ThinkCyte advances biopharma phenotypic drug discovery programs with publication and presentation milestones

April 1, 2024 | Tokyo, Japan

ThinkCyte today announced the publication of a paper in the March issue of Cell Reports Methods on a new method for high-throughput drug discovery. Together with a joint research group including investigators at the University of Tokyo and the University of British Columbia, the team describes the development of an approach to identify new candidate drugs by CRISPR screening using Ghost Cytometry; its artificial intelligence (AI)-driven, label-free, morphology-based cell sorting technology.

In the publication, ‘Pooled CRISPR screening of high-content cellular phenotypes using ghost cytometry, the team shows how VisionSort can be used to perform both label-free and fluorescence-based screening for a range of phenotypes relevant to drug discovery. Specifically, the approach enables CRISPR-based workflows, where individual genes in single cells are knocked out and screened for a desired biological response. The new approach allows for not only faster drug screening, but also opens the door to use a host of new morphology-driven phenotypes in drug discovery campaigns.

The publication comes on the heels of an invited talk at the Society for Laboratory for Automation and Screening (SLAS) meeting in February where ThinkCyte presented how VisionSort was used to perform flow-based high content intracellular phenotypic screening using DNA barcoding technology. In December, the company was also profiled in a special edition of Cell Press highlighting the emerging uses of AI in drug discovery screening.

“Our biopharma customers are looking to integrate new technologies to expand their phenotypic drug screening programs.” said Janette Phi, Chief Business Officer at ThinkCyte. “With VisionSort, they can supplement their existing workflows with a fast and flexible new discovery tool that enables them to expand their screening capabilities and build more robust early drug pipelines.”

Open access to the publication can be found at,


About ThinkCyte

ThinkCyte, founded in 2016 with offices in Tokyo, Japan and Redwood City, California is a biotechnology company that develops innovative scientific instruments based on integrated, multidisciplinary technologies to enable life science research, diagnostics, and therapeutic development. The company’s flagship product, VisionSort, is the world’s first AI-based, dual-mode fluorescence and morphometric cell sorting platform and it partners with major global biopharmaceutical companies and leading academic research institutes to further drive groundbreaking research. For more information, please visit

To learn more about research partnerships or other partnering opportunities with ThinkCyte, visit or email To learn more about VisionSort, the commercially available platform powered by Ghost Cytometry, visit or email