Portal Biotechnologies and Multiply Labs announced a collaboration with the goal of leveraging automation to accelerate product timelines and reduce costs, helping innovative cell therapies reach more patients.

Portal is a cell engineering platform company focused on enabling next-generation cell engineering and cell analytics across research and clinical applications. The company will combine Multiply Labs’ robotic automation with its cell engineering capabilities.

“Cell therapy manufacturing infrastructure and its associated costs have severely limited the accessibility of cell therapies. Multiply Labs’ automation strategy has the potential to modularize and simplify cell therapy production to ensure greater patient impact. We are very excited to contribute to the Multiply Labs team’s vision by integrating our next-gen cell engineering approach with their robotics,” said Armon Sharei, founder and CEO of Portal Bio.

Portal’s mechanoporation technology has demonstrated the capability to deliver many different types of cargo to a broad range of cell types while preserving normal cell function. By enabling robust multiplexed engineering of cells, this approach can enable a broad range of novel cell therapies. Their collaboration will boost automation support for Portal’s platform and overall approach to intracellular delivery, improving efficiency, throughput, and speed, while reducing the risk of human error. The companies aim to develop a robotic mechanoporation cartridge that will contain Portal’s hardware consumable kit, to allow Multiply Labs’ robotic systems to autonomously operate Portal’s mechanoporation technology.

“We are honored to welcome Portal Biotechnologies into our industry-leading partner ecosystem,” said Fred Parietti, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Multiply Labs. “It is crucial that we partner with companies like Portal, who are on the cutting edge of drug discovery and cellular therapeutics, to support their scalability through automation. Together, we are primed to address some of the largest barriers that exist in cell therapy today, ensuring future patients can benefit from the life-saving potential of these treatments.”

In support of this strategy, Multiply Labs recently published pre-print data demonstrating that automated and manual cell expansion processes are statistically equivalent. This implies that manufacturers can automate their current cell expansion protocols with minimal alterations and reduced regulatory risk.

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