NanoString Technologies

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NanoString Technologies, Inc
Company typePublic
Nasdaq: NSTG
FoundersKrassen Dimitrov, Amber Ratcliffe, Dwayne Dunaway
HeadquartersSouth Lake Union, ,
Key people
Brad Gray, CEO
ProductsnCounter® Analysis System, GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler, CosMx ™ Spatial Molecular Imager, AtoMx ™ Spatial Informatics Portal
BrandsnCounter®, GeoMx® DSP
Revenue$144.0 million[2] (2021)
-$80.1 million[2] (2021)
Total equity$479.5 million[2] (2021)
Number of employees
766[3] (2021)

NanoString Technologies, Inc. is a biotech company offering discovery and translational research solutions.[1]

NanoString's products include the nCounter Gene Expression System, the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler, the CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager, and the AtoMx Spatial Informatics Platform. These four systems enable scientists to envision molecular interactions in three dimensions and see the multiomic expression of genes and proteins in the context of tissue structure. NanoString products are based on a novel digital molecular barcoding technology invented at the Institute for Systems Biology under the direction of Dr. Leroy Hood.


The original patent forming the basis for the nCounter Analysis System was invented and licensed by The Institute for Systems Biology.[citation needed] The business plan was written by Amber Ratcliffe and Aaron Coe and won seed funding in multiple business plan competitions.[4] NanoString was spun out of The Institute for Systems Biology and founded as a separate company in 2003 by Krassen Dimitrov, Amber Ratcliffe, and Dwayne Dunaway.[5]

In 2008, NanoString launched the nCounter Analysis System and began international sales operations with its first multiplexed assays for gene expression analysis.[citation needed]

In 2009, Perry Fell, who had been CEO since 2004, left the company abruptly without official explanation.[6] Between 2009 and 2010, the company operated with an acting CEO, Wayne Burns.[7] Brad Gray, a former Genzyme executive, was hired as president and CEO in 2010.[7]

As of June 2010, the company was not yet profitable.[7] In an interview, Gray suggested that NanoString would begin to develop clinical diagnostics.[7] As of July 2012, NanoString began indicating a move towards becoming a public company by hiring several senior staff with public company experience.[8]

In 2013, the company's IPO raised funding to expand NanoString sales and marketing.[1] NanoString’s first spatial platform, the GeoMx DSP, was launched in 2019, enabling highly multiplexed spatial profiling of RNA and protein targets in various sample types, including FFPE tissue sections. The unique combination of high-plex and high-throughput spatial profiling allows researchers to rapidly and quantitatively assess the biological implications of heterogeneity within tissues and has resulted in over 150 peer-reviewed publications as of September 2022.

On February 4, 2024, NanoString Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after laying off 20% of its workforce in October 2023. The company is exploring options to support its restructuring, include a potential sale of itself.[9]

Technology & Products[edit]

NanoString's research tools are based on the nCounter Analysis System, which is a modification of the DNA microarray technology.[10] The nCounter system allows for the simultaneous profiling of hundreds of genes, proteins, miRNAs, or copy number variations with high sensitivity and precision, using molecular barcodes and microscopic imaging in a hybridization reaction.[11]

To enable spatial transcriptomics and proteomics from one FFPE slide, NanoString introduced the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler in 2019. The GeoMx DSP combines whole tissue imaging with gene expression and protein data for single cell resolution in a spatial context.[12]

NanoString's product pipeline includes the development of the CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager, a single-cell imaging platform that is FFPE-compatible and powered by spatial multiomics. It allows researchers to map single cells in their native environments to extract deep biological insights and novel discoveries from one experiment.

In addition, NanoString has developed the AtoMx Spatial Informatics Platform, a cloud-based informatics solution with advanced analytics and global collaboration capabilities, which is expected to launch in 2022.[13] The AtoMx platform provides a comprehensive, integrated ecosystem for spatial biology insights, enabling global data sharing and collaboration.

Overall, NanoString's continued investment in innovation has led to the development of a range of advanced research tools that offer high sensitivity, precision, and spatial resolution, allowing researchers to gain deep insights into biological systems.


  1. ^ a b c Annie Zak (20 March 2015). "NanoString pulls in 52% more sales". Puget Sound Business Journal. Vol. 35, no. 48. Seattle: American City Business Journals. p. 39. ISSN 8750-7757. LCCN 99107105. OCLC 11683053.
  2. ^ a b c "NanoString Technologies Releases Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Operating Results and Provides 2022 Financial Outlook" (Press release). 2022-03-01. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  3. ^ "NanoString Technologies Number of Employees 2011-2022". Macrotrends. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  4. ^ Puget Sound Business Journal (2003-05-27). "UW startup wins second business plan competition - Puget Sound Business Journal". Retrieved 2012-10-14. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  6. ^ "NanoString CEO Perry Fell Departs". Xconomy. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  7. ^ a b c d "NanoString Hires Genzyme Vet as CEO to Lead Foray Into Molecular Diagnostics". Xconomy. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  8. ^ "NanoString Makes IPO Prep Move, Adds Finance Vet to Board". Xconomy. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  9. ^ "NanoString Takes Steps to Restructure Its Business and Protect Its Mission to Map the Universe of Biology". Business Wire. February 4, 2024. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  10. ^ US application 2017081713, Kim, Dae; Ross, Paul Martin & Meredith, Gavin et al., "Multivalent probes having single nucleotide resolution", published 2017-03-23, assigned to Nanostring Technologies Inc. , since abandoned.
  11. ^ Geiss, Gary K; Bumgarner, Roger E; Birditt, Brian; Dahl, Timothy; Dowidar, Naeem; Dunaway, Dwayne L; Fell, H Perry; Ferree, Sean; George, Renee D; Grogan, Tammy; James, Jeffrey J; Maysuria, Malini; Mitton, Jeffrey D; Oliveri, Paola; Osborn, Jennifer L; Peng, Tao; Ratcliffe, Amber L; Webster, Philippa J; Davidson, Eric H; Hood, Leroy; Dimitrov, Krassen (2008). "Direct multiplexed measurement of gene expression with color-coded probe pairs" (PDF). Nature Biotechnology. 26 (3): 317–25. doi:10.1038/nbt1385. PMID 18278033. S2CID 9308000.
  12. ^ "NanoString Announces Commercial Launch of GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler at the 2019 American Association of Cancer Research Conference" (Press release). 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  13. ^ "NanoString Unveils AtoMx Spatial Informatics Portal at the 2022 Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting" (Press release). 2022-06-06. Retrieved 2022-10-10.