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TDK Backs Scalable Cell Engineering with Mekonos

Cell and gene therapy (CGT) is being used increasingly to treat disease. Now, a venture between TDK and biotech company Mekonos is seeking to accelerate progress within the field.

TDK Ventures backs MEMS-based genome editing tools company, Mekonos. Image Credit: CI Photos/Shutterstock.com

The Importance of CGT

CGT has gained popularity in recent years due to advances in gene editing and molecular biology. The field presents innovative alternatives to surgery and pharmaceuticals. The CGT market has grown rapidly and is expected to be worth $70.5B by the year 2026. Currently, there are over a thousand clinical trials utilizing CGT therapies and technologies. However, gene therapy is risky and inefficient, limiting its speed of development for clinical applications.

Ex vivo engineering processes have been explored in recent years, but drawbacks exist with commonly used techniques, even cutting-edge examples. Transfection still uses techniques that are decades old, such as viral vectors and electroporation. Poor dose control and cell viability after ex vivo engineering techniques provide additional challenges for the field.

Engineering More Efficient Cell and Gene Therapy Techniques

Aiming to improve the field, Mekonos, a Silicon Valley startup, has developed a novel technique that utilizes proprietary technologies. Their cell engineering platform uses silicon chip technology that achieves precise and efficient molecular delivery into cells, creating an integrated chip coupling nanoengineered MEMS technology and digital microfluidics. Payload delivery is variable, and the technique enables single-cell delivery of genome editing products.

Mekonos’s novel, scalable technology facilitates a precision engineering approach that is advantageous for the field of cell and gene therapy. It will aid the discovery, testing, and validation of biological targets that will help companies develop new drugs and therapies to provide relief for patients with severe health conditions. Faster, reliable research and development can be achieved using Mekonos’s technology, paving the way for improved CGT products.

Their system on a chip technology has already been demonstrated in pilot projects at research and pharmaceutical laboratories. The company’s technology has shown exceptional levels of cell viability and uptake for delivery of payloads including CRISPR into fragile cell types such as stem cells and immune cells.

The area of CGT that this technology applies to has not seen significant innovation in over two decades, further demonstrating the exciting possibility of Mekonos’s chip-based system.

TDK’s Investment in Mekonos

To realize the commercial potential of Mekonos’s technology, TDK Ventures, Inc., a subsidiary of TDK Corporation, has brought its expertise in MEMS and mass production techniques to the table. Both company’s synergistic values are driving the partnership.

Mekonos’s vision for creating revolutionary cell and gene therapies that vastly improve the lives of millions will be realized thanks to the investment and input of TDK, a Japanese giant with decades of experience in the electronics industry.

About TDK Corporation.

Based in Tokyo, Japan, TDK is world-leaders in the electronics industry. A central message of TDK is “Attracting Tomorrow” and through investment in innovative startups and technologies, the company is doing just that. Founded in 1935, TDK has been at the forefront of technological innovation.

Their comprehensive portfolio includes numerous important innovations in several industrial fields. These include passive ceramic and aluminum components, sensors, piezo devices, MEMS sensors, energy devices, and many more products crucial to 21st-century industry.

They market products under TDK, EPCOS, TDK-Lamda, and other brands. They provide several key products for the automotive, communication, information, and consumer electronics sectors.

As of 2021, the company employs around 129 thousand people worldwide, and their total reported sales were $13.3 billion.

TDK Ventures, Inc.

TDK Ventures, Inc. is a subsidiary of TDK Corporation whose aim is to invest in underrepresented startups in materials science, energy, power, and related fields. Established in 2019, their vision is to transform sectors including healthcare, robotics, mixed reality, and the Internet of Things. Startups chosen for inclusion in the company’s portfolio will benefit from technical support and expertise and access to global markets which would typically prove difficult for them to break into.

About Mekonos

Mekonos is headquartered in San Fransisco, California. Their core mission is to provide innovative solutions for the healthcare industry. This CGT company is transforming personalized medicine. Key investors in healthcare and technology are backing the company’s vision. Their technological system-on-a-chip solutions are proving revolutionary for personalized medicine, fundamental science, and synthetic biology.

The Future

Through this partnership, TDK Ventures, Inc., and Mekonos are leading the way for the next generation of CGT techniques and technologies. This will provide significant advances in the field of targeted, personalized cell and gene therapy, promising to revolutionize medical science.

Further Reading

TDK Corporation (2021) TDK Ventures backs MEMS-based genome editing tools company, Mekonos [online] PRnewswire.com. Available at:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tdk-ventures-backs-mems-based-genome-editing-tools-company-mekonos-301415620.html

Mekonos [online] Available at:

http://www.mekonos.com

TDK Ventures, Inc. [online] Available at:

https://www.tdk-ventures.com/

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Reginald Davey

Written by

Reginald Davey

Reg Davey is a freelance copywriter and editor based in Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Writing for News Medical represents the coming together of various interests and fields he has been interested and involved in over the years, including Microbiology, Biomedical Sciences, and Environmental Science.

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