"Magnitude Biosciences is a specialist CRO that couples the world’s leading C. elegans expertise and unique automated imaging technology to help researchers accelerate drug discovery and toxicity testing.
Co-founders Dr. David Weinkove and Dr. Chris Saunter from Durham University came up with the idea to bring together the power of the tiny nematode worm C. elegans and Dr. Saunter’s automated imaging expertise in 2018. Dr. David Weinkove has a wide breadth of experience in biological research and drug discovery research and recognised that C. elegans, for all its drug discovery potential in the areas of ageing, neurodegeneration and microbiome, was very under-utilised in industrial research. The benefits of these tiny worms as research tools were almost exclusively being realised by C. elegans academic labs and their limited network of academic and non-academic collaborators.
In the first year of the company, we investigated these barriers as to why industry has not and could not yet tap into C. elegans as a research tool, and concluded that a big factor was that in order to get C. elegans research right, you had to both deeply understand the best practices and use cases for these worms (be a C. elegans expert) and also how they were to be applied to the research challenge at hand (be a customer problem expert and emphasise quality control, time management, efficiency, and other lab practices which would be expected of a tightly run industrial lab). There was also a scalability challenge concerning how manual C. elegans research is, which we address with our unique automated healthspan assays and automated imaging technology, which enables us to yield data endpoints far richer and more telling about health impact of compounds than traditional C. elegans manual lifespan assays, which are still the industry standard. You can see an example of our technology at work in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpFxIpKQCk4
A big focus for SLAS is on raising awareness and facilitating the use of cutting-edge and transformative life science technologies and approaches. This value is at the heart of Magnitude Biosciences’ mission as a company -- to bring our unique C. elegans approach to all the drug discovery and biological R&D researchers who can benefit from it. Our customers consistently feedback that the data we have generated for them with our healthspan assays has enabled breakthroughs in their research, informed critical R&D decisions, and helped them secure their next round of investment for their drug discovery project.
Our attachments include a list of customer testimonials that illustrate the value we bring to the life science industry, a PDF slide deck illustrating our data and approach, our eBook with practical tips for ageing drug discovery researchers, and a recent poster on our neurodegeneration research approach. We also attach some recently published thought leadership pieces on the impact we are having in microbiome and ageing research."