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bit.bio Introduces ioAstrocytes, Pioneering Toolkit for Disease Research and Therapeutic Development

This innovation aims to advance disease research by addressing data reproducibility challenges and accelerating therapeutic development.
Health & Medicine
June 25, 2024

bit.bio, a leader in synthetic biology and cell programming, has announced the launch of ioAstrocytes, an addition to its ioCells portfolio. This innovation aims to advance disease research by addressing data reproducibility challenges and accelerating therapeutic development. ioCells, which are iPSC-derived cells for research and drug discovery, are produced using bit.bio's deterministic programming technology, opti-ox, known for its functionality, consistency, and scalability. With 18 launches so far in 2024, bit.bio’s ioCells portfolio now includes 37 products, featuring ioWild Type Cells, ioDisease Model Cells, and ioCRISPR-Ready Cells.

Astrocytes, a type of glial cell in the brain, play a crucial role in neural signalling, homeostasis maintenance, and immune response regulation. Despite their importance, the role of astrocytes in effectively modelling the human brain is often underestimated. Recent research highlights their significant involvement in CNS conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, pain disorders, and neuropsychiatric conditions. The introduction of ioAstrocytes offers scientists access to defined, consistent, and functional human astrocytes optimized for co-culture with other CNS cell types.

"We are excited to expand the universe of ioCells with ioAstrocytes and offer researchers worldwide access to the major cell types of the human brain,” said Mark Kotter, Founder and CEO of bit.bio. "Much like building blocks, scientists can combine different CNS cell types with or without disease-specific mutations to explore their interactions. We look forward to seeing how the neuroscience community will leverage this powerful toolkit to further our understanding of the CNS and develop much needed therapies for neurological conditions.”

ioAstrocytes are highly defined, consistent, and functional human astrocytes, designed for co-culture with other CNS cell types. They exhibit stellate morphology, express key markers, and perform essential astrocyte functions such as phagocytosis, secretion of cytokines, and modulation of neuronal activity when co-cultured with CNS cells.

“ioAstrocytes represent a significant addition to bit.bio's growing ioCells portfolio, enabling researchers to enhance in-vitro CNS models and accelerate discoveries,” said Farah Patell-Socha, Vice President of Research Products at bit.bio. "By providing highly consistent cells with essential functional properties of human astrocytes, we’re unlocking novel ways for advancing neuroinflammation research, conducting in-depth neural network studies, and performing screening and toxicity assessments for potential therapeutics."

The introduction of ioAstrocytes marks a major advancement in the toolkit available for CNS research, providing researchers with robust tools to explore and develop new therapies for neurological conditions.

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