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16 September 2014

Drug discovery breakthrough

Cambridge Consultants chosen for revolutionary life science instrument development

Cambridge Consultants has been selected by Sphere Fluidics as its product engineering partner for the development of a revolutionary new single cell analysis instrument. The companies are working together on technology that is set to dramatically improve the discovery of new biopharmaceuticals. It could lead to new treatments for diseases such as cancer and HIV.

Sphere Fluidics – which has raised more than $6 million in funding to date – has developed unique technology for single cell analysis and characterisation, and provides proprietary products and novel services for this rapidly-growing market. It has chosen product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants to help create its Cyto-Mine™ single cell analysis instrument.

“This will be revolutionary for the biopharmaceutical discovery and development market,” said Dr Frank F Craig, CEO of Sphere Fluidics. “After an exacting selection process, we have chosen Cambridge Consultants as our partner in the product engineering. It is a world-class technology company with expertise in microfluidics, optoelectronics and picodroplets – which are critical for our success.”

The Cyto-Mine™ instrument is designed to accelerate and enable the discovery of diverse antibodies from primary B-cells – which fight infection – or hybrid cells known as hybridomas. The technology is capable of identifying and retrieving single cells from vast populations of cells – and will be able to perform millions of novel single cell assays automatically. It is also up to 100 times more accurate than existing devices when it comes to monoclonality – producing identical copies of an original cell.

As well as helping in the search for new biopharmaceutical treatments, the breakthrough technology also has potential uses in synthetic biology, antibiotic resistance screening and single cell diagnostics. Cambridge Consultants is using its world-class expertise in the design and development of life science instrumentation and pharmaceutical drug discovery technology to transform the innovative concept into a commercial reality.

“Our track record of engineering excellence makes Cambridge Consultants the development partner of choice for clients ranging from small, ambitious start-ups right the way through to multinational blue-chip organisations,” said John Pritchard, head of diagnostics at Cambridge Consultants.

“Our unique mixture of multidisciplinary skills underpinned by deep core science expertise – coupled with our 50-year history of helping clients bring innovative products to market fast – means we can give companies vital competitive edge when it comes to clinical diagnostics and life science instrumentation.”

Notes to editors

Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 700 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, oil and gas, and wireless communications.

Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in engineering and R&D services which offers its clients a new way to innovate. Altran works alongside its clients on every link in the value chain of their project, from conception to industrialisation. In 2015, the Altran group generated revenues of €1.945bn. With a headcount of more than 27,000 employees, Altran is present in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit

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Debbie Mayhew
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Cambridge Consultants
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