Rapid on-boarding of the VIPS platform helped provide a competitive edge for Biotech start-up and a successful IND outcome

As the pressures on cell line development (CLD) laboratories are ever-increasing to expand into the expression of new modalities, you need a cell line development workflow that seamlessly works from day one.

Biotheus, a new innovator biotech company, wanted a to invest in instrumentation to support CLD activities that could provide the following key attributes: (1) well-respected provider with a strong track record in cell line development; (2) adoption of CLD core instruments that needed little onboarding and training so they could get up to speed quickly; (3) complimentary instruments that could save scientists’ time and fast track their CLD pipeline to get their molecules into the clinic.

Biotheus, founded in April 2018, is a new biotech start-up company based in China and led by an experienced senior management team with track record of successfully taking biologics through to commercialisation.  Working in the exciting area of immuno-oncology, their first candidate drug, PM8001, targets programmed cell death ligand 1.   The hunt for therapeutics is in a hotly contested area, so it was vital for Biotheus to reach the clinic as fast as possible with their innovative bi-specific molecule.  In March 2020, they successfully received approval to take PM8001 forward to clinical trials.  Now that they have had a successful IND with the National Medical Product Administration in China, they will soon expand to other regions while they develop their second wave of molecules in their pipeline.

Within dynamic start-up biotech, it is critical to recognise where to invest in plug-and-play systems that aid your team to do their routine work, and not get caught up in unnecessary customisation and lengthy validation work to fit a CLD process into an instrument.  Thus, freeing up the team to focus on the more significant scientific challenges and build a robust, innovative pipeline of molecules as fast as possible.  Biotheus managed to balance this expertly with the deployment of the VIPSTM in their CLD laboratory.

“The VIPSTM system and software has helped our company to deliver a high-quality data-package that meets global regulatory standards. As a start-up we often wear multiple hats. The ease of use and reliability of the VIPSTM freed up valuable time and resources to help with platform development and to support the discovery team for other R&D activities.” Dr Andy Tsun, Co-Founder & VP of Discovery Biology at Biotheus Inc.

Systems like the VIPSTM have fast onboarding processes.  These systems are built on the bedrock of microtiter growth environments, with many mammalian cell lines already well adapted to growing in microtiter plates.  Overall efficiencies are apparent compared to classical CLD techniques, leading to savings in resources and scientists’ time.  The training and use of the instrument are straightforward, so the scientists can get on with thinking about the more significant scientific challenges of optimising platforms and innovative biotherapeutic molecules.

Dr Andy Tsun has shared more of his thoughts on the deployment of the VIPSTM technology within his customer experience regulatory case study.