Cell line development (CLD) is often the crucial first step in a variety of applications from drug manufacturing to agricultural production, but current CLD processes are slow and laborious. Emeryville, California-based Berkeley Lights hopes to help researchers unleash innovation at a faster pace by shifting the traditional slow CLD workflow into higher gear.

Earlier this month Berkeley Lights introduced its new Opto Cell Line Development (CLD) 2.0 Workflow (Opto CLD 2.0), which is designed for its Beacon optofluidic platform. Opto CLD 2.0 is intended to facilitate the development of the next-generation of complex antibody therapeutics and expand access to generation of production cell lines for both traditional and non-traditional antibody molecules.

New OPTO CLD 2.0 Workflow

According to Anupam Singhal, PhD, product manager for Opto CLD 2.0, standard cell line development workflows require many months to develop a production cell line for a single antibody molecule. “These workflows are optimized for traditional antibody molecules, and re-optimization for each new antibody molecule format is unsustainable,” wrote Mr. Singhal in an email.

Mr. Singhal said that the Opto CLD 2.0 workflow takes this process from many months to one week. “Opto CLD 2.0 can generate monoclonal cell lines secreting either traditional or non-traditional antibodies in under one week,” Mr. Singhal explained. “CLD falls on the critical path for manufacturing of antibody molecules. By compressing CLD timelines, new antibody therapies can reach the clinic more quickly.”

According to Mr. Singhal, the new product achieves more than 99% monoclonality assurance.

Mr. Singhal notes that one limitation for the selection of high-quality production cell lines is the lack of suitable assay reagents for complex antibody molecules. “Standard antibody-capture reagents typically bind to the Fc region,” explained Mr. Singhal. “However, binding of these reagents is often affected by Fc modifications that are made to engineer complex antibody molecules (such as bi-specifics and multi-specifics) or to alter the antibody therapeutic profile. The Opto CLD 2.0 workflow enables quantitative assays that bind either the Fc or Kappa light chain of antibodies using the SpotLight Human Fc and SpotLight Human Kappa reagents, respectively. This expands the diversity of antibody molecules for which cell lines can be selected.”

Mr. Singhal says that the Berkeley Lights team was inspired by natural processes when developing the new workflow. “We drew upon biology’s exquisite capability to produce molecules that bind specifically to other target molecules, as if the two molecules are a lock and key,” he noted.

Berkeley Lights, founded in 2011, is a digital cell biology company that develops and commercializes platforms for the acceleration of discovery, development, and delivery of cell-based products and therapies.

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