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Bit Bio partners Charles River for new human cell era




The Bit Bio team in the Abcam building with, centre, seated, Florian Schuster CFO/COO, Tonya Frolov, product specialist, and Mark Kotter, founder and CEO. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Bit Bio team in the Abcam building with, centre, seated, Florian Schuster CFO/COO, Tonya Frolov, product specialist, and Mark Kotter, founder and CEO. Picture: Keith Heppell

Charles River Laboratories has entered into an exclusive partnership with Bit Bio, the Cambridge company that offers consistent and efficient reprogramming of human cells for use in research, drug discovery and cell therapies.

By applying an engineering approach to synthetic and stem cell biology, Bit Bio has developed proprietary technologies for the efficient, consistent, and scalable reprogramming of induced pluripotent stem cells.

“We believe that the next generation of medicine hinges on widespread access to human cells,” said Bit Bio’s chief business officer, Paul Morrill. “We are excited to be partnering with Charles River Laboratories, a leader in drug development, to put our cells within a context to drive human translational experiments at the earliest stages of drug discovery and safety assessment.”

Cellular reprogramming is the process by which human stem cells, given a precise set of genetic instructions, differentiate into a desired cell type. Current cellular reprogramming approaches are inefficient, with low cell yields, creating a gap for applications requiring high quality, consistent, and pure human cells.

To overcome this hurdle, Bit Bio has developed a gene engineering approach, opti-ox (optimised inducible over-expression). This platform, validated on both muscle and brain cells, enables precise, controllable stem cell reprogramming. According to Bit Bio, the process is more efficient and scalable than available technologies in transforming stem cells into desired cell types.

By combining the purity, scale, and speed of the opti-ox platform with deep learning algorithms, Bit Bio has the potential to accelerate the discovery and application of every single human cell type.

Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe to accelerate their research and drug development efforts.

By partnering with Bit Bio, Charles River plans to offer clients access to an expanding suite of authentic human cells through their use in target discovery, validation and screening services.

“Bit Bio’s unique method of reprogramming human stem cells will have a significant impact on our ability to ensure we are discovering and developing therapies that are effective and safe in patients,” said Birgit Girshick, Charles River corporate executive vice president. “We are excited to offer this next-generation technology as part of our comprehensive portfolio of drug discovery and development tools.”

By combining the purity, scale and speed of its opti-ox platform with deep learning algorithms, BitBio has the potential to accelerate the discovery and application of every single human cell type. The partnership is also expected to contribute to the development and validation of novel cell lines.


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