Genovac Adds Third Berkeley Lights Beacon®, Now Offers Cell Line Development

Genovac Becomes the First Contract Research Organization (CRO) to Leverage the Beacon Technology for Both Antibody Discovery and Cell Line Development

EMERYVILLE, Calif. and FARGO, N.D. — Oct. 5, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Berkeley Lights, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLI), a leader in digital cell biology, and Genovac Antibody Discovery, a leading contract research organization that discovers and develops antibodies for diagnostic, therapeutic and research market segments, today announced Genovac’s expansion into cell-line development (CLD) capabilities using the Berkeley Lights Beacon® system and Opto™ CLD workflow. 

Genovac has already been using two Beacon single B cell-screening platforms it purchased from Berkeley Lights for rapid antibody discovery (AbD) against biopharma’s most challenging targets. The company purchased a third Beacon system to leverage the Opto CLD workflow to support the expansion of its capabilities. The integration of CLD with its antibody discovery, production, and characterization capabilities will allow Genovac to further demonstrate its commitment to enabling client success through the utilization of the most advanced technologies and suite of comprehensive services.

“Genovac continues to invest in Berkeley Lights’ technology because it has proven to significantly outperform other platforms in the successful discovery and development of antibodies against challenging targets, and on an accelerated timeline,” said Brian Walters, chief executive officer of Genovac. “The powerful combination of our genetic immunization technology with the Berkeley Lights Beacon system has facilitated dramatic improvements to our success rates on the most difficult multi-transmembrane proteins, and the new workflow will allow us to support our clients’ development objectives with the most robust and rapid CLD platform.”

It is anticipated that the start-up time to begin CLD workflows with the Berkeley Lights Beacon system will be as much as six months shorter than what could be achieved compared to bringing up other technologies. After the start-up phase, Genovac scientists will only need approximately 2.5 hours of touch time over a week to complete the CLD process, enabling them to drive faster discoveries for their customers.

“With the addition of the CLD workflow, we firmly believe we will be able to build on our unprecedented success of finding previously unreachable targets such as GPCRs and ion channels and provide high-producing cell lines that will be capable of efficiently manufacturing the therapeutics for our customers,” continued Walters. “The Berkeley Lights technology is unlocking access to those targets, and together we are significantly advancing this field.”

Berkeley Lights Chief Executive Officer Eric Hobbs, Ph.D., said, “With this commitment, Genovac continues to lead the way in research by being the first CRO to leverage the Berkeley Lights Platform for both AbD and CLD. Their capacity expansion demonstrates the power and value they place on the Beacon system due to its broad applicability across multiple disciplines to find the biology to cure disease while also providing a rapid and reliable path to the clinic to treat patients in need.”

To foster the growth of the bioscience industry in North Dakota, the purchase of another Beacon system was part of a competitive Bioscience Innovation Grant Genovac received in August from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. “Advances in bioscience have already transformed many sectors including agriculture and medicine,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “This grant will help North Dakota stay on the forefront of bioscience innovation.” 

This initiative also was supported by the Bioscience Association of North Dakota and the North Dakota Department of Commerce. 

Case studies on the Beacon system

Genovac has issued three case studies to compare the Beacon system to a hybridoma platform for rapid antibody discovery against difficult targets. The findings demonstrated: 

  • • Screening of primary B cell on Berkeley Lights Beacon system accelerates the antibody discovery process by weeks compared to standard hybridoma; 
  • • The technology facilitates rapid screening of thousands of single plasma cells on the same day as cell isolation;
  • • Target-binding candidates are identified in just one day, and sequencing of variable chains as well as generation of recombinant antibodies is carried out in 2–4 weeks; and 
  • • The Beacon system’s strongest advantages are its abilities to deliver success against a range of targets that fail with traditional technologies and to increase yields and diversity in the other cases.

About Genovac

Genovac is a contract research organization that offers the world’s most advanced antibody discovery solutions. Its immunization technologies, combined with advanced hybridoma and the Berkeley Lights Beacon platform, enable success against the most challenging targets. In addition to its headquarters and labs in Fargo, Genovac operates a second scientific and production facility in Freiburg, Germany.

Since its founding in 1999, Genovac has completed more than 3,500 projects, providing antibodies to clients in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia that have been developed into clinical and commercial drugs. Genovac also has completed more than 25 client and internal COVID-19 campaigns and has developed two antibodies that successfully neutralize the United Kingdom, Brazilian and South African mutations.

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, comprising 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.

Berkeley Lights’ Beacon® and Lightning systems and Culture Station instrument are FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY.  Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Forward-Looking Statements

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Berkeley Lights or its products, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that relate to future events, and actual results and product performance could differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Berkeley Lights undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s growth and continual evolution see the statements in the “Risk Factors” sections, and elsewhere, in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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