Akoya Biosciences announced that the newly established Queensland Spatial Biology Centre (QSBC), located in Brisbane, Australia, is using the company’s PhenoCycler-Fusion spatial biology platform as the core technology to treat and diagnose cancer and other debilitating diseases.

The PhenoCycler-Fusion platform facilitates the understanding of the cellular compositions, neighborhoods, and functional states that are present in complex diseases, and that next generation therapeutics may be able to target, the company says. Bringing a new level of clarity to this complex biology will help explain why individual patients have varying degrees of success in terms of their response to treatment.

“Akoya’s industry-leading spatial biology platform is enabling our experts to rapidly map the presence, location, phenotype, and interaction of millions of cells,” says Professor John Fraser, clinical director and co-lead of the QSBC. “This ability represents a significant leap forward in the effort to more accurately diagnose a wide range of diseases, map pathways for highly personalized treatment, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

With multi-slide automation, the PhenoCycler-Fusion system enables researchers to generate ultrahigh-plex spatial phenotyping data for larger and more complex samples at unprecedented speed and scale, according to the company. Studies conducted using the platform reinforce the value of single-cell ultrahigh-plex spatial phenotyping as a powerful tool for defining spatial tissue signatures associated with therapy response and resistance.i

“We are extremely excited to be an integral part of this important initiative,” says Brian McKelligon, CEO of Akoya Biosciences. “The QSBC has brought together a remarkable group of researchers, clinicians, pathologists, and computational biologists who are unrelenting in their commitment to leverage the enormous power of spatial biology. Their passion is inspiring and we look forward to supporting them with the most advanced spatial biology solutions.”

Further reading: CLIA Lab Implements 3D Spatial Biology Platform for Digital Pathology

The hospital-based QSBC initiative is led by the Wesley Research Institute in conjunction with other medical and research organizations. Among the benefits of this network of organizations is access to an extensive biobank of curated patient tissue samples that are amenable to deeper tissue and cellular annotation through the QSBC. The Centre also collaborates with laboratories at Harvard Medical School, Yale University, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in the areas of protocol development, assay optimization, and data analysis.

“Spatial biology is revolutionizing the pathology field by enabling deeper biology and clinical markers to be measured from a single tissue section,” says Arutha Kulasinghe, PhD, BSc, QSBC Scientific Director and co-lead. “Digitizing tissues is likely to lead to new fields in spatial informatics and data analysis where machine learning and predictive biomarkers can be rapidly developed and deployed to personalize therapies.”

Featured image: The PhenoCycler-Fusion platform. Photo: Akoya Biosciences 


i Jhaveri N, et al. Mapping the Spatial Proteome of Head and Neck Tumors: Key Immune Mediators and Metabolic Determinants in the Tumor Microenvironment. GEN Biotechnology 2023 2:5, 418-434