Transcriptic and Strateos
Company History and Overview
Transcriptic was founded in 2012 to transform the life sciences from a field of manual labor into a field of information technologies, backed by automation. Over seven years, Transcriptic built out a robotic platform to make this goal a a reality. Then, in February of 2019, a strategic opportunity to expand the potential of Transcriptic's technology presented itself: a merger with 3Scan – a 3D tissue imaging startup. Throughout 2019 Transcriptic and 3Scan combined and re-branded to Strateos. Together, as a single entity, Strateos is positioned to push life science automation further than ever before.
At Strateos, our mission is to turn the life sciences into an information technology, driven by data, computation, and high-throughput robotics with the goal of substantially advancing drug discovery. Our team brings together deep expertise in biology, automation, and software engineering to set new standards for the way scientific research is done.
Starting in 2012, Transcriptic developed the first robotic cloud laboratory for on-demand life science research. This platform consisted of state-of-the-art life-science devices mechanically integrated by robotics. The Transcriptic Common Lab Environment (TCLE) – a cloud-based software suite – enabled scientists to submit and manage scientific experiments on the robotic platform all through a single web-based user interface. Top pharmaceutical and biotech companies used the Transcriptic robotic cloud lab in their own labs as well as externally through Transcriptic’s Cloud Bioassay Services.
Today, Transcriptic's products have been re-branded under the Strateos identity. Strateos supports Transcriptic's original users – while simultaneously expanding the platform's capabilities to cloud-based biology and medicinal chemistry experimentation. Researchers can remotely submit their experiments, and sit back while our robots do the work. Along the way, they can track the progress of their experiments in real time, allowing them to focus on accelerating discoveries instead of labor-intensive bench work.
- Scientists can focus on generating hypotheses and designing and analyzing experiments instead of doing tedious lab work.
- Reproducibility is improved with reduced chance of human error, saving time and money while accelerating drug development timelines.
- Capital expenditures are reduced on expensive equipment that’s used for a fraction of the time.
Strateos's software addresses three separate categories of user needs. Several independent web applications provide interfaces for these needs.
Strateos customers use our web app to perform biological assays and medicinal chemistry synthesis remotely, using our robotic cloud infrastructure. This is our only customer facing application and demands the most design input.
Internal Lab Management
Strateos lab operators use an Admin Application to manage Strateos's lab inventory, keep tabs on the inventory of clients, and launch and manage experiments that have been submitted by customers. The tasks that operators must complete while following prompts from this application are extremely complex and crucial to execute correctly. A single misstep could damage the entire supply of a customer’s sample.
Strateos operates robotic modules for executing biology experiments remotely. Lab operators manage these modules using a scheduling dashboard. This app displays the current activity of the robotics, as well as tasks the operator needs to complete for the module, such as handing off new materials, or receiving processed materials. It also exposes actions the operator can take directly, such as emergency procedures or direct debugging commands.
Strateos Robotic Lab Facilities
The software described above is backed by robotic facilities, capable of carrying out experiments with little to no human intervention. They're akin to data-centers, but the unit of operation being the manipulation of physical samples, instead of computation. Presently, Strateos operates two robotic labs.
Our Menlo Park laboratory is Strateos's original facility, built by the Transcriptic team. It houses four workcells that each have different scientific capabilities.
We do most of our testing and development at this facility – before rolling out software and hardware improvements to our other labs.
After learning substantial lessons building and operating our Menlo Park facility, Strateos was ready to expand our capabilities beyond biology alone. We partnered with Eli Lilly to bring online an 11,000 square foot robotic lab in San Diego.
The facility is capable automating of both biology experiments as well as medicinal chemistry synthesis. Together, this allows us to offer the tools for automated closed loop drug discovery – a first-of-its-kind capability.
A Design-Forward Product
Over the course of my 3+ years at Transcriptic and Strateos, I've focused on creating a culture of design across the company. The life sciences so often ignore user-centered product development in favor of scientific exploration, and I've made it my charge to ensure that our products are built with a design-centered methodology.