Immuno-Oncology Expertise for Drug Discovery & Companion DX

Asterand Bioscience expands immuno-oncology services capabilities with the adoption of the Vectra Polaris Automated Quantitative Pathology Imaging System developed by PerkinElmer (PKI)

Asterand Bioscience, the leader in high quality, well-characterized human tissue and human tissue-based research solutions supporting drug discovery and development, announced today the introduction of the PerkinElmer Vectra® Polaris™ Automated Quantitative Pathology Imaging System to extend their services capabilities to support scientists in gaining a deeper understanding of disease mechanisms related to new cancer immunotherapy approaches. Capitalizing on over 20 years of expertise in human tissue-based research, Asterand Bio scientists are excited to be able to offer this additional solution platform to their research partners.

Breast cancer solid tumor panel
CD4-Opal 520/green, CD8-Opal 570/yellow, CD20-Opal 540/red, CD68-Opal650/magenta, Foxp3-Opla 620/orange, CK-Opal 690/cyan, and DAPI-Spectra DAPI/blue (PerkinElmer Vectra Polaris imagery and Opal straining)


The Vectra Polaris system integrates seven-color multispectral imaging with whole-slide scanning in a simplified digital pathology workflow to support the quantification and analysis of tissue sections that are stained with multiple immunohistochemical stains.
Development and validation of immuno-oncology (IO) targets requires an understanding of the biology occurring in the immune system and tumor. Multiplexed IHC can be effectively used to visualize cancer targets and multiple immune cell types within the tumor and its microenvironment (TME). Visualization of the spatial relationship and functional state of immune cell types with tumor cells is achieved through multiplex labeling of these different cell types and defining the location within the TME.

“For over 20 years, Asterand Bioscience’s experienced scientists have worked collaboratively with clients to expedite the highest likelihood for clinical success by providing a variety of pre-clinical research services,” said John Canepa, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer. “This new platform adds high throughput, multispectral imaging with whole-slide scanning to our suite of services available to our clients to improve the efficiency of their workflow.”

“We are delighted to expand our service platform offering to our clients with this enhanced multiplexing technology,” stated Amanda Woodrooffe PhD, Vice President & General Manager, UK Operations. “Revealing target biology at the cellular level within the tumor and the microenvironment with this data rich platform will aid in the development of future cancer therapies.”

With an extensive tissue bank, we specifically customize your Immuno-Oncology project to your needs. Asterand Bioscience has working protocols for targeting a wide range of oncology targets, plus routine immune cell markers.


Co-localization of immune cells with targets cells

Co-localization of CD3 and PD-1 in human tonsil, demonstrated in adjacent sections and dual immunohistochemistry in a single slide. The region highlighted in gold is part of the mantle zone of the germinal follicle in a tonsil (middle top and middle bottom panels).

Strong staining of CD3 T cells is seen, with a similar distribution to the strongly stained PD1 cells in the same region of the germinal follicle highlighted area (middle top and middle bottom panels).

Circles show follicle stained for CD20cy (green) but occasionally stained for CD3 (red) and PD-1 (purple). In the dual stained slide the immunostaining is still clear.


Human tonsil stained with CD20cy (upper left), CD3 (upper center), PD-1 (lower center), or dual stained for CD3/CD20cy (upper right). Negative control for all lower left and lower right.

Co-localization of immune cells with target cells in tumor tissue

Human lung adenocarcinoma sample  immunostained  for  T cells using  anti CD3 (red) and B cells using  anti-CD20cy (brown, yellow arrow). T cells  and PD-1 were detected within the tumor  itself (blue arrows) and  also in the tumor stroma (green arrows). Localization of both CD3 and PD1 expressing cells appear to be closely matched in this sample. The inhibitory effect of PD-1 is accomplished through promoting apoptosis in antigen specific T-cells in lymph nodes and simultaneously reducing apoptosis in Treg cells (suppressor T cells).



Human lung adenocarcinoma dual stained with CD3/CD20cy (upper right) or PD-1 (upper left). Negative control for each in lower panels.


Triple Immunohistochemistry

Asterand Bioscience has also developed the ability to utilize triple immunostains with permanent chromogenic endpoints.

As a representative example, tonsil was stained with CD68, CD20cy and CD3 with different detection endpoints for the CD20cy and CD3, which clearly exemplify the importance of optimizing and choosing the best chromogenic stains based on expected cell densities within the sample.


Upper left – Tonsil stained with CD68 (brown DAB), CD20cy (yellow) CD3 (purple). Upper right – Tonsil stained with CD68 (brown DAB), CD20cy (purple) and CD3 (yellow). Lower left – CD68 (brown DAB), CD20cy (red) and CD3 (purple). Lower right – CD68 (brown DAB), CD20cy (purple), CD3 (red).


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