source: NanoString Technologies, Inc.