The collaboration will test and optimize non-viral delivery of bit.bio’s patented safe harbour gene-targeting approach, used to inducibly express transcription factor combinations to reprogram human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
Developing this approach as an alternative to viral vector delivery will enable bit.bio to precisely engineer stem cells into any mature, functional human cell type with higher efficiency, speed and control.
The combination of Mekonos’ silicon chip-based delivery platform with bit.bio’s cellular reprogramming technologies will enable powerful new levels of precision and efficiency in the engineering of iPSCs, said Jake Lesnik, vice president of business development at Mekonos.
“We are excited to partner with the world-class team at bit.bio – leaders in synthetic biology and the engineering of human cells – and to leverage Mekonos’ unique non-viral platform for ex-vivo delivery of reprogramming factors to engineer human cells at unprecedented scale and efficiency,” he said.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Mark Kotter, founder and CEO of bit.bio, said efficient delivery and targeted integration of genetic payloads will be a critical step in manufacturing clinical grade iPSCs for cell therapies.
“Together with bit.bio’s cellular reprogramming approach, iPSCs have the potential to enable access to allogeneic cell therapies at an affordable cost and to manufacture them as ‘off the shelf’ products,” he said.
“We are optimistic this collaboration will help unlock new opportunities for efficiency in the iPSC engineering process that further advance our cell therapy development.”
Initial results stemming from the research collaboration are expected mid-year.