Press ReleasesMekonos Announces Research Collaboration With bit.bio to Advance Cell Engineering

New collaboration combines Mekonos’ novel ex vivo delivery platform with bit.bio’s unique opti-ox™ precision cellular reprogramming technology to accelerate the development of human cells for research, drug discovery and next-generation cell therapies

4 May 2023 -- San Francisco, US -- Mekonos, 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 optimise 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 reprogramme 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
Mekonos is an enabling technology company transforming synthetic biology and personalised medicine. The company's ex vivo delivery platform merges innovations in semiconductor, microfluidics and chemistry for controlled and individualised 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 www.mekonos.com/technology.

About bit.bio
bit.bio is a synthetic biology company providing human cells for research, drug discovery and cell therapy. The company was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2016 and has since raised $150m capital from Arch Ventures, Foresite Capital, Milky Way, Charles River Laboratories, National Resilience, Tencent and Puhua Capital among others. Visit: www.bitbio.com.

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