Cell coding company bit.bio has launched a new product, ioSkeletal Myocytes. It's the first product of its kind that provides physiologically relevant human skeletal muscle cells that are reliable, reproducible and consistent at scale. Access to ioSkeletal Myocytes will supercharge research and drug discovery for musculoskeletal and metabolic conditions.
ioSkeletal Myocytes can be used within days after thawing, affording scientists unprecedented ease and consistency for their experiments. ioSkeletal Myocytes are created through direct reprogramming of human iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) using bit.bio's breakthrough cell coding technology opti-ox™. They are the second 'off the shelf' cell type product from bit.bio and form part of the expanding ioCells portfolio. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Synthetic Biology 2018.
Dr Mark Kotter, CEO bit.bio, said: "This second product is another validation of bit.bio's approach to biology as the next disruptive technology. When you give scientists access to reliable human cells the only limit to the questions they can ask and the experiments they can design is their imagination. And we are already seeing that imagination unleashed in the diverse ways our partners are using our cells. Each ioCell will open up a whole new product line in the form of disease models, providing even greater research opportunities. Building out our ioCell portfolio is a core pillar of bit.bio's strategy, next to developing bit.bio's cells for therapeutic applications. Together, this will enable the next generation of medicines."
ioSkeletal Myocytes have been validated by bit.bio's partners in different applications, a key stage in the development of the product. One partner, Charles River Laboratories, a provider of products and services that help expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of novel drugs and therapeutics, has adopted bit.bio's ioSkeletal Myocytes into its discovery offering, including high-throughput screening (HTS) workflows.
Dr Marijn Vlaming, Head of Biology - Leiden & Beerse at Charles River Laboratories, said: "Previously, acquiring skeletal myocytes for research has either been from animal models, which do not always behave like human muscle cells, or by using primary human cells with methods that produce only small cell quantities. We have seen first-hand that ioSkeletal Myocytes eliminate this cumbersome, time-consuming process, and quickly provide reliable and consistent access to large quantities of human myocytes, which can be used for high-throughput screening."
The product provides functional and consistent human cells which can be used to study the physiology of human skeletal muscle cells and their response to potential drug candidates.
bit.bio's human ioSkeletal Myocytes will increase translatability of research findings so can play a significant role in reducing the average cost and time spent on drug development and increase the chances of new treatments making it through the clinic and to patients.
ioSkeletal Myocytes are launching ahead of a bit.bio workshop at The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) drug discovery conference where speakers Dr Luckshman Jeremy Anton (Charles River Laboratories), Prof Michael Duchen (University College London) and Prof Hagan Bayley (University of Oxford) will discuss the challenges of cell models and novel approaches and tools for basic research and drug discovery that include bit.bio's cells. They are available through bit.bio and affiliated distributions to the greater academic and biotech communities.
About bit.bio's opti-ox platform
The advent of stem cell technologies has opened up new opportunities in drug discovery and development by providing new research tools for drug screening, target identification, and toxicity testing. However, the widespread use of human iPSC-derived cells has been restricted by complex and suboptimal differentiation protocols. Many restrictions posed by classical directed differentiation such as purity, scalability, ease of use and consistency are overcome by bit.bio's next generation cellular reprogramming approach. opti-ox is a gene targeting technology that enables faithful execution of genetic information by precisely controlled expression of transcription factors resulting in deterministic induction of a new cell identity. Produced hiPSC-derived cells are mature and functional within days and provide highly-defined, reliable and scalable human cells with simple protocols. For the first time, human cells are available at scale, consistency, and cost point required for HTS.
Background on the need for human derived cells for drug discovery and development
High-throughput screening has long been the principal approach for the development of new drugs. However, the ability of translating drugs into successful clinical therapies has been held back by the lack of biologically relevant human models that are reliable and consistent. ioSkeletal Myocytes offer another human cell type from bit.bio that provides these necessary attributes for high-throughput screening to deliver on its potential.
As ioSkeletal Myocytes have demonstrated similar drug response profiles to patient-derived primary cells, their use could markedly improve the success rate of new drugs progressing through the clinical development stages.
ioSkeletal Myocytes reduce the time-consuming and cumbersome cell culture work that has slowed research in the past. In contrast to variable donor-derived primary cells, for which every new batch must be validated and defined, the single-source ioSkeletal Myocytes provide complete batch-to-batch consistency. This means that they only need to be validated and defined once before they can be scaled indefinitely, delivering a significant time saving that accumulates over longer term experiments.
Accelerated biomedical research, new generations of cures, increased global sustainability. These are in reach when biology transitions to engineering. At bit.bio, we work relentlessly to achieve this goal. We combine the concepts of coding and biology to provide human cells for research, drug discovery, and a new generation of medicines.
For more information visit www.bit.bio
Source and top image: bit.bio