NanoString Technologies, Inc., a privately held life sciences company marketing a complete solution for detecting and counting large sets of target molecules in biological samples, announced a unique new product for miRNA analysis that includes a multiplexed assay for profiling the human miRNA transcriptome in a single tube. The company introduced the new assay kit, which expands the applications for its nCounter Analysis System, at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, single-stranded, non-coding RNA molecules that have generated intense interest in the scientific community for their recently discovered roles in tumor formation and important biological processes. The primary application areas of miRNA studies are in cancer, neurobiology, developmental biology, and stem cell research.
The nCounter miRNA Expression Assay Kits enable researchers to perform highly multiplexed, direct digital detection and counting of miRNAs at single-base resolution, without the need for PCR amplification. NanoString’s Human miRNA Expression Assay Kit enables researchers to profile more than 700 human and human-viral miRNAs with specificity and sensitivity comparable to qPCR at a fraction of the cost.
Carlo Croce, Ph.D., a leading miRNA researcher, was part of an early access program for the Human miRNA Expression Assay Kit on the nCounter Analysis System at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Nucleic Acids Shared Resource directed by Hansjuerg Alder, Ph.D.
“NanoString has developed a true breakthrough in miRNA research technology,” said Dr. Croce, “Researchers now have a powerful new tool to study miRNAs in cancer and other disease states, as well to develop potential diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to mitigate the effects of abnormal miRNA expression.”
The nCounter Analysis System is a fully automated target profiling system that is extraordinarily easy to use. The assay kits contain all of the reagents and consumables required to conduct miRNA and gene expression experiments.
“We are excited to be the first to deliver scientists an eagerly awaited solution that bridges the gap between the multiplexing available with microarrays, and the required performance of qPCR with less complexity and lower cost,” said Wayne Burns, acting CEO of NanoString Technologies. “Combined with the gold-standard levels of sensitivity, specificity, precision, and linearity of the nCounter Analysis System, the new miRNA assay kits offers scientists a comprehensive, efficient, and cost-effective way to study these clinically important molecules.”
In addition to the new miRNA assays, the company is developing assays for copy number variation. NanoString also offers custom and off-the-shelf assays for gene expression analysis.