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Berkeley Lights and Aanika Biosciences Announce Partnership to Improve Food Safety by Commercializing Antimicrobial Peptides through Proprietary High-Throughput, Functional Screening Service

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Berkeley Lights, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLI), a leader in digital cell biology, and Aanika Biosciences, a growing biotech start-up using edible microbial tags to improve food safety, today announced a strategic partnership that will enable faster identification of outbreak sources, reduce incidents of fresh produce contamination and minimize the impact of food borne illness related recalls.

In this partnership, Aanika will use Berkeley Lights’ high-throughput, functional screening service to rapidly identify and optimize functional, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) capable of killing harmful bacteria, including those that cause outbreaks of foodborne illness. In addition, the Beacon® Optofluidic Platform will be leveraged to find peptides that are toxic to bacteria to create a new antibacterial tag that will then be applied to their bacterial spore-based barcoding technology to protect the food supply chain.

“Berkeley Lights’ high-throughput, functional screening service, based on our proprietary cell-free expression technology, is accelerating novel discoveries to develop solutions and products in the agricultural space,” said Eric Hobbs, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Berkeley Lights. “Specifically, applying the Berkeley Lights platform to AMPs allows us to rapidly map and identify the top mutational sites to further optimize AMP performance.”

AMPs are gaining popularity as antibacterial agents across a wide range of applications, particularly as microbes are becoming more resistant to antibiotics, and are a growing focus for both companies.

“Tracking, tracing and identifying the origin of food borne illnesses is just the beginning of what Aanika’s ‘watermark’ technology can do to help improve and protect our global food system,” said Aanika co-founder and CEO Vishaal Bhuyan. “The partnership with Berkley Lights will enable us to move faster, and go deeper, into uncovering and unlocking the opportunities to have greater economic, environmental and human health impact.”

Berkeley Lights will participate in the downstream economics created by its enabling technology through a royalty arrangement as part of this strategic partnership. Additional terms of the agreement are not disclosed. This is Berkeley Lights’ second announced high-throughput, functional screening partnership following the Bayer Partnership announced in 2021.

About Berkeley Lights

Berkeley Lights is a leading digital cell biology company focused on enabling and accelerating the rapid development and commercialization of biotherapeutics and other cell-based products for our customers. The Berkeley Lights Platform captures deep phenotypic, functional and genotypic information for thousands of single cells in parallel and can also deliver the live biology customers desire in the form of the best cells. Our platform is a fully integrated, end-to-end solution, comprising proprietary consumables, including our OptoSelect™ chips and reagent kits, advanced automation systems, and application software. We developed the Berkeley Lights Platform to provide the most advanced environment for rapid functional characterization of single cells at scale, the goal of which is to establish an industry standard for our customers throughout their cell-based product value chain.

Berkeley Lights’ Beacon® and Lightning systems and Culture Station instrument are FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Aanika Biosciences

Aanika Biosciences was co-founded in 2018 by Vishaal Bhuyan after he personally experienced the consequences of ordering fresh seeds and receiving stale, contaminated products instead. He made it is his mission to create a safer food supply by finding a way to track, trace and authenticate products. Aanika’s customized microbial-based tags help companies gain valuable insights about their supply chains, help their customers make better consumption choices, and create a more sustainable world.

Forward-Looking Statements

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Berkeley Lights or its products, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that relate to future events, and actual results and product performance could differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Berkeley Lights undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s growth and continual evolution see the statements in the “Risk Factors” sections, and elsewhere, in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Media Contacts
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