Multiply Labs inks $85m deal with Retro Bio to automate cell therapy manufacturing

Robot-powered approach aims to expedite the transition of cellular reprogramming therapies from process development to clinical trials.

Longevity biotech Retro Biosciences has entered into an $85 million agreement with Multiply Labs to enhance the production of its cell therapies aimed at age-related diseases. The partnership will leverage Multiply Labs’ automation technology and robotic systems to streamline and scale Retro Bio’s therapeutic manufacturing processes.

Funded by OpenAI boss Sam Altman, Retro Bio aims to extend healthy human lifespan by a decade by targeting the cellular drivers of aging. Leveraging automation and computational biology to boost productivity, the San Francisco-based company now boasts five discovery programs aimed at reversing cellular aging.

Two of Retro Bio’s programs, autophagy and in vivo reprogramming, are conducted in the body. The others, including T cell and hematopoietic stem cell reprogramming and microglia therapeutics, reprogram cells in the lab and return rejuvenated cells to the body in a process the company calls “micro replacement.”

Multiply Labs develops cloud-controlled robotic systems that are intended to produce personalized drugs more efficiently. The company’s technology is designed to reduce costs, accelerate timelines, and improve the scalability of cell therapy manufacturing, including both autologous and allogeneic treatments.

Adaptability is a key feature of Multiply Labs’ systems, which can integrate with many of the standard instruments already used in cell and gene therapy manufacturing. This integration aims to facilitate faster automation with fewer regulatory challenges – particularly relevant in biotech, where changes in manufacturing processes require extensive regulatory approvals.

“The accelerating rate of change in cell therapies motivated us to look for a manufacturing platform with flexibility at its core,” said Joe Betts-LaCroix, CEO of Retro. “The modular structure of the Multiply Labs robots will help enable Retro to bring its unique cell therapies to patients.”

“We are thrilled to enter this agreement with Retro, a like-minded organization with a shared commitment to extending human longevity and saving lives,” said Dr Fred Parietti, CEO of Multiply Labs. “This alliance not only validates the versatility and adaptability of our robotic systems but also propels us closer to our vision of making cell therapies accessible to more patients than ever before.”

READ MORE: Our exclusive interview with Retro Bio CEO Joe Betts-LaCroix.

Images courtesy of Retro Bio