Media Contact: John Casko
VP of Business Development
Skroot Laboratory, Inc.
Skroot Laboratory, Inc. Joins Cell Manufacturing Research Initiative to Further Advance Cell Therapy Discovery
[Ames, Iowa, Sept. 27, 2021] Skroot Laboratory, Inc. has joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT). CMaT is a consortium of universities, companies, and clinical collaborators brought together to develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells. The center, launched in 2017 with a $20 million investment from NSF, aims to revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other disorders by enabling broad use of potentially curative therapies that utilize living cells – such as immune cells and stem cells – as “drugs.”
“We could not imagine a more impactful organization to be a part of in advancing biomanufacturing processes for the world than that of CMaT. Director Krishnendu Roy, the team at CMaT, and their academic research and industry partners are all world renowned and completely aligned with our mission to improve outcomes by enabling scalable, affordable, continuous manufacturing processes for biotherapies,” said Nigel Reuel, Ph.D., President, Skroot Laboratory, Inc.
Skroot Laboratory, Inc., is a seed stage biotechnology company providing wireless process analytical technologies (PAT) for cell and protein therapy development, especially suited for upstream design campaigns. Skroot has developed and deployed passive, non-invasive sensor technology that can continually quantify cell concentration, foaming, and temperature in upstream flasks, bioreactors, and static cell and gene therapy reactors—from outside of the vessel without contacting the culture solution and without manual intervention or manipulation. The Skroot platform is sterile, continuous, and eliminates the need for manual sampling, making real-time cell density measurement a trivial matter. The platform also enables alignment with continuous manufacturing practices and FDA Industry Guidance for PAT in upstream processes.
To facilitate the widespread application of these cutting-edge emerging treatments, CMaT will develop robust and scalable technologies, innovative analytical tools, and engineering systems that will enable industry and clinical facilities to reproducibly manufacture efficient, safe and affordable cell-therapy products. The center will also develop improved models for a robust supply chain, storage and distribution system for these therapeutic cell products.
In addition to the consistent manufacture of cell-based therapies, the CMaT initiative will also help develop a skilled, diverse and inclusive bio-manufacturing workforce through extensive education and training activities at the K-12, technical college, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels.
“We are pleased to welcome Skroot to this new initiative,” said Krishnendu Roy, director of CMaT and the Robert A. Milton chair professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “The center will develop the technologies needed to use living cells in standardized therapies by clinicians to serve large numbers of patients worldwide. We are very excited about what this will mean to the world. Skroot’s technology and scientific capabilities, as with that of all our industry partners, will advance this realization tremendously.”
Beyond Georgia Tech, CMaT includes major university partners – the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Puerto Rico, and Mayaguez Campus – as well as affiliate partners such as the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, the Gladstone Institutes, and University of Oregon. Additional international academic partners from Canada, Ireland, and Japan, as well as industry and the U.S. national laboratories, are critical collaborators in the effort.
About Skroot Laboratory, Inc.
Skroot Laboratory, Inc., is a seed stage biotechnology company providing wireless process analytical technologies (PAT) for cell and protein therapy development, especially suited for upstream design campaigns. Skroot was founded in 2018 by Dr. Nigel Reuel, and has been externally validated by NSF Phase I and II SBIR awards and federal CARES act funding.
About Skroot Technology
Most recently, Skroot has developed and deployed a wireless, non-invasive platform that can continually quantify cell concentration, foaming, and temperature in upstream cell vessels and single-use bioreactors (plastic or glass)—without contacting the culture solution and without manual intervention or manipulation. The technology can simultaneously monitor numerous vessels and push alerts to operators for time-critical data points including feed, harvest, and induction points.
With existing technology, changes in solution permittivity are used to track cell growth, but these probes must make product contact; the Skroot platform uses a single-use sensor on the outside of a vessel to sense the same change in permittivity, contact-free, exploiting a resonant structure that modulates frequency during cell growth. This conformable, thin sensor is ideally suited for upstream bioprocessing and aligns with single-use and continuous manufacturing initiatives.
The sensor signal is measured by reusable hardware (a reader) placed proximal to the vessel and sensor with flexible and configurable data save and notification options. The platform is sterile, continuous, and eliminates the need for manual sampling, making real-time cell density measurement a trivial matter. The Skroot platform also enables alignment with continuous manufacturing practices and FDA Industry Guidance for PAT in upstream processes.
To date Skroot Lab has been awarded over $1.4M in federal grants to bring to market innovative sensors for cell-based biomanufacturing. Initial Beta users have found this technology ideal for improving productivity in upstream process development. Upstream bio-therapeutic process developers can use the Skroot platform to make rigorous models, reduce risk of progressing costly conditions/products, and reduce time to market.
Skroot is now offering Early Adopter/BETA kits on a select basis. These kits are currently in use at major biopharma, agriculture, and food companies to automate cell measurements in upstream processes. Skroot is also currently engaging enterprise level early adopter partners to strategically scale product development and deployment, and to advance continuous manufacturing practices throughout upstream bioprocessing.
Please reach out to Skroot Laboratory, Inc., for more information on the company, the technology, and/or commercialization as an early adopter of the Skroot platform.
Skroot Laboratory, Inc.
2501 N. Loop Drive, Suite 1000
Ames, IA 50010