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Financing will also be used to drive R&D and further expand commercial activities for digital cell biology worldwide


Emeryville, Calif. – October 15, 2018 – Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI), a leader in digital cell biology, announced today the completion of a $95 million financing led by Nikon and backed by existing investors Walden-Riverwood Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Black Diamond Ventures, and Paxion Capital; and joined by new investors Cota Capital, KTB Network, Atinum Investment, Shangbay Capital, AJS BioTree Healthcare Fund, and Varian. BLI has developed a unique nanoscale technology that accelerates drug discovery and development processes through the combination of bioscience, technology, and information. Funds from the newest investment will be used to expedite solutions for cell therapy development and manufacturing, including CAR T and endogenous T-cells, as well as increase research and development and expansion of commercial activities.


Berkeley Lights’ Beacon® digital cell biology platform is becoming a proven asset for the world’s top biopharmaceutical companies working in large molecule drug discovery and development.  The rapid adoption of the platform has made BLI a leader in cell line development because the technology enables companies to accelerate timelines and simplify their workflows. In addition, the platform’s flexibility has powered an advanced antibody discovery workflow that can utilize primary plasma cells and speed the process from more than a month to a single day. The flexibility and precision of BLI’s technology is driving interest from cell therapy manufacturers as they search for innovative solutions to scale their therapies.   The funding will speed BLI’s efforts in technology for cell therapeutic development and manufacturing and expand its current product offerings to meet the needs of the company’s growing customer base.


“This investment from new and past investors is a testament to the significant strides that BLI has already made in transforming the future of drug discovery and development with our digital cell biology platform.  In the past 12 months, we have more than doubled the adoption rate of our Beacon platform; and we’ve only just begun,” said Eric Hobbs, Ph.D., CEO, Berkeley Lights. “As we continue to strengthen our technology’s global presence, we will be focusing on adding platform capabilities that will, ultimately, make personalized cell therapeutics accessible to all.”


 “Our continued support of Berkeley Lights speaks to growing evidence that the company’s technology is poised to revolutionize drug discovery and development,” said Yasuyuki Okamoto, Senior Vice President and Director, Healthcare Business Unit, Nikon Corporation. “We look forward to seeing continued adoption of their digital cell biology platform by the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry throughout the globe, as well as development of additional capabilities that will speed discovery and development for life-saving therapeutics.”


The Beacon platform has been adopted by more than half of the top 25 global pharma companies. With BLI technology, these customers are seeing improvements in their workflows and the potential of digital cell biology to transform the industry. Two recent customer studies demonstrate a reduction in time and resources for clonal cell line development and show that BLI technology provides deeper insights into cellular characteristics when compared to standard methods. These studies, published in Nature Communications Biology and Biotechnology Processing, evaluated the use of the Beacon platform for selecting monoclonal cell lines from CRISPR-edited T-cells and from CHO cells for commercial production, respectively.


The Beacon platform delivers extraordinary efficiencies to current cell biology processing and speeds discovery and development by using optofluidic light technology to individually isolate, culture, perform assays and export thousands of live cells in conjunction with visual and digital monitoring. The rich digital and analytical insights provided allows scientists to make more informed decisions, so they can select and retrieve the best cells, leading to more consistent and potent production of therapeutics in a dramatically reduced timeframe.


About Berkeley Lights


‪Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI) is a digital cell biology company that develops and commercializes platforms for the acceleration of discovery, development, and delivery of cell-based products and therapies.

At the intersection of biology, technology and information, our platforms automate the manipulation, analysis and selection of individual cells, creating ultimate scalability and deep cell insights. The Beacon platform* is ideally suited for cell line development, antibody discovery (including direct B-cell workflows), gene editing, and antibody engineering workflows. Each workflow provides a 100 fold increase in insights, 10 times faster, at a fraction of the cost.


For more information, visit


Peggy Vorwald, Ph.D.

Senior Account Executive, Public Relations


CG Life

5501 Oberlin Drive, Suite 105, San Diego, CA 92121

+ 1 858 457 2436 ext 2013 + 1 970 946 7593

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Last Updated: 17-Oct-2018