The field of cell and gene therapy is exploding, thanks in large part to the Nobel Prize-winning gene-editing technology, the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Beam Therapeutics, a biotech company developing a new class of genetic medicines, uses similar technology, but with one key difference: unlike the so-called “molecular scissors” of CRISPR-Cas9, Beam is using a more precise, higher efficiency approach, one that scientists analogize as “molecular pencils and erasers.” With this approach – termed “base editing” – Beam is able to edit a precise set of base pairs without introducing a double-stranded break in the DNA, leading to fewer unwanted errors due to stochastic DNA repair machinery. Beam’s ultimate goal is to treat genetic diseases caused by point mutations.
The research necessary to meet that goal, however, is complex and demanding — especially once Beam scientists attempt the process at scale, evaluating hundreds or even thousands of biological samples each week. Yet they know that this kind of scale is mandatory in order to dramatically speed up the process of gene therapy discovery, which relies on trial and error and the continual modification of many different variables.
In this white paper, we discuss:
- Challenges facing gene therapy labs such as high sample volume and complex data tracking
- How robotics automation and data automation work hand in hand to with Benchling to drive faster discovery for gene therapy labs