Sphere Fluidics hosts open day at expanded Granta Park base
Sphere Fluidics held an open day last week to celebrate the opening of its new laboratory space, which expands its Granta Park base to 30,000 sq ft and includes a demonstration lab and microfabrication facilities.
Around 130 attendees were at Building One on the site, along with Sphere Fluidics’ team of 70. A ceremonial cake cutting officially marked the opening of the new site, with speeches from the Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, The Rt Hon the Lord Lansley, and Sphere Fluidics’ chairman, Ken Hitchner, on the company’s ongoing growth and success.
Guests had the opportunity to tour the new and impressive laboratory space, which has been purpose-built with cutting-edge equipment, including a demonstration lab, to give customers the opportunity to see the company’s single cell analysis and monoclonality assurance systems at work.
The Granta Centre opening completes the work begun in 2019, when the company moved into a 7,000 sq ft facility on the site.
Sphere Fluidics was founded in 2010 and launched the Cyto-Mine Single Cell Analysis System as its flagship product in 2017. The high-throughput platform uses picodroplet technology and microfluidics to process up to 40 million heterogeneous mammalian cells in less than a day.
CEO Dr Frank Craig said: “We were delighted to welcome valued customers, collaborators and partners to celebrate the official opening of our new world-class facilities.
“The new space allows our entire team to come together under one roof, providing an environment for collaboration and innovation.
“Expansion to the new space supports the company’s growth and will aid the development of our single-cell analysis and monoclonality assurance platforms and growth of our commercial team.”
The upgrade allows Sphere to develop its partnership programme, which includes FairJourney Biologics following a deal announced earlier this month. FairJourney Biologics, a solutions provider for Monoclonal antibodies based in Portugal, has adopted the Cyto-Mine platform as part of the launch for its latest cell line development services, “to streamline and accelerate customer workflows”.
Rob Treanor, director of operations at Sphere Fluidics, said: “The new facility supports partnerships such as our recently announced collaboration with FairJourney Biologics by enabling best-in-class support to our customers in the field. We will also be able to accelerate some of our development projects such as a four-laser Cyto-Mine system, which will allow customers to use the instrument for a much broader set of applications.
“Our scientific teams now have access to dedicated lab spaces for microfabrication and mass spectrometry, best-in-class QC labs on top of the ‘Instrument Demo’ lab we delivered in a previous phase. The building also has plenty of flexible working options meaning teams can come together in different ways to collaborate.
“For the first time in a decade our whole team is consolidated in a single building here on Granta Park. We were fortunate to have found a fantastic building which was able to be retrofitted and customised to our needs.”
He added: “The business has grown rapidly over the past 18 months so we knew we needed more space to keep up with the trajectory of demand from customers. As well as delivering additional floorspace, we wanted to enhance the tools and capabilities the business has.
“We now have dedicated lab spaces for micro fabrication and mass spectrometry, best in class QC labs on top of the demonstration lab we delivered in a previous phase.
“On top of this the building has plenty of flexible working options meaning teams can come together in different ways to collaborate.”
So is Cyto-Mine now optimised, or are there updates/new features that could be added in future?
“We have some exciting new features coming in the near future which will allow customers to use the instrument for a much broader set of applications,” replies Rob. “As well as recently achieving FDA CFR 21 Pt 11 compliance for the Cyto-Mine software, a new version of the instrument is in development which will give customers significantly more flexibility and enhanced functionality.”