BioLegend licenses transcriptome tech from NY Genome Center

A technology developed at the New York Genome Center that combines protein and messenger RNA expression measurements in cells has been licensed by biotech tools company BioLegend.

The San Diego-based company has taken an exclusive license to the CITE-Seq platform developed by NYGC scientist Marlon Stoeckius, Ph.D., which has been hailed as a step forward in single-cell RNA sequencing, a technique BioLegend says makes it possible to distinguish between different cell types and states and “study disease mechanisms at the level of individual cells.”

CITE-Seq—which stands for Cellular Indexing of Transcriptomes and Epitopes by sequencing—was featured in a Nature Methods paper published last year and couples the measurement of surface protein markers on thousands of single cells with simultaneous sequencing of the mRNA “transcriptome” of those same cells. At the time, Stoeckius said that “no other method allows simultaneous measurements of transcriptomes and proteins on the same scale,” speeding up transcriptome analysis and expanding the number of protein markers that can be analyzed simultaneously compared to older cytometry and cell plating-based methods. CITE-Seq is based on the use of DNA-barcoded antibodies, which produce a sequenceable readout that is captured along with the transcriptome of the cell.

It could be used to look at the transcriptomes of different tumor cells and the immune cells that infiltrate tumors. For example, Stoeckius has used it to identify subclasses of natural killer cells that could help inform the development of new immunotherapeutic approaches.

“The partnership with the NYGC expands the reach of BioLegend’s antibody and protein portfolio of reagents into the rapidly advancing space of genomic and transcriptomic profiling,” said the biotech in a statement.

It is currently providing custom barcoded antibody conjugates and will eventually develop a catalogue of products that will be available off-the-shelf.

BioLegend CEO Gene Lay said the technique could “revolutionize basic and biomedical research. Along with other advancing technologies in this space, giving scientists easy access to quality reagents such as these will significantly accelerate scientific research.”