New Berkeley Lights Workflow Speeds Up Drug Discovery

January 7, 2019
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
Pharmaceutical Technology's In the Lab eNewsletter
Volume 14, Issue 1

A new plasma B cell antibody discovery workflow launched by Berkeley Lights enables the shortening of antibody drug discovery from month to a day.

A new plasma B-cell antibody discovery workflow now being offered by Berkeley Lights (BLI), digital cell biology company, to be used with its BeaconOptofluidic Platform, enables the ability to speed the discovery of rare and novel therapeutic antibodies from several months to less than 24 hours. The Beacon platform is designed to interrogate primary plasma B cells, an untapped source of therapeutic antibodies, according to the company.

“We have been observing first-hand the strength and versatility of the BLI technology and its potential to address many of the limitations scientists have encountered in discovering specific and functional therapeutic antibodies,” said Wei Tang, president of Shanghai ChemPartner Co., in a company press release. “We’re excited at the prospect of working closely with BLI to further demonstrate the breadth of the technology for antibody discovery and to enable access to this exciting platform for our global client base.”

With the Beacon platform, BLI’s plasma B-cell antibody discovery workflow cuts screening and assay time down to 24 hours, which is within the timeframe when plasma B cells are still viable. The new workflow also reduces immunogenicity and functionality concerns by using naturally produced antibodies that can be assessed within the platform. Using Berkeley Lights’ technology for antibody discovery greatly increases the chances of finding the novel antibody by screening a higher percentage of the immune repertoire. The ability to link phenotype to genotype at the single cell level in days, not months, significantly speeds the antibody discovery process, the company states.

“The antibody discovery market is in need of innovative methods that increase the discovery rate for complex, high-value therapeutic antibodies, which can take months to generate and are labor-intensive to bring to market,” said Andy Last, chief commercial officer at Berkeley Lights, in the press release. “The Beacon platform is uniquely designed to screen plasma B cells, perform functional assays, and easily recover cells for sequencing for further analysis in a very short time frame. The accelerated process enabled by Berkeley Lights’ technology can help give companies a first-to-market advantage when developing new and life-changing biologics.”

The technology addresses challenges within current cell biology processing, including antibody discovery and cell line development, by using optofluidic light technology to individually isolate, culture, and export thousands of live cells. Continual visual and digital monitoring provides rich analytical data that can better inform decisions, leading to more consistent and potent production of therapeutics in a significantly reduced timeframe compared to existing methods. The company launched the new plasma B-cell antibody discovery workflow on Dec. 5, 2018.

Source: Berkeley Lights