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Hooke Bio


 Finola Cliffe

Finola Cliffe
Hook Bio

Web: www.hookebio.com/


Hooke Bio has developed a continuous flow, high throughput microfluidic system capable of combining biological material with compounds in a huge variety of combinations particularly for drug screening. The continuous microfluidic nature of the system means that, for example, cell and compound interaction takes place in an oil wrapped droplet with a volume of approximately half a microliter, thereby lowering reagent and consumables costs. The rotor based system, named Enigma allows an almost unlimited number of drug and cell combinations to be generated. Each unit has multiple parallel lines meaning that up to 10,000 assays can be performed per hour, decreasing time to result. Enigma can be integrated into existing robotic testing facilities or as a stand-alone system. The platform is highly flexible, and the functional output of the combinations can be adjusted to the users requirements.

High throughput screening has become a standard method for drug screening in the pharmaceutical industry. The main goal of the HTS technique is to accelerate drug discovery by screening large compound libraries at a rate that may exceed a few thousand compounds per day or per week. This is of vital importance, as combinatorial screening has the ability to generate vast numbers of novel compounds from which possible drugs can be developed. Hooke Bio's Enigma can undertake such screening without the limitations associated with traditional methods such as robotic arms. The Hooke Bio method also negates the need for wellplates as the droplet provides a 3D environment which is preferable over traditional 2D cell culture as a more accurate biomimic.

I began working with Prof. Davies in April 2014 under the first of two EI Commercialisation Funded projects. It was through this avenue that the concept of Enigma was developed and nurtured to a fully operational microfluidic system by the Hooke Bio team. Hooke Bio consists of a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists which I thoroughly enjoy working with.

The Engima system is a disruptive technology that can address the HTS need in the pharma industry ( e.g. disease modelling, drug repurposing, toxicity testing, microbial screening, personalized drug optimization, reaction optimization etc...). Enigma can be integrated into existing robotic testing facilities or as a stand-alone system. The Enigma system is highly adaptable where the functional output of the combinations can be adjusted to the users requirements. In addition, Enigma has the ability to address many diverse applications outside the target pharmaceutical market. The device will be aimed at multinational companies that have the resources to enter into a co-development agreement. We will pursue a business to business strategy with interested parties.

By participating in Big Ideas, I hope to learn how to pitch our company in a clear and concise but animated manner. Also this is an opportunity to engage with the investor community, to garner support for the company and to possibly obtain some positive media coverage.

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