RedShift BioAnalytics introduced its first system, the AQS3pro platform, in 2018. The AQS3pro platform performs secondary structural analysis of proteins, enabling insight into drug safety and efficacy and monitoring from development through manufacturing. The system employs the company’s proprietary Microfluidic Modulation Spectroscopy (MMS) for label-free protein characterization based on IR spectroscopy and microfluidics to enable less costly, more efficient and more flexible secondary structure analysis. A continuous flow of sample and buffer streams enhances sensitivity for characterization of protein aggregation, quantitation, stability, similarity and structure.
In January, RedShiftBio appointed Julien Bradley as CEO to lead the company through its next phase. He comes to the company from well-established analytical instrument makers Quanterix and Thermo Fisher Scientific. RedShiftBio recently completed a Series D Preferred Stock financing, raising $18 million. Investors include Waters, a $2.4 billion analytical instrument company, and private equity firm Technology Venture Partners.
“We’re offering an automated solution for protein characterization that addresses a significant gap in biotherapeutic drug development workflows.”
RedShift Bio recently announced the placement of its first systems at three major biopharma firms. Updating IBO on the commercialization of the AQS3pro platform, Mr. Bradley explained, “The first commercial systems placed at customer sites in Europe and North America are being used by various groups in drug development, but in general we can say that we see strong customer interest spanning from applications in discovery through to development and formulation and even downstream for quality control in manufacturing.” Specific applications include monitoring protein aggregation and study of conformation differences.
“The greatest focus currently is on groups doing development and formulation where the product features are particularly well aligned with our customers’ needs, in particular given the system’s automation helping increase throughput and the ability for MMS to measure proteins even in complex buffer systems.” The system enables walkaway operation and measurement of all five parameters in one run.
Techniques traditionally used for secondary structure characterization include circular dichroism and FTIR. “Those technologies have seen very little innovation and both have major shortcomings,” commented Mr. Bradley. “By contrast, the AQS3pro provides a completely novel solution for biophysical protein characterization which addresses a significant gap in biotherapeutic drug development workflows. We can have a significant impact on accelerating development timelines and reducing risk of later failures of drug products.”
Asked about the priorities of the company under his leadership, Mr. Bradley commented, “This is truly a disruptive tool which represents the next generation in higher order protein structure measurement capability. Our biggest challenge–which is always the case for new technologies in this industry–is helping customers understand how our platform can improve their current workflows and have a measurable business impact.” He added, “As a business, commercial acceleration is our top priority, followed by continuing to innovate and incorporate the feedback that we’re getting from our early customers to continue to improve the technology and also expand its capabilities.”
User awareness includes a growing list of publications. “My experience being in this industry for a long time and in science tools is that publications are absolutely a predictor of commercial success,” he remarked. “Last year we were in 10 publications, and that’s a really a great start for a new technology. We expect to double that this year.”
The company has raised more than $40 million in funding to date, according to Crunchbase, and is expanding its workforce. “We are under 50 but growing very rapidly and expect to cross that threshold soon,” said Mr. Bradley. This workforce increase will help the company to develop new applications for the platform. “We’re certainly not seeing MMS limited to just one application. We have a lot of ideas for how to expand this into other applications or other segments. The opportunity pipeline is very rich.”