Researchers Worldwide Are Using Berkeley Lights' Beacon Platform To Combat COVID-19

02.28.20

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Berkeley Lights, Inc., a leader in cell selection, is currently engaged with universities and medical centers in the U.S., China, and Australia who are looking to create vaccines and therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus or, simply, Coronavirus. Using Berkeley Lights' proprietary technology, the Beacon® optofluidic platform, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and GenScript China are currently screening patient blood samples to find the necessary antibodies required to help develop a solution to the Coronavirus, while researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia are evaluating the Beacon platform as a means to expedite development of their recombinant subunit vaccine program.

The Vanderbilt Vaccine Center (VVC) is one of the lead sites within the DARPA Pandemic Prevention Platform Program (P3). Given its history of increased speed to therapy with the Zika and other viral targets, the VVC has been selected by DARPA to be a primary site in the U.S. for the development of novel antibody-based therapeutics for the prevention of SARS-CoV2 infection. The VVC recently began receiving crucial human samples from recovered patients which will be screened using Berkeley Lights' Beacon platform to enable the discovery of protective antibodies.

"The Beacon platform allows us to use B-cells in a single cell assay, enabling exploration of a much greater diversity of potentially protective antibodies, helping us more quickly identify the best antibodies," said Dr. Robert Carnahan, project lead for the Crowe Lab at VUMC. 

In Australia, the University of Queensland is one of several groups selected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a Coronavirus vaccine as a result of its recently released rapid response technology. The University is assessing the Beacon platform as it looks to find ways to accelerate early development toward clinical testing. 

"The Beacon platform helps us to be manufacturing-ready more rapidly than use of traditional approaches, potentially saving months off our timeline," said Dr. Trent Munro, Director of the National Biologics Facility and Program Director for the CEPI-funded Vaccine Rapid Response pipeline at the University of Queensland. "As we are seeing, every day matters in our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and we are hopeful this approach will be enabling for future vaccine production."

Additionally, GenScript Biotech Corporation announced in early February that its researchers have successfully screened and identified antibodies for COVID-19 in less than 24 hours with the Beacon platform. This process usually takes three months using traditional hybridoma antibody screening. This is a huge breakthrough in fighting outbreaks faster and finding preventive and therapeutic treatment, specifically for Coronavirus.

About Berkeley Lights
Here at Berkeley Lights, we think cells are awesome! Cells are capable of manufacturing cures for diseases, fibers for clothing, energy in the form of biofuels, and food proteins for nutrition. So the question is, if nature is capable of manufacturing the products we need in a scalable way, why aren't we doing more of this? Well, the answer is that with the solutions available today, it is hard. It takes a long time to find the right cell for a specific job, costs lots of money, and if you have picked a suboptimal cell line, has a very low process yield. Berkeley Lights has the complete solution to find the best cells by functionally screening and recovering individual cells for antibody discovery, cell line development, T cell analysis, and synthetic biology. Our proprietary technology and Beacon® and Lightning™ platforms accelerate the rate you can discover and develop cell-based products in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of conventional, legacy research methods. Using our tools and solutions, scientists can find the best cells, the first time they look. For more information, visit www.berkeleylights.com.

Berkeley Lights' Beacon and Lightning platforms and Culture Station Instrument are:
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Press Contact
berkeleylights@bulleitgroup.com 

SOURCE Berkeley Lights, Inc.

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