Tech for Gene Therapy

Cell and gene therapies are an emerging class of living therapeutics that have curative potential. The complexity of these therapies introduces system wide challenges which software and hardware companies seek to address. Herein we profile emerging frontier technology companies in this space.

(Updated in July 2021)

Cell and gene therapies (CGTs) are challenging the status quo of the biopharmaceutical industry

Compared to a traditional biologic such as an antibody, CGT manufacturing is complex, labour intensive and expensive. The products also often have a constrained shelf life so tracking and securing the vein to vein supply chain becomes a challenge that has to be addressed. These factors are compounded by often smaller patient populations to produce therapies that, whilst curative, are prohibitively expensive for first or second-line usage.

As the field rapidly develops, techniques such as genome engineering, machine and deep learning for capsid engineering or neoantigen discovery, and single-cell analytics are also being used to create increasingly more precisely targeted therapies.

In response to the incredible biological promise and the challenges brought about by these living medicines, several emerging technology companies are developing software, data science and hardware solutions that seek to address the challenges associated with their discovery, manufacturing and supply. The end goal is to make ‘better’ therapies available to a wider patient population at a lower price.

Computer-Aided Biology is critical to the future of biopharmaceuticals 

Our in-house research into these CGT tools companies (of which, Synthace is one of) has led us to compile a ‘living’ list of frontier technology or life-sciences tools companies operating in this space.

These frontier technologies include: 

  • Automation hardware and software (from bioreactors to microfluidic based single cell tools)
  • Data, manufacturing and supply chain management software including the blockchain and SaaS
  • Machine and deep learning for cell and gene therapy discovery, protein engineering and manufacturing

At Synthace we view the integration of hardware and software as critical to the future of the biopharmaceutical, an ecosystem and approach we coined as “Computer-Aided Biology”.

As such, we have reviewed both in this industry map. For the purposes of this industry landscape, we defined emerging vendors as either founded in 2009 or later, and less than 300 employees. We’ve also included a list of some companies that are known to be pioneering the application of software and hardware tools in their own in-house functions, as well for completeness a map of more established vendors.

We love feedback – drop us a message if we have unintentionally missed anyone off or misrepresented any companies, and we’ll be happy to update in the next version of this list. For further info drop an email to m(dot)pan(at)synthace(dot)com

Hardware for Cell Processing, Gene Delivery and Manufacturing

Hardware for Single Cell Analysis/Cell Manipulation and Separation

Software: Supply Chain and Manufacturing Data Management

Software: Non-Manufacturing or Supply Chain

In-House Applications of Novel Hardware and Software in Cell and Gene Therapy