An established life sciences tools company based near Cambridge (UK) provides unique collaborative services and products for single cell and molecule analysis and characterisation.
The company has patented novel, biochip systems that automatically process tens of millions of miniaturised tests in picodroplets (i.e. small compartments of a picolitre volume). The company is now developing a technology platform that can find that rare “one in a billion” molecule or cell that could be an industry blockbuster. The platform enables the discovery and development of new biopharmaceuticals, enzymes and high production cell lines. The system will be fully-automated and can be integrated into various antibody discovery, development or production workflows and works with primary cells as well as immortalised cell lines.
The company is also developing a miniaturised platform for high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS) – also based on novel biochips that use picodroplets. This provides significantly reduced costs (tests are done at 1,400-fold lower volumes) and 20-fold faster screening rates. This unleashes productivity in the bioprocessing and synthetic biology areas as scientists can now perform previously unaffordable experiments and thus find the best enzymes or cell strains.
The company has established a significant international network of R&D collaborations but as the new platforms get launched, there is scope for many more. The domains of application may include but are not limited to:
Biopharmaceutical discovery and development;
Single cell diagnostics and prognostics;
Bioprocessing (synthetic biology);
Single cell diseases such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The company is pretty open about types of collaboration, for example licensing, technical cooperation, and research cooperation. Upon exchanging technical detail, it is likely that the existing hardware and software need to be adapted. Dependent on the partner's research programme, there may be scope for new product development. The parties can pool resources to create new IP or know-how, and potentially business. A suitable route will be negotiated case by case.