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NanoString Technologies and Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN) Enter Into a Collaboration to Identify Biomarker Assays for Novel Cancer Immunotherapies

SEATTLE, May 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN) and NanoString Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:NSTG), a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, today announced a multi-year translational research collaboration to discover biomarkers that predict clinical outcomes for cancer immunotherapies, both as single agents and in combination. The collaboration will involve the systematic use of NanoString's nCounter® Analysis System and PanCancer Immune Profiling technology in multiple prospective CITN clinical trials.

"Our collaboration with NanoString focuses on a critical challenge in fully realizing the promise of cancer immunotherapy—finding biomarkers that will identify the patients most likely to benefit from treatment," said Martin "Mac" Cheever, M.D., Director of the CITN and researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "We expect this to become an even greater challenge as we explore potential combinations of these agents. Powerful tools for genomic and proteomic analysis are expected to play an important role in solving these puzzles."

Under the collaboration, NanoString's immuno-oncology targeted panels will be used to analyze blood and tissue biopsies at multiple time-points during immunotherapy clinical trials. The collaboration is intended to cover translational research initially using the PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel, which probes the expression of 770 genes, including genes for the identification of different immune cell types, cancer antigens, checkpoint blockades, and both innate adaptive and humoral immune responses. The collaboration may be expanded in the future to include NanoString's RNA:Protein technology, which enables simultaneous profiling of both gene and protein expression, including 30 proteins important in immuno-oncology research, including PD-1, PD-L1 and CTLA4.  

"NanoString's nCounter technology is ideally suited to answering complex biological questions like those facing researchers in the field of immuno-oncology," stated Joseph Beechem, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development at NanoString Technologies. "Our ability to simultaneously measure the expression of up to 800 genes and proteins associated with the immune system's response to cancer provides a wealth of information, while preserving precious tumor samples to facilitate many additional experiments."

Initially, the collaboration will be focused on malignant melanoma and epithelial ovarian, Fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal carcinomas treated with novel cancer immunotherapies, and additional clinical trials and indications may be added as the collaboration progresses. Under the terms of the agreement, NanoString is granted rights to research and diagnostic content developed within the scope of the collaboration.

About NanoString Technologies, Inc.

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. The company's technology has also been applied to diagnostic use. The Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay together with the nCounter Dx Analysis System is FDA 510(k) cleared for use as a prognostic indicator for distant recurrence of breast cancer.

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

About Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN)

The mission of the CITN is to select, design and conduct early-phase trials using agents with known and proven biologic function and to provide high quality immunogenicity and biomarker data essential to inform subsequent development pathways leading to the broad availability of these agents for treating patients with cancer. By collaborating with member institutions, industry sponsors, and philanthropic foundations, the CITN aims to spearhead the design and conduct of trials leading to ultimate regulatory approval of promising agents and to advance the knowledge of antitumor immunity and its application in immunotherapy.

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Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the scientific and medical potential of our technology to simultaneously profile gene and protein expression, and its ability to optimize the use of new cancer therapeutics in the field of immuno-oncology. Such statements are based on current assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, include market acceptance of our products; delays or denials of regulatory approvals or clearances for products or applications; delays or denials of reimbursement for diagnostic products; the impact of competition; the impact of expanded sales, marketing, product development and clinical activities on operating expenses; delays or other unforeseen problems with respect to manufacturing, product development or clinical studies; adverse conditions in the general domestic and global economic markets; as well as the other risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. NanoString Technologies disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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Source: NanoString Technologies, Inc.

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