Monday, April 16, 2018

Mission Bio Launches Custom Panels

Back in October I covered the launch of Mission Bio's single cell platform, Tapestri.  Tapestri is a microfluidic platform which encapsulates cells and sets of barcoded primers into droplets, lyses the cells within the droplets and executes PCR on the released DNA.  Mission initially targeted hematologic cells, since they do not require disaggregation, and offered a standard panel of primes.  Around the time of AGBT, Mission launched a custom panel option and took the time to sit down with me.  Now with AACR, Mission has announced placing Tapestri at multiple major cancer centers: the NCI, Mt. Sinai, MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering, St. Jude's, UCSF, U Penn and Washington University.

Mission's custom offering enables up to 300 amplicons to be run per sample.   With inputs of PBMCs, bone marrow, cell lines or similar Tapestri can analyze ten thousand cells per sample.  Mission is developing tissue disaggregation protocols to enable solid tissue analysis.

I asked the Mission team on how their approach is similar to or different than 10X's approach to single cell encapsulation for DNA analysis. They pointed out a key difference is in the processing of the captured cells.  Mission has developed PCR chemistries which are robust in the presence of cell lysates, so they perform their analysis within droplets.  In contrast, 10X has developed a protocol which traps the DNA within a solid matrix and washes the trapped DNA to remove any potentially interfering materials.  So while the approaches are superficially similar -- both involving co-encapsulation of cells and barcoding beads -- they are ultimately quite different in execution.

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