Berkeley Lights Automates Biological Processing To Reduce Drug Development Timelines And Bring Therapies To Market Faster

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI), a company dedicated to the development of transformational technologies for biopharmaceutical processes, today announced that nearly half of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies are using BLI's technology to accelerate groundbreaking research and drive rapid advances in biologic therapies. Using computer-controlled workflows, Berkeley Lights' Beacon OptoFluidic platform delivers unmatched precision, speed, and scale so companies can reduce the high costs and long lead times associated with drug discovery and cell therapy manufacturing.

Berkeley Lights, Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Berkeley Lights, Inc.)

"The digitization of biology coupled with increasing computational power and application of deep learning has paved the way for new and improved therapies. However, we need a way to deliver these therapies in a cost-effective and rapid manner and further increase access to all patients," said Michael Moritz, Partner, Sequoia Capital. "By combining the best of engineering with the world of biology, Berkeley Lights is helping companies achieve this with an automated platform that frees biologists from manual tasks to focus on discovering new treatments."

The integration of automation into the drug discovery workflow has the potential to reduce standard development timelines from 15 years to less than five years.1 Each day saved in the development of these therapies equates to reduced overall development costs and earlier patient access to vital drugs. Today Berkeley Lights' customers are using the Beacon platform to accelerate biological workflows, specifically for large molecule therapies.

The company is also applying its technology to diagnostics and cell therapy manufacturing for personalized medicine. Rapid advances in CAR-T, CRISPR based gene editing and other new discoveries enable human immune cell modification to combat cancer and show great promise. However, because these therapies use the patient's own immune cells, they are complex to discover, costly to manufacture and many patients go untreated.

"Berkeley Lights' technology gives scientists the ability to see, interact and automate biological processing to dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of research and development," said Eric Hobbs, PhD, CEO, Berkeley Lights. "Modern medicine is experiencing a biological revolution where new therapies that are able to combat complex disease are advancing rapidly. Our platforms provide the scale, speed, and cost efficiencies needed to accelerate these advances with the ultimate goal of providing access to life changing therapies for all patients."

Berkeley Lights Beacon Platform Combines Engineering and Biology

Berkeley Lights' computer-controlled platform, Beacon, automates biological processes for cell line development, antibody discovery and engineering, gene editing, and synthetic biology. With its unique light-based technology, individual cells can be moved, isolated, cultured, assayed, and exported with a nanofluidic chip based on semiconductor principles.

Since launching in December 2016, adoption of Berkeley Lights' Beacon platform continues to grow with nearly half of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies using the Beacon platform. With the Beacon platform, customers can:

  • Interact with cells for richer insights: Precise cell-by-cell manipulation gives biologists the ability to directly interact with single cells and select the right cells based on specific criteria. By placing single cells in nanoliter volumes, users can screen, monitor, and down-select cells of interest significantly faster than conventional macrofluidic workflows.
  • Reach unmatched levels of scalability: Today, cell analysis is a largely manual, time-intensive process with biologists selecting, culturing and assaying cells by hand. Automation of these workflows delivers scalability not previously possible with manual or semi-automated processes.
  • Significantly shorten workflows: The Beacon platform has shortened workflows for selecting for hybridoma cloning from 14 days to 2 days, high producing clones for cell line development from 50 days to 5 days, and for plasma B-cell workflows from 90 days to 3 days.
  • Quickly deploy new workflows and functionalities: Unlike traditional biology platforms that are purpose built for a single workflow, the Beacon platform delivers versatility with the ability to create reproducible workflows that can be quickly deployed.
  • Accelerate research and development: The Beacon platform visually monitors and captures data on individual cells over time. With continuous digital records of cell selection, criteria, and other data, biologists can standardize and reproduce findings to quickly bring new therapies to market. Additional insights can be mined from the rich data sets for further discovery and development efforts.

To learn more about Berkeley Lights' Beacon platform, visit

About Berkeley Lights

Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI) develops and commercializes platforms on which many bio-pharmaceutical, genomic, and cellular therapy applications will run. BLI launched its first commercial platform, the Beacon*, in December 2016. The Beacon platform is ideally suited for cell line development and direct B-cell (plasma and memory cells) antibody discovery workflows.  The flexibility of the Beacon platform allows users to automate biological processes and BLI is continuously developing new applications to align with its partners' requirements.  BLI's technologies make it possible for customers to accelerate learning and dramatically improve workflows.

* For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

For more information, visit


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