From the press release.
Mekonos, Inc., a biotech platform company building the future of cell therapies on a chip, has announced a new research collaboration with bit.bio, a synthetic biology company providing human cells for research, drug discovery and cell therapy.
The collaboration will test and optimize non-viral delivery of bit.bio’s patented safe harbour gene-targeting approach (opti-ox™; Pawlowski 2017), which is used to inducibly express transcription factor combinations to reprogram human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Developing this approach as an alternative to viral vector delivery will enable bit.bio to precisely engineer stem cells into any mature, functional human cell type with higher efficiency, speed and control.
“The combination of Mekonos’ unique, silicon chip-based delivery platform with bit.bio’s leading cellular reprogramming technologies will enable powerful new levels of precision and efficiency in the engineering of iPSCs,” said Jake Lesnik, VP of Business Development at Mekonos. “We are excited to partner with the world-class team at bit.bio – leaders in synthetic biology and the engineering of human cells – and to leverage Mekonos’ unique non-viral platform for ex vivo delivery of reprogramming factors to engineer human cells at unprecedented scale and efficiency.”
“Efficient delivery and targeted integration of genetic payloads will be a critical step in manufacturing clinical-grade iPSCs for cell therapies. Together with bit.bio’s cellular reprogramming approach, iPSCs have the potential to enable access to allogeneic cell therapies at an affordable cost and to manufacture them as ‘off the shelf’ products,” commented Dr. Mark Kotter, Founder and CEO of bit.bio. “We are optimistic this collaboration will help unlock new opportunities for efficiency in the iPSC engineering process that further advance our cell therapy development.”
Initial results stemming from the research collaboration are expected mid-year.
About Mekonos, Inc.
Mekonos is an enabling technology company transforming synthetic biology and personalized medicine. The company’s ex vivo delivery platform merges innovations in semiconductor, microfluidics, and chemistry for controlled and individualized molecular delivery in cells at scale. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, is backed by leading investors in both healthcare and technology, and was named a 2018 Fierce 15 Startup. For more information, please visit https://mekonos.com/technology.