NanoString Finds Partner for Sequencer Development

Seattle, WA and Fremont, CA 8/8/17—NanoString Technologies, a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostics, has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Lam Research to develop its Hyb & Seq single-molecule sequencing platform for clinical applications. Publicly held Lam Research is a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. NanoString will provide its sequencing chemistry and Lam will supply its nanoscale manufacturing expertise.

As part of the arrangement, Lam will contribute $50 million as well as receive a warrant to purchase one million shares of NanoString at $16.75 per share, in addition to royalties on the product. NanoString will commercialize the system, and the companies will share ownership rights of the joint IP. “By combining our Hyb & Seq technology with Lam’s advanced engineering expertise, we intend to fully resource the development of the industry’s simplest clinical sequencer, and enable open-ended innovation at the intersection of semiconductors and genomics,” stated NanoString President and CEO Brad Gray. The companies plan to launch a beta product in 2019, with a formal product launch in 2020.

Asked about why the company did not partner with a diagnostics company, a NanoString spokesperson told IBO, “It’s an engineering and design project, not something that we thought a diagnostic company could add value to. We chose to collaborate with Lam based on their industry-leading nanoscale technology, and expertise in chemistry, fluidics and advanced systems engineering.”  The development is now fully financed due to the collaboration, according to NanoString’s quarterly conference call.  

Benefits of the Hyb & Seq technology, according to NanoString, are a four-step workflow with no library preparation, enzymes or amplification required; a 60 minute turnaround from FFPE to the beginning of sequencing, including 15 minutes hands-on time; simultaneous sequencing of RNA and DNA; and the ability to produce both short and long reads. Commenting on read lengths, NanoString told IBO, “In an early prototype version of our Hyb & Seq platform, we’ve demonstrated read lengths as long as 33 kb, and there is no theoretical upper limit to how long a read length could be possible once the chemistry has been optimized.”

< | >