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Charles River Partners with Bit Bio, Increasing Portfolio of Translational Drug Discovery Technologies

By Diagnostics World News Staff

December 11, 2019 | Charles River announced that it has entered into an exclusive Discovery and Safety Services partnership with Bit Bio, a company that offers consistent and efficient reprogramming of human cells for use in research, drug discovery, and cell therapies.

By applying an engineering approach to synthetic and stem cell biology, Bit Bio has developed proprietary technologies for the efficient, consistent, and scalable reprogramming of induced pluripotent stem cells.

"We believe that the next generation of medicine hinges on widespread access to human cells," Bit Bio's Chief Business Officer, Paul Morrill, said in a press release. "We are excited to be partnering with Charles River to put our cells within a context to drive human translational experiments at the earliest stages of drug discovery and safety assessment."

Cellular reprogramming is the process by which human stem cells, given a precise set of genetic instructions, differentiate into a desired cell type. Current cellular reprogramming approaches are inefficient, with low cell yields, creating a gap for applications requiring high quality, consistent, and pure human cells.

To overcome this hurdle, Bit Bio has developed a gene engineering approach, opti-ox (optimized inducible over-expression). This platform, validated on both muscle and brain cells, enables precise, controllable stem cell reprogramming. According to Bit Bio, the process is more efficient and scalable than available technologies in transforming stem cells into desired cell types.

By combining the purity, scale, and speed of the opti-ox platform with deep learning algorithms, Bit Bio has the potential to accelerate the discovery and application of every single human cell type.

With Bit Bio as a partner, Charles River plans to offer clients access to an expanding suite of authentic human cells through their use in target discovery, validation and screening services. In drug discovery and safety, the use of high quality, authentic human cells at scale will enable the development of therapies with a higher chance of success in patients. Additionally, through the partnership, Charles River will contribute to the development and validation of novel cell lines.

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