03 June 2021 | Thursday | News
Akoya Biosciences Inc., (Nasdaq: AKYA) The Spatial Biology Company®, today announced the launch of Advanced Biopharma Solutions (ABS) as a premium service for biopharmaceutical companies interested in adopting multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) workflows and spatial biomarker development in their translational pathology and immunotherapy programs.
ABS is a component of Akoya’s broader Clinical Research Program, a strategic initiative which aims to support the implementation of the Company’s Phenoptics™ mIF platform and spatial phenotypic signatures for precision pathology, through partnerships with academic medical centers, contract research organizations (CROs), reference labs, and the biopharmaceutical industry.
ABS leverages the Company’s knowledge and leadership in spatial phenotyping to accelerate biopharmaceutical companies’ quest for accurate predictive biomarkers, with the aim of improving trial design and drug development success rates. Through ABS, Akoya’s biopharmaceutical partners can access its deep mIF expertise, custom assay development capabilities, capacity to support clinical trial assays, and image analysis and interpretative skills.
“By launching ABS, Akoya is offering its spatial biology expertise to the biopharma industry to enable the adoption of spatial-biomarker informed clinical trial strategies and, we believe, solve some of immunotherapy’s toughest challenges,” said Akoya Chief Executive Officer Brian McKelligon. “Our hope is that the partnerships through ABS can catalyze our understanding of tumor immune biology, spatial biomarker discovery and eventually enhance the success of precision medicine.”
Immunotherapies are effective in certain subsets of cancer patients, but accurate determination of which patients are likely to respond has been challenging with current biomarker technologies, leading to high clinical trial failure rates and inefficiencies in cancer care. A multi-institutional study of immuno-oncology biomarker modalities, published in JAMA Oncology in 2019, demonstrated that mIF-based spatial biomarkers outperformed other biomarker testing approaches— such as gene expression profiling, tumor mutational burden (TMB) assessment, and PD-L1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) — for predicting patient response to immunotherapy treatment.
Spatial biology is a rapidly emerging scientific discipline that has the potential to elucidate the immune biology of cancer in greater detail by analyzing the spatial architecture of tumor tissue sections and mapping how tumor and immune cells organize and interact within the tumor microenvironment. These insights have implications for streamlining drug development, clinical trials, and biomarker discovery, and are currently being applied to immunotherapy research.
A cutting-edge tool for spatial biology research is Akoya’s Phenoptics™ mIF platform. The platform has been adopted by the top cancer centers and biopharma companies globally, due to its robust spatial phenotyping capabilities and its ability to support large-scale translational and clinical research studies.