Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI) has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with Pfizer focused on optimizing BLI's proprietary Beacon Optofluidic platform with the goal of helping to accelerate Pfizer's monoclonal antibody (mAb) discovery and gene editing workflows.
Through the collaboration, the companies will combine BLI's platform – which utilizes a light-based, nano-fluidic method to select, characterize, culture and export single cells – with Pfizer's expertise in gene editing, sequencing, and molecular biology, as well as B-cell screening, to help advance the research aims and influence the development of the Beacon platform.
"We are excited to collaborate with Pfizer to optimize the Beacon platform for their monoclonal antibody discovery and gene editing workflows, through which we hope to enable their scientists to spend more of their valuable time on the hard science rather than the laborious but necessary processes," said Keith Breinlinger, PhD, General Manager Life Sciences, SVP Engineering at Berkeley Lights, Inc. "Through this program we plan to deliver a new level of speed and precision that, we believe, is unattainable with other methods."
The Beacon platform is capable of screening thousands of plasma B-cells or gene edited cells in an automated fashion, speeding up a traditionally time-consuming, manual process to just a few days. Cell characterizations are performed through a variety of serial or multiplex fluorescence assays to determine antigen specific binding to membrane bound targets on live cells, relative affinity, and functional response with reporter cells. Individual cells with the desired characteristics are selected and exported for genomic profiling or further manipulation.