Sphere Fluidics' Cyto-Mine wins major European Product Innovation award


In the biopharmaceutical drug discovery space, companies traditionally explore and analyze engineered cells and their biomolecules with single cell analysis and sorting platforms, such as clone pickers and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). However, as Frost & Sullivan’s research shows, the discovery of a single drug can involve multiple steps in single cell analytics, including analyzing, sorting, imaging, and dispensing into individual wells of microtiter plates. Traditional methods currently used by many companies in this space require different types of equipment for each step, which increases costs, turnaround time, and the risk of sample contamination. In addition, these common methods can lead to ineffective data processing and data reproducibility issues. 

Sphere Fluidics’ proprietary Cyto-Mine® platform can perform multiple tasks in a single compact and portable system, thereby reducing equipment costs, lab space footprint, and the risk of sample contamination. Cyto-Mine®’s proprietary picodroplet microfluidic technology allows for the ultra-high throughput analysis of isolated cells in miniaturized (pL to nL) picodroplets, which use biocompatible surfactants for stabilization that can provide a buffer cushion around each cell to protect them from shear stress. In addition, Cyto-Mine® can process several million picodroplets per day; therefore, the end user can screen more cells (up to 10 million) to detect rare diseases in less time. 

“Frost & Sullivan finds that the innovative design of the Cyto-Mine® platform can compete with the design aspects of traditionally used clone pickers or flow cytometry to ensure faster analysis with higher success rates,” said Sanchari Chatterjee Maity. “Sphere Fluidics’ platform design is capable of analyzing millions of discrete samples per day. Test results showcase high-speed sorting, processing, and detecting of about 18,000 cells per minute.” 

Cyto-Mine® can perform novel assays to determine protein secretion rates, titer, and antigen specificity. The disposable Cyto-Cartridge®, which minimizes crossover risks, is at the core of Cyto-Mine®’s success. Furthermore, Cyto-Mine® is ISO 9001:2015- and GLP-approved and has guaranteed (animal origin free) sterility. Cyto-Mine® is completely automated, which further reduces the risk of manual errors. Additionally, the load-and-go format is simple to use. 

The flexible platform offers the following customizable application modes:

  • The monoclonality assurance mode reliably sorts single cells into individual wells of microtiter plates.
  • The direct assay mode can sort at a high throughput for downstream analysis.
  • The stability test mode assists in differentiating and segregating unstable clones early in the analysis. 

“Due to its innovative design, Cyto-Mine® can deliver a drug in only one or two months, while other competitors take as long as 4 months. Monoclonality is at least 99.9% accurate, compared with competitors’ 95% to 99%. In terms of cost savings, the starting price for non-integrated clone pickers and other technologies in the single cell analysis space is about $750,000, and there are additional costs for consumables and labor. In contrast, Cyto-Mine® is priced at about $450,000, with no additional hidden costs,” said Chatterjee Maity. “Frost & Sullivan industry research concludes that Cyto-Mine® is a superior choice for end users to exploit in drug development.” 

The company’s Cyto-Mine® platform is disrupting the therapeutics and diagnostics industry by outperforming traditional technologies; so new biopharmaceuticals can be produced faster with improved monoclonal antibody screening and more efficient research. For this reason, Sphere Fluidics earns Frost & Sullivan’s 2017 European New Product Innovation Award. 

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it gives customers, which, in turn, raises customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential. 

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry. 

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