Berkeley Lights Announces Opto™ Antigen-Presenting Bead Kit to Accelerate the Expansion of Antigen-Specific T Cells Used to Develop Cell-Based Therapies


EMERYVILLE, Calif. (June 24, 2020) — Berkeley Lights, Inc., a leader in Digital Cell Biology, today announced the Opto Antigen-Presenting Bead (APB) kit, a new reagent kit that activates and expands antigen-specific T cells in peripheral blood to create artificial T cells. The APB kit is ten times more effective than the current, standard dendritic cell process, which is used for antigen discovery for cancer vaccines, TCR discovery for transgenic TCR cell therapy, and expansion of antigen-specific T cells for endogenous T cell therapy.

The APB kit is a part of the company’s Opto™ Cell Therapy Development 2.0 workflow and with this new kit, scientists can measure multiple cytokines, visualize tumor cell killing, and expand & validate rare T cells on the Beacon® and Lightning™ systems. The functional properties of the resulting T cells are assayed and recovered for TCR or genome sequencing.

“T cell-based therapies are showing great promise for cancer treatment,” said John Proctor, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Marketing at Berkeley Lights. “Our APB kit will provide scientists developing these therapies with a way to rapidly identify existing T cells that will react to tumor antigens and expand them to generate enough antigen-specific T cells for use in TCR discovery and production of T cell therapies. Ultimately, we believe the APB kit will enable scientists to move to the next step of developing T cell-based therapies more quickly and efficiently.”

The APB kit allows scientists to load any peptide onto a bead and measure critical peptide-Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) interactions before stimulating antigen-specific T cells with the best peptides. This new workflow removes the need to assay ineffective peptides that do not bind to the HLA complex in the first place. The APB kit consists of beads coated with co-stimulatory antibodies, an HLA complex that measures the degree of loading and stability of the peptide, and tetramers that stain the antigen-specific T cells that are generated. By replacing the role of dendritic cells in T cell workflows, this kit enables Berkeley Lights’ customers to save time and costs by removing variability in antigen presentation.

The Opto Antigen-Presenting Bead (APB) kit will be available in early Fall 2020. More information can be found here:

About Berkeley Lights

Berkeley Lights is a leading Digital Cell Biology company focused on enabling and accelerating the rapid development and commercialization of biotherapeutics and other cell-based products for our customers. The Berkeley Lights Platform captures deep phenotypic, functional and genotypic information for thousands of single cells in parallel and can also deliver the live biology customers desire in the form of the best cells. Our platform is a fully integrated, end-to-end solution, comprised of proprietary consumables, including our OptoSelect chips and reagent kits, advanced automation systems, and application software. We developed the Berkeley Lights Platform to provide the most advanced environment for rapid functional characterization of single cells at scale, the goal of which is to establish an industry standard for our customers throughout their cell-based product value chain. Our mission is to accelerate the use of cell-based products by providing researchers access to the Berkeley Lights Platform to find the best cells in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Berkeley Lights’ Beacon and Lightning systems and Culture Station instrument are for research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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