Bifrost Biosystems Launches with Novel Optical Pooled Screening Technology to Power Efficient Discovery

Bifrost Biosystems Launches with Novel Optical Pooled Screening Technology to Power Efficient Discovery

Bifrost Biosystems Launches with Novel Optical Pooled Screening Technology to Power Efficient Discovery

  • Founded by industry-leading pioneers in systems biology, molecular engineering and microfluidics
  • Awarded multiple government contracts through APRA-H and DARPA to develop and refine Bifrost optical pooled screening instrumentation and techniques

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#JPM24–Bifrost Biosystems announced today its launch with a vision to power efficient drug discovery through its novel automated Optical Pooled Screening (OPS) platform. The Bifrost OPS platform uniquely integrates rich, image-based, single-cell profiling data with genome-wide CRISPR perturbations. Through advanced software analysis and machine learning/artificial intelligence algorithms, the platform provides actionable, high-quality information to direct next steps in the discovery process.

“Drug development is a time-intensive and costly endeavor, and failures can be financially devastating,” said Shawn Marcell, Bifrost co-founder and Executive Chairman. “Bifrost’s cutting-edge technology aims to mitigate these challenges by providing drug developers with significantly more high-quality information in the early stages of drug discovery. By quickly and efficiently identifying drug targets and providing meaningful understanding of gene-drug and gene-gene interactions and networks, our ambition is to provide a tool that not only helps reduce costs but accelerates the delivery of critical new therapies to patients.”

About Optical Pooled Screening

Bifrost’s advanced OPS platform revolutionizes functional genomics through high-speed, microscopy-based pooled single-cell screens of CRISPR-based perturbations. This cutting-edge technology employs high-resolution microscopy, utilizing phase contrast and epi-fluorescent methods, along with in situ sequencing of guide RNA to comprehensively analyze massive cell libraries. Bifrost’s approach, 10-100 times faster than alternative arrayed methods, enables deep single-cell profiling to answer complex biological questions about cellular systems and pathways. The resulting extensive dataset facilitates understanding of complex biological processes, target identification and validation – actionable insights that accelerate discovery pipelines in biological research.

“We are delivering a tool to produce powerful insights with vast therapeutic implications,” Johan Paulsson, PhD, Bifrost co-founder and Professor of Systems Biology. “The platform facilitates deep analysis of a broad range of cell types from bacteria to human cells, with use cases from personalized medicine to combating the global threat of antibiotic resistance.”

Ongoing Government-Funded Projects

Bifrost is a subcontractor on a $104 million multi-institutional project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) studying bacterial behavior and the growing global health threat of antibiotic resistance. Bifrost is responsible for delivering the core optical pooled screening instrumentation for the larger program.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Bifrost a Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract worth up to $1.5 million. The aim of the milestone-driven project is to extend and optimize the company’s technology to efficiently identify potential microbial threats to human health.

“We are proud to demonstrate how our tool can empower a wide range of applications from bioengineering to biodetection,” said Marcell. “While our core focus is developing a research-use platform for drug discovery applications, these government-funded projects underscore the far-reaching potential of optical pooled screening technology as the tool for understanding complex biological pathways and processes.”

Bifrost Leadership

The company announced the appointment of leaders Keith Breinlinger, PhD as Chief Technology Officer and General Manager, Jackie Lemaitre as Vice President of Corporate Development, and Greg Kellogg, PhD as Director of Research and Development. The Bifrost management team has a strong track record in operationalizing start-ups and accelerating development programs to commercial success.

Bifrost Founders

Bifrost technology originates from work conducted by co-founders Johan Paulsson, Paul Blainey at the Broad Institute, Johan Elf at Uppsala University in Sweden, and George Church. As foremost experts, Bifrost scientific founders have been dedicated to this discipline for more than a decade and have partnered with co-founder, Shawn Marcell, a 30-year industry veteran entrepreneur with expertise in raising capital and building and leading interdisciplinary teams in technology and the life sciences.

About Bifrost Biosystems

Bifrost is a life sciences tools company offering high-throughput single-cell optical pooled screening and analysis solutions that deliver insights into functional cell biology and drug discovery. The lead OPS platform is well-aligned with the trending needs of drug discovery research for speed, scale, and quality understanding of biology within budget. Learn more at


For inquiries and further information, please contact:

Jackie Lemaitre, VP of Corporate Development, Bifrost Biosystems