Advanced Cell Diagnostics: The New Frontier of Spatial Genomics
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Advanced Cell Diagnostics: The New Frontier of Spatial Genomics

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Kim Kelderman, President, Diagnostics & Genomics of Bio-Techne Corporation, Advanced Cell DiagnosticsKim Kelderman, President, Diagnostics & Genomics of Bio-Techne Corporation
Accurate and precise gene expression analysis requires the sensitivity to detect even the scarcest molecules and the specificity to differentiate between closely related genes. Protein detection relies upon the use of antibodies, but the development and validation of a new antibody can take from six months to more than a year, with no guarantee of successful detection. Reliable antibodies have been historically difficult to develop for many clinically and biologically important proteins such as GPCRs, transcriptional factors and secreted proteins. qPCR and RNAseq have been considered the gold standard for providing sensitive and quantitative gene expression data, but both methodologies cannot provide critical information about the morphological context of gene expression, and cellular information is lost in these “grind and bind” techniques. Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD), a Bio-Techne brand, shortens the path to personalized medicine and enables research, drug development, and clinical applications by unlocking the power of RNA via RNAscope™, an advanced in situ hybridization (ISH) technology that enables single molecule detection of any gene of interest in any intact tissue.

Bio-Techne’s ACD is the leader in the emerging field of spatial genomics, developing cell- and tissue-based research and diagnostic tests. “We, at Bio-Techne, have built industry leading tools to precisely characterize gene expression within the tissue environment,” states Kim Kelderman, President of Diagnostics and Genomics at Bio-Techne Corporation. Along with several brands in the Protein Sciences Solutions, Bio-Techne is supporting the customer from a reagent as well as from an instrumentation point of view.
Within ACD, the Pharma Assay Services (PAS) group offers customers unparalleled expertise in the technology and access to the developers of the assay. PAS has years of experience providing specialized services in RNAscope to biopharma customers, including the top 20 global pharma companies. Researchers who partner with PAS will receive on-demand access to the most specialized and technically experienced RNAscope hands of any CRO. By partnering with PAS scientific experts for study design and data interpretation, customers can be confident in the science, and be satisfied with actionable results delivered in weeks rather than months.

We, at Bio-Techne, have built industry leading tools to precisely characterize gene expression within the tissue environment

In data presented by Adaptimmune at ASCO-SITC in 2018, Adaptimmune partnered with ACD’s PAS group to conduct a study using samples collected from a clinical trial of patients with metastatic synovial sarcoma who were treated with their autologous T-cell therapy. Using RNAscope products, ACD was able to show adoptive T-cells infiltrating into the tumor and concurrent CD3-positive T-cell recruitment. This was a demonstration of the unique ability of RNAscope to visualize modified T-cells within the tumor. RNAscope technology also enabled the assessment of transduced versus untransduced T-cells trafficking to the tumor. The analysis was a crucial measure for Adaptimmune to understand the mechanisms of response and resistance to their TCR T-cells. RNAscope technology bring a fundamentally new capability for cell therapy researchers to assess the bio-distribution and persistence of modified T cells within tissues.

Today, ACD’s R&D team is continuing to expand the portfolio for spatial profiling of any target from any species in fixed frozen, fresh frozen, as well as FFPE tissues. The company has just recently launched the RNAscope HiPlex™ Assay, which enables simultaneous detection of up to twelve RNA targets on a single slide, thus generating more data per sample without compromising the morphological features of the tissue. The assay utilizes ACD’s patented signal amplification and background suppression technology to deliver unrivalled specificity and sensitivity with optimal signal generation.