The Emeryville, CA-based company will offer 7.4 million shares to raise $126 million at $16 to $18 per share, which translates into a fully diluted market value of $1.2 billion.
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. The Berkeley Lights Platform captures deep phenotypic, functional and genotypic information for thousands of single cells in parallel.
The company was co-founded in 2011 by University of California, Berkeley, electrical engineer Ming C. Wu, PhD. Berkeley Lights’ initial focus was on on the development of optofluidics technology that uses light to gently move cells around on nanofluidic chips.
The company’s platform is an integrated, end-to-end solution, comprising proprietary consumables, including our OptoSelect chips and reagent kits, advanced automation systems, and application software. It 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. Its mission is to accelerate the use of cell-based products by providing researchers access to the Berkeley Lights Platform to find the best cells in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
Berkeley Lights technology has implications for COVID-19. Speeding up clinical trials for therapies or potential vaccines is a top priority. One approach for ahcieving process improvement is to incorporate the latest technology like the Beacon® system into workflows. For example, scientists at the University of Queensland, in collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in Oslo, have identified a molecular clamp that will essentially lock the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in one configuration to promote antibody production. They are expressing the clamp in mammalian cells and using the Beacon® instrument to speed up the screening process at a single-cell level. Trent Munro, a biotechnologist involved in the project, estimates that they can now “do things that would have taken weeks before in just days.” Because the Beacon system measures protein expression as well as functionality, like protein binding, at the same time scientists are also saving time downstream since non-functional hits aren’t progressing further down the development process.
As of May 31, 2020, the company offered six commercial workflows, with sixteen assays and eleven cell classes, targeting customers in the antibody therapeutics, cell therapy, and synthetic biology markets.
Berkeley Lights booked $58 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2020. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol BLI.
Source: Berkeley Lights
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