NanoString Technologies today announced the launch of the Early Access Program for the nCounter Analysis System for digital gene expression. NanoString has shipped a system to the first Early Access customer, Professor Eric Davidson, at the California Institute for Technology and has begun accepting orders from other customers.
The nCounter Analysis System uses a novel digital technology that is based on direct multiplexed measurement of gene expression and offers high levels of sensitivity (500 attomolar) and precision. The technology uses molecular barcodes and single molecule imaging to detect and count hundreds of unique transcripts in a single reaction. The fully automated system is easy to use and is ideally suited for researchers with small amounts of starting material, customers who would like to study defined gene sets and microarray users seeking to validate expression signatures.
“The nCounter Analysis System offers an unprecedented combination of sensitivity, precision and datapoint throughput for gene expression analysis. The real benefit for researchers is that they can effectively interrogate more genes across more samples, cost effectively and in less time than conventional methods,” said Alan Dance, Chief Commercial Officer at NanoString Technologies. “We are delighted that such a prominent researcher as Dr. Davidson will be our first customer.”
“We have carried out extensive head-to-head comparisons between the nCounter System and Quantitative PCR on the same samples over the last year, and nCounter has the distinct advantage that more data can be obtained in less time, on less starting material, without at all compromising data quality,” said Dr. Eric Davidson, Professor of Cell Biology at California Institute of Technology. “Highly sensitive and accurate analysis of gene expression is the fundamental data acquisition step in our developmental biology research on gene regulatory networks.”
The nCounter Analysis System is comprised of a fully automated prep station, a digital analyzer, the CodeSet (barcodes) and all of the reagents and consumables needed to perform the analysis. The CodeSets can currently assay up to 576 gene targets per reaction, and that number is expected to increase in the next few months. The system has been designed to be easy to use and features a step-by-step guide to perform the analysis on a touch screen.