Wednesday, 15 July 2020 12:24

OPTi-OX: Reprogramming stem cells directly into the desired cell type Featured

The company Bit Bio is specialized in the deterministic programming of human cells, thereby skipping the time-consuming and inconsistent embryonic development.

Bit Bio is an award-winning spinout from the University of Cambridge, UK. The founders have developed a platform called OPTi-OX that enables the direct transfer of millions of stem cells into the desired cell type within days. While this takes much longer using conventional methods (between 3 and 20 weeks) and a mixed cell population is achieved with different cells, the advantage of the new method, apart from the short time required, is that the desired, almost identical cells can be cultivated.

With its platform, the company has so far developed skeletal muscle cells and glutaminergic neurons.

The goal of the company is to produce all human cells in order to make them available to scientists for their research and for the pharmaceutical industry to develop new medicines.

Original paper:
Matthias Pawlowski, Daniel Ortmann, Alessandro Bertero, Joana M. Tavares, Roger A. Pedersen, Ludovic Vallier &Mark R.N. Kotter (2017). Inducible and Deterministic Forward Programming of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into Neurons, Skeletal Myocytes, and Oligodendrocytes. Stem Cell Reports 8: 803–812.

Interview with one of the founders of bit bio, Dr. Mark Kotter