Genomic diagnostics company Veracyte has signed a definitive agreement with life sciences firm NanoString Technologies for the exclusive global license to the latter’s nCounter platform for diagnostic use.

Under the agreement, Veracyte will pay NanoString $40m in cash and $10m as Veracyte common stock, as well as up to $10m in cash upon the commercial launch of Veracyte diagnostic tests for use on nCounter.

Through the acquisition, Veracyte intends to expand its genomic testing business globally.

Veracyte chairman and chief executive officer Bonnie H Anderson said: “NanoString has developed a versatile, world-class diagnostics platform, which we believe will enable us to realise our vision of becoming a leading global provider of advanced genomic testing.

“We are especially excited about the opportunity to bring our noninvasive nasal swab classifier to a global market, where it can help save more lives in the fight against lung cancer.”

The automated nCounter system allows for the simultaneous analysis of RNA, DNA or protein targets in up to 800 genes.

Veracyte expects to commence providing its Envisia classifier for use in the diagnosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to global customers in 2021 as a kit-based test that operates on the nCounter system.

The firm also expects its nasal swab classifier, which can be used in the diagnosis of lung cancer and currently in-development stage, to also run on the nCounter system in 2022 once the test becomes available in Veracyte’s CLIA laboratory in the US in early 2021.

The nCounter system can also operate genomic tests developed by Veracyte, as well as other diagnostics or biopharmaceutical partners intended to have access to global markets.

Under the deal, Veracyte has also acquired the NanoString Prosigna breast cancer prognostic test and in-development LymphMark lymphoma subtyping assay, expanding its cancer test portfolio.