Mission Bio Launches Assay Development Service for Single Cell Multiomics
Mission Bio just launched its Pharma Assay Development (PAD) service, enabling its customers to obtain early access services based on the newest technologies as well as on its existing products. This will help them implement single-cell multiomics capabilities in their own drug discovery, translation and clinical research endeavors in oncology.
More specifically, Darrin Crisitello, chief commercial officer of Mission Bio, told BioSpace that PAD provides “simultaneous access to DNA and protein information at the single-cell level.”
Detecting DNA and protein changes in single cells at the same time enables true genotyping and phenotyping, “which, isn’t offered by any other company. That’s a unique advantage,” he pointed out.
“This can help them identify new areas of opportunity in their pipelines, especially in areas such as understanding biomarkers and adding combination therapies,” Crisitello said.
It benefits the cell and gene therapy space, too, adding insights that may enhance their therapeutics.
PAD is strictly for assay development.
“We don’t just run samples as a service,” Crisitello said. “PAD’s value is in developing bespoke assays that benefit that particular client.”
Mission Bio piloted PADs with a number of pharmaceutical companies before Wednesday’s full launch.
Researchers from Agios Pharmaceuticals used the system to investigate combinational therapies and ivosidenib resistance, for example. Scientists from the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Pennsylvania relied upon PAD during investigations of treatment resistance mechanisms. Papers subsequently have been published in Blood Advances and Cancer Discovery.
At the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) general meeting, which concluded last week, Mission Bio presented three posters highlighting work with the Tapestri platform, which is integral to PAD:
- Single-cell multi-omics analysis of SNV, CNV and protein expression
- A multimodal single-cell workflow to interrogate cellular responses to cancer therapy
Some key Tapestri users presented their work on clonal hematopoiesis at that meeting, also. A researcher from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discussedclonal hematopoiesis in relation to hematologic malignancies; a UT MD Anderson Cancer Center researcher discussed it as a premalignant state; and a Stanford University researcher discussed it in terms of human aging and disease. All this underscores that Tapestri and PAD are actively contributing to the advance of scientific knowledge today.
PAD, by working with Tapestri, accelerates assay development speed. For instance, a typical technological implementation involves assessing needs, evaluate multiple technologies, purchasing the equipment and reagents, assigning experts to determine what an assay may look like for a particular challenge, running several assays and analyzing their results using bioinformatics. This is challenging and time consuming, particularly if the scientists haven’t done this in a while.
In contrast, Crisitello said, “Rather than evaluating technology and bringing it in-house, we will run it on their behalf.” This approach supports a faster and easier path for proof-of-concept, and helps streamline adoption in the future.
“Mission Bio does assay development routinely, over and over,” he said, which brings expert perspective to projects.
The implication is that assays can be developed more successfully and faster by experts who do this as their primary focus, day-in and day-out.
While the speed from the start of development to output varies by the project, one to two months – versus the year it takes many companies – is typical. “In cell and gene therapy, we can take assay development from, start to running, from months down to days on the Tapestri platform.
Tapestri combines two assays into one workflow to simultaneously identify genotype and phenotype data from the same cell. This microfluidic instrument is used by biopharmaceutical companies to detect analytes and proteins and thereby provide insights relevant to drug discovery and biomarker development, as well as to cell and gene therapy.
“That significant reduction in the time frame is really beneficial,” he added. The pharmaceutical industry is known for its, rightly, cautious nature. Mission Bio’s PAD service removes many of the reasons company refrain from embracing technological advances. “We develop the assay,” Crisitello said. Once the client is satisfied, Mission Bio transfer it to its clients, who often transfer it to their contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).
Mission Bio is, to its knowledge, the only company offering this service for the single cell multi-omics space.
“The unique aspect can enable DNA as well as protein, which is really important for the translation companies developing drugs,” Crisitello said.
Coinciding with the PAD launch, Mission Bio appointed Harsha Kavuri as general manager of Pharmaceutical Assay Development. Kavuri has a strong background in strategy and analytics as Sr. Director Strategy & Analytics for Mission Bio. He has held previous positions at Natera, Keystone Strategy, and Bain & Company.
In the future, “As pharmaceutical companies continue to go deeper into the drug development pipeline, we’ll develop more and more outreach to accelerate those efforts,” he said.
What, exactly, that outreach will be remains to be determined.