Bayer Partners with Berkeley Lights on Automated Biological Workflow

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Bayer will use Berkeley Lights’ platform of nanofluidic chips that automate biological workflows, including cell-line development and antibody discovery and engineering.

Bayer AG has entered into a strategic project with Berkeley Lights, a company that develops and commercializes platforms for biopharmaceutical, genomic, and cellular therapy applications, to accelerate cell-line development, antibody discovery, and research, according to Berkeley Lights on Sep. 12, 2017. As part of the program, Bayer will use Berkeley Lights’ Beacon OptoFluidic platform to automate biological workflows and gain efficiencies in its drug development process.

Berkeley Lights develops and manufactures platforms that automate biological processes in a time-efficient manner. The company’s Beacon OptoFluidic platform involves the use of nanofluidic chips that enable the tracking, monitoring, and visualization of single-cell manipulation and cell-to-cell interaction across thousands of cells in a single chip. By stringing together four basic modules-import, culture, assay, and export-integrated biological workflows can be implemented for cell-line development, antibody discovery and engineering, gene editing, and research. This can result in reduced hands-on time and accelerated delivery of actionable results.

The Beacon platform was launched in December 2016. It is suited for cell-line development and direct B-cell (plasma and memory cells) antibody discovery workflows.

“We are excited to support Bayer in their drug discovery and development activities to further execute on their mission to bring novel therapies to market,” said Eric Hobbs, PhD, CEO at Berkeley Lights, in a company press release. “The Beacon platform brings increased scalability and precision to the discovery and development process. Now Bayer can screen thousands of clones to identify the highest producers with even more precision and speed."


In addition to the project with Bayer, Berkeley Lights announced that other leading biopharmaceutical companies (nearly half of the top 20) are using its technology for research and development of biologic therapies. The integration of automation into the drug discovery workflow has the potential to reduce standard development timelines from 15 years to less than five years, according to Berkeley Lights. The company is also applying its technology to diagnostics and cell-therapy manufacturing for personalized medicine.

Source: Berkeley Lights