Pharma Focus Asia

Synthego Launches Engineered Cell Libraries to Validate Targets with Speed and Accelerate Drug Discovery

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Synthego, the genome engineering company, today announced the launch of Engineered Cell Libraries, a novel offering that further enables access to CRISPR by providing arrayed CRISPR-edited cells for direct use in functional screening assays. The innovative solution leverages Synthego’s Eclipse™ Platform. This high-throughput cell engineering platform delivers cell-based models for disease research by providing highly predictable CRISPR-engineered cells at scale through the integration of engineering, bioinformatics, and proprietary science. Synthego’s Engineered Cell Libraries provide unparalleled speed, scalability, and efficiency to accelerate the drug discovery process by enabling a faster path between experimental design and execution.

As the newest addition to Synthego's Engineered Cells product line, the offering is a custom arrayed library of multi-guide™ knockout cell pools (immortalized or iPSC) delivered ready-made to researchers, efficiently enabling them to bypass the need for equipment and reagent sourcing, transfection, generation of an extensive CRISPR library, and hiring and training of staff. This allows researchers to overcome common hurdles associated with CRISPR-based target discovery and focus specifically on the science.

“Arrayed screening approaches are more sensitive, compatible with a broader assortment of downstream assays, and can yield data that is more readily interpretable than the more commonly used pooled approach but are underutilized due to lack of infrastructure and limited bandwidth,” said Travis Maures, Synthego’s Chief Technology Officer. “With Engineered Cell Libraries, Synthego continues to provide transformative solutions for accelerated drug discovery which ultimately can bring a wider range of therapeutics to market faster.”

With Engineered Cell Libraries, scientists specify the human or mouse cell type (Immortalized or iPSC available at launch) and gene targets they desire to knockout to generate a custom “Knockout Cell Library.” The cells are then edited on Synthego’s Eclipse Platform, which handles guide design, cell line optimization, editing through transfection, and assessment of editing efficiencies, so cells are ready to screen upon arrival.

Engineered Cell Libraries on the Eclipse Platform additionally benefit customers with:

  • Scalability and flexibility - Engineered Cell Libraries allow researchers to maximize their screening power and identify more targets earlier in the screening process.
  • Predictability and transparency - Synthego’s multi-guide™ technology achieves reliably high knockout efficiencies so researchers can confidently proceed with their screens.
  • Cell engineering expertise and support - Synthego uses its expertise to bring automation innovation that provides greater consistency in outcomes and scalability.

Synthego’s Eclipse Platform and Engineered Cell Libraries enable a wide range of applications in research and development across various disease areas and research disciplines such as oncology and neurology. Engineered Cell Libraries were employed in a recent study that used genetic screening to identify host factors that either facilitate or inhibit infection by SARS-CoV-2 and that could potentially be targeted with existing drugs that have been approved for other indications.

“We were able to quickly combine our proteomic expertise with Synthego's genome engineering capabilities in a matter of weeks,” said Nevan J. Krogan, Director, Quantitative Biosciences Institute, University of California, San Francisco. “Normally, work such as this would take many years. We were able to quickly pinpoint which human genes are important for infection, and that allowed us to jump to which ones if we were able to drug them, could have a positive pharmacological effect on SARS-CoV-2 infection. That whole pipeline allowed us to identify several potential drug candidates, several of which we're still looking at.”

Ultimately, Synthego’s goal is to enable scientists to spend less time thinking about method development and more time running their functional assays. The addition of Engineered Cell Libraries is driving impact in biopharma research and development. For more information about Engineered Cell Libraries and Synthego’s Eclipse Platform, visit synthego.com

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