MENLO PARK, CA and HOUSTON, November 5, 2019 – Akoya Biosciences, The Spatial Biology Company™ today announced a strategic alliance with Precision for Medicine (formerly ApoCell), a pioneer in customized biomarker solutions, to develop proprietary liquid biopsy and tissue biomarker tests using Akoya’s Vectra® Polaris™ System. By combining the Vectra Polaris system with Precision for Medicine’s ApoStream® technology, the collaboration is designed to advance immuno-oncology candidates in clinical trials using both tumor biopsies and liquid biopsies to generate data required for assessing drug efficacy and validation of companion diagnostics (CDx).

“We are very excited to be the first commercial laboratory to launch the Vectra Polaris system for image analysis of circulating tumor cells following ApoStream’s isolation and enrichment functionality,” said Darren Davis, PhD, Precision for Medicine Senior Vice President. “Together, these technologies will enable accelerated drug development through detection of biomarkers in liquid biopsies. These tools have enabled our scientists to better understand the biological correlation of circulating metastatic cancer cells with cancer cells present in the tumor tissue.”

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have long been known to exist in cancer patients’ blood. However, the promise of clinical application of CTCs as a liquid biopsy has not born fruit because these cells are difficult to detect using current molecular biology techniques. Precision for Medicine’s proprietary ApoStream technology captures significant quantities of rare circulating cancer cells from whole blood for characterization using Akoya’s Opal™ technology and Vectra Polaris imaging platform. ApoStream has been used in more than 80 clinical trials, including several ongoing phase III studies for CDx development.

Akoya’s Vectra Polaris Automated Quantitative Pathology System, part of the company’s Phenoptics 2.0 next-generation biomarker multiplexing platform, enables researchers to gain a deeper level of understanding of disease mechanisms related to new cancer immunotherapy approaches. The Vectra Polaris system integrates high throughput, seven-color multispectral imaging with whole-slide scanning in a simplified digital pathology workflow to support the quantification and analysis of tissue sections discernible with Opal detection kits. A recent meta-analysis of several studies showed that incorporating spatial information using Akoya’s multiplexed immunofluorescence technology is important for improving the predictive accuracy of immuno-oncology biomarkers.

The Phenoptics™ portfolio is capable of interrogating multiple protein markers on any tissue or cytology slide preparation. Precision for Medicine has validated several immune biomarker panels across various therapeutic applications using both types of preparation. These immune panels are currently being used to monitor immune cell infiltration including cancer, psoriasis, lupus and atomic dermatitis.

“The Vectra Polaris imaging system offers an innovative approach to assessing immunotherapy candidates in translational and clinical research,” said Dr. Cliff Hoyt, Akoya Vice President of Translational and Scientific Affairs. “We are pleased to see this technology paired with ApoStream for a comprehensive method of imaging CTCs and improving our understanding of disease mechanisms in cancer.”

For more information on ApoCell and the ApoStream technology, please click here.


About Precision for Medicine

Precision for Medicine is the first biomarker-driven clinical research services organization supporting  life sciences companies in the use of biomarkers essential to targeting patient treatments more precisely and effectively. Precision applies novel biomarker approaches to clinical research that take advantage of the latest advancements in science and technology, focusing predominantly on genomics, immune-response assays, global specimen logistics, biomarker analytics, companion diagnostics, and clinical trial execution. Precision for Medicine is part of Precision Medicine Group, with more than 1,900 employees in 34 locations in the US, Canada, and Europe. For more information, visit


About Akoya

Akoya Biosciences, The Spatial Biology Company™, offers the most comprehensive, end-to-end solutions for high-parameter tissue analysis from discovery through clinical and translational research, enabling the development of more precise therapies for immuno-oncology and other drug development applications. The company has two industry-leading platforms that empower investigators and researchers to gain a deeper understanding of complex diseases such as cancer, and other immune system or neurological disorders. The CODEX® system is the only benchtop platform that can efficiently quantify more than 40 biomarkers and is ideally suited for biomarker discovery. The Phenoptics™ platform is the only end-to-end multiplexed immunofluorescence solution with the robustness and high throughput necessary for translational research and clinical trials. For more information, please visit   


Media Contact – Precision for Medicine
Louis Landon, Precision Medicine Group Media Relations


Media Contact – Akoya
Michelle Linn, Bioscribe, Inc.