Akoya Biosciences and VIB Partner to Explore Multiplexed Spatial Analysis of Single Cells Using the CODEX™ Technology Platform

Akoya Biosciences, a private biotech start-up, announced today that VIB, a leading life sciences institute in Belgium, will be one of its first partners for exploring the CODEXTM (CO-Detection by indexing) technology in Europe.

The CODEXTM technology originates from Dr. Garry Nolan’s lab at Stanford University and is the only technology available to provide spatial and quantitative analysis of up to 50 biomarkers of individual cells in complex tissues. This technology will accelerate VIB’s ongoing effort in single cell immunology, neurology and oncology research by unraveling the spatial interactions of single cells for the very first time using a multiplex imaging tool.

There is no 'atlas' without a map, thus the ability to accurately map distinct subsets of single cells in tissues such as the liver will certainly drive the Human Cell Atlas forward!

Professor Martin Guilliams, VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Characterizing the interaction of single cells and their corresponding microenvironments is of major interest to VIB and is also one of the key goals of the newly established Single Cell Accelerator (SCA) program at the institute. This program aims to expand VIB’s expertise in single cell research by optimizing, validating and developing novel and recently commercialized platforms within VIB’s Technology Innovation Lab. The CODEXTM is the first imaging platform to enter the SCA and Brian McKelligon, CEO of Akoya Biosciences, further complements, “VIB is one of the leading research institutes in single cell research, and as such, we are thrilled and honored to partner with them in their SCA program by bringing the CODEXTM Technology to Europe.”

The CODEXTM platform transforms traditional fluorescent microscopes into powerful high-dimensional tissue imaging stations that can analyze the tissue architecture and heterogeneity through multiplex staining. Dr. Saskia Lippens, Manager at the VIB Bioimaging Core confirms, “This platform is clearly the next step and the long-sought missing link in single cell research and imaging.” Prof. Martin Guilliams, group leader at VIB – UGent Center for Inflammation Research and member of the Human Cell Atlas Initiative agrees and further adds, “There is no ‘atlas’ without a map, thus the ability to accurately map distinct subsets of single cells in tissues such as the liver will certainly drive the Human Cell Atlas forward!” The possibility to detect up to 50 protein markers in a single tissue section opens new research avenues. Prof. Diether Lambrechts, group leader and director of VIB – KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology expects that this platform will continue to advance single cell research in cancer biology and adds, “The complexity of the tumor microenvironment has so far been underrepresented due to the lack of adequate research tools, with the help of the CODEXTM platform we aim to further dissect and unravel the role of the microenvironment in tumor progression and development.” Prof. Adrian Liston, group leader at VIB – KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease research, enthusiastically agrees: “The CODEXTM is a unique multiplex imaging platform and we expect this technology to bolster our understanding in immune diseases at a level never achieved before.”

The collaboration between VIB and Akoya Biosciences began last year when Dr. Wai Long Tam, who is part of the Technology Innovation Lab at the institute, visited the company in Menlo Park for on-site training. He notes that “The integration and rollout of this platform have been a great success; multiple groups are now plugging in and can’t wait to integrate this technology in their research pipelines.” Dr. Halina Novak, Technology and Innovation Manager at VIB, confirms and feels privileged to have the CODEXTM installed at the institute. She comments, “Despite the physical distance between VIB and Akoya Biosciences, the interaction and support has so far been exceptional, and I am looking forward to expand this collaboration. We expect the CODEXTM platform to bring novel insights into both normal biological or diseases processes, with the aim to ultimately decipher novel biological questions.”

Akoya’s technology and solutions are showcased in upcoming conferences and as part of an ongoing webinar series. For a full list of events and to register for the CODEX Webinar Series, visit Akoya News site or view the below-archived events:  

  • Nature Webcast: “Highly Multiplexed, Spatially-Resolve Tissue Analysis using the CODEX System” 
    • Author: Dr. Garry Nolan, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
    • Nature Webcast Series  - View Archived Event
  • Archived: “CODEX: Multiplexed Biomarker Profiling for Spatially Resolved Single-Cell Tissue Analysis”
    • Author: Dr. Julia Kennedy-Darling, Ph.D., Akoya Biosciences
    • CODEX Webinar Series - View Archived Webinar

About VIB

VIB is a research institute based in Flanders, Belgium. With more than 1470 scientists from over 60 countries, the institute performs basic research into the molecular foundations of life. Through the close partnership between VIB and five Flemish universities – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hasselt University, 75 research groups unite in a single institute to push the boundaries of life sciences. The embedded Tech Watch program supports VIB scientists by actively implementing novel technologies throughout the institute. Over the years, Tech Watch has gathered in-depth information about disruptive technologies that drive the institute. Tech Watch recently established the Technology Innovation lab for rapid implementation of emerging platforms, where the CODEXTM platform is being rolled out.

About Akoya Biosciences

Akoya Biosciences develops innovative technologies for life science researchers to enable spatially-resolved quantitative tissue phenotyping at the cellular and subcellular level. Akoya’s CODEXTM technology is fueling advances in multiplexed tissue analysis by providing comprehensive solutions including instrumentation, reagents and software. Akoya is currently taking pre-orders and will begin to ship the commercial instrument in the second half of 2018. Akoya is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA.

Join us for Akoya’s CODEXTM Webinar Series by visiting: Akoya Webinar Series Registration

For more information, please visit https://www.akoyabio.com

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Source: Akoya Biosciences