Life Science Instruments

Company Announcements

In December 2018, Luminex named Kenneth A. Samet to the Board, increasing the size of its Board to nine. He served as CEO of MedStar Health, a nonprofit health care delivery system.

Product Introductions

Syngene introduced in November 2018 the new generation G:BOX Chemi XX6/XX9 multi-application gel and blot systems for fluorescence and chemiluminescent imaging, which utilizes a wide-aperture f0.8 lens.

Labnet International released in January the ENDURO GDS II and GDS Touch II Gel Documentation Systems for visualization of DNA and protein stained within a gel. It features 3.2 MP image resolution.

In February, BMG LABTECH introduced the CLARIOstar Plus, featuring Enhanced Dynamic Range, which offers what it calls the largest possible detection dynamic range (8 decades) for ease of setup. Also new is the option to equip the reader with up to 3 dedicated detectors.


Gene-based Analysis

Company Announcements

In January, NimaGen agreed to licensing terms for research applications for a novel One Step PCR technology employing reverse complement probes from the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Reverse Complement PCR (RC-PCR) permits the combined generation and flexible tagging of amplicon constructs from a target sequence or sequences in a single, closed tube amplification and indexing reaction.

Product Introductions

In December 2018, Biolytic Lab Performance launched the Dr. Oligo 192c, an affordable high-throughput oligo synthesizer. Built for operation in research and production facilities, the system synthesizes up to 192 high-quality oligos in one run.

Sales and Orders of Note

In January, Bionano Genomics announced that Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, is among a growing number of global sites focused on human clinical applications that are adopting its Saphyr system for detecting structural variations.


Cell-based Analysis

Company Announcements

ACEA Biosciences, part of Agilent Technologies, joined the new NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies in November 2018. The company will work with the Krish Roy lab at Georgia Tech University to develop potency assays for CAR-T cells.

Bioprinting firm CELLINK announced in November 2018 the acquisition of Dispendix, a provider of high-throughput, noncontact dispensing products, for €5 million ($6 million).

In December 2018, CELLINK and Prellis Biologics partnered to commercialize high-resolution holographic bioprinting technology for micro-printing. The first bioprinting system offered by the two parties will be the CELLINK Holograph-X Bioprinter–Powered by Prellis Biologics and will have a retail price of approximately $1.2 million. The system will enable the first ever bioprinting of pre-vascularized tissue structures demonstrated to support tissue growth 10x larger than standard spheroid cultures.

In January, digital cell biology firm Berkeley Lights entered into a collaboration to explore multiple lines of inquiry aimed at advancing cellular therapies, including CAR-T therapeutics, with Megan Suhoski Davis, Director of the Product Development Laboratory at the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Solentim, a provider of cell line­-development instruments, entered into a technology partnership and collaboration agreement with bioengineering company ATUM in January. The collaboration will integrate Solentim’s VIPS (verified in-situ plate seeding) hardware for isolating single cells with ATUM’s Leap-In Transposase expression technology.

In January, picodroplet technology firm Sphere Fluidics and lab automation firm Peak Analysis and Automation (PAA) announced a collaboration to create automated microplate handling capabilities for single-cell analysis. PAA’s SLAB plate handler will be integrated with Sphere Fluidics’ CytoMine Single Cell Analysis System to help increase throughput in antibody discovery and cell line development.

Sphere Fluidics closed a $2 million investment round in January. Investors include Greenwood Way Capital, Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund, and 24Haymarket.

1CellBio partnered with Partek in January to deliver a data analysis pipeline for its inDrop System single-cell transcriptomics platform for use within Partek Flow bioinformatics software.

In February, Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) and BioSpherix Medical entered a collaboration agreement, aiming to co-market their respective hermetically sealed cell incubators, and complementary product lines and HoloMonitor M4 time-lapse cytometer, which is designed to continuously operate inside a cell incubator.

Product Introductions

BioTek Instruments introduced in October 2018 a Peltier Cooling Module for the Cytation Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Readers. The compact module keeps internal temperature rise to less than one degree over ambient.

In December 2018, Berkeley Lights launched a plasma B cell antibody discovery workflow for use on the Beacon Optofluidic Platform. It enables screening and assay time of 24 hours.

Molecular Devices, a Danaher company, announced in January several new features for its ImageXpress Pico automated cell imaging system, including environmental control and z-stack acquisition.

Sales and Orders of Note

In December 2018, Novo Nordisk purchased Berkeley Lights’ Beacon Optofluidic platform to accelerate workflows in cell line development and for future protein and antibody discovery.

In January, Harbour BioMed, a global biopharmaceutical company, acquired Berkeley Lights’ Beacon Optofluidic platform to implement accelerated workflows for single-cell screening and analysis.

In February, ImmunoPrecise, a full-service, therapeutic and diagnostic antibody discovery company, purchased a second Intellicyt iQue Screener PLUS from Sartorius for high-throughput cell-based screening.


Protein-based Analysis

Company Announcements

In November 2018, Nicoya Life Sciences designated the National Center for Biological Sciences’ Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bengaluru, India, as an OpenSPR Center of Excellence.

Fluidic Analytics raised $31 million in November 2018 in a round led by Draper Esprit. The company is developing the microfluidics-based Fluidity One System, built on a Fluidic Separation Detection Technology, to rapidly measure changes in protein size caused by folding, aggregation or interactions with other proteins in a biologically relevant context.

In January, Unchained Labs, which supplies instrumentation for biologics research, opened a new contract testing lab at its headquarters in Pleasanton, California, for providing identification of unwanted particles in drug products and quality assessment of the silicone layers on drug delivery devices.

In January, graphene biosensor firm Nanomedical Diagnostics changed its named to Cardea. The new name reflects implementation of a new business model that allows for OEM partnerships. The company also named Michael Heltzen as co-CEO. Current products and business activities under the Nanomedical Diagnostics­-brand umbrella will continue under the shortened name Nanomed as a Cardea brand.

Product Introductions

In January, Bio-Techne introduced the CE-SDS PLUS system for its ProteinSimple-branded Maurice platform. It includes a new cartridge, a novel sample buffer and a new version of “Compass for iCE” software to reduce undesirable protein fragmentation during separation.

Bio-Techne launched in January the 48-Digoxigenin cartridge, a new customizable cartridge format for the ProteinSimple-branded Ella immunoassay platform. The cartridge uses an anti-digoxigenin antibody on the surface of the Glass Nano Reactors (GNRs) to act as a universal capture, and users can impart specificity to the GNRs by introducing their own digoxigenin-labeled reagents.

In January, Fluidigm released the REAPseq (RNA expression and protein sequencing) protocol for use with its C1 system. C1 REAPseq is a multiomic single-cell application that enables deep characterization of unique cellular subtypes and functional states by measuring the expression of both cellular proteins and RNAs. It was was developed in collaboration with Merck.

Nanomed announced in January an early access program for the biosensor-based Revel, calling it the first high-throughput direct measurement platform for fragments and small molecules using orthogonal Field Effect Biosensing technology. Measuring up to 10 mM concentrations, the Revel is 24-channel direct binding system that is fully automated with a 48-hour walkaway run time. It is designed to be used with the Nimbus HD liquid handler from Hamilton Robotics.

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