Samsung BioLogics brings Berkeley Lights’ Beacon to Korea

Korean CDMO Samsung BioLogics will use the Beacon optofluidic platform to reduce cell line development timelines and boost its drug development services.

Having first entered the contract development space in 2017, Samsung BioLogics has now inked a deal to use Berkeley Lights’ Beacon pre-programable and automated optofluidic platform to service its customers cell line and process development projects.

The technology itself is based on a nanofluidic chip consisting of chambers in which cells are placed to be cultured and assayed, allowing scientists to test cells for various properties to identify the best cells based upon user specified characteristics.

Image: iStock/Elizabeth M. Ruggiero

According to John Proctor, SVP of Antibody Therapeutics, Berkeley Lights, adoption of the platform will “dramatically reduce the timeline for cell line development” at the Korean contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

“Due to the ability to provide deep cell profiling in record time, we believe that Samsung Biologics will feel the positive impact of this in their R&D services business,” he told Bioprocess Insider.

He explained: “Current traditional methods for cell line development require multiple instruments and manual intervention, which typically takes 8-12 weeks. The Beacon optofluidic platform can sample 5,000 clones with 99% clonality in 5 days. Our technology uses automation and controlled patterns of light to isolate, culture, and assay thousands of cells simultaneously. While doing so, it will measure valuable cell parameters such as growth rate, IgG production, cell size, and growth rate sustainability in real-time.”

While there are other technology offerings available to accomplish various steps of the cell line development workflow, Proctor said only his firm’s is able to “replace a roomful of equipment with one platform that can deliver deeper cell insights faster than any other technology.”

Global Beacon

The Beacon platform has been creating a stir in the industry, being discussed by multiple users across sessions at this year’s Bioprocess International event in Boston in September.

Concurrently, Berkeley Lights has been growing its business, and while Samsung BioLogics’ adoption marks the first example of its technology being taken up in Korea, in September the firm opened an office in Shanghai in September to tap into the Chinese market.

“We have seen strong global adoption of our existing applications and continue to foster new relationships with pharma and industry leaders who are looking for drug development solutions that reduce cost and improve timelines,” Proctor said.

“In addition, we are seeking and strengthening partnerships for development of new workflows, such as a recent collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks to develop synthetic biology workflows, that allow Berkeley Lights to expand our technology to meet the needs of the industry.

“In this same way, the partners and scientists who utilize our technology are more than just customers – they have become part of our community whose feedback is conducive to developing new and emerging applications. Be it in drug discovery, synthetic biology, or even gene editing, we believe that the possible applications of our technology are limitless.”

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