SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA I September 11, 2023 I Herophilus, a leading biotechnology company with the mission to discover neurotherapeutics to cure complex brain diseases, today announced that Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has acquired its proprietary high-throughput human organoid-based drug discovery platform comprising the Orchard™, Orchestra™, and OrCA™ technologies. Herophilus will continue to advance its own ongoing neurotherapeutic research programs.

“Since our founding in 2017, Herophilus’s vision has been to leverage the parallel revolutions in human complex in vitro brain models, scaled laboratory automation, and scientific machine learning to break the decades-long logjam in neuroscientific drug discovery. We are thrilled that Genentech will combine Herophilus’ platform with its exceptional drug development ability and experience to accelerate this vision,said Saul Kato, CEO and Co-founder of Herophilus.

This transaction provides the Genentech and Roche R&D units with these three components of Herophilus’ discovery platform:

  • Orchestra: Comprehensive hybrid-cloud enterprise-scale software system for instrument and automation control, experiment tracking, provenant data and metadata management, high-performance microscopy imaging and video data visualization and exploration, data annotation and rapid machine learning pipeline development
  • OrCA: Modular Organoid Culture and Assay scaled experimental system, comprising five function-specific workcells and a library of optimized biology protocols for low-variability, tuned organoid culture and high-content, high-throughput phenotypic assays
  • Orchard: Protocol library for high-quality reprogramming and genetic engineering of organoid-optimized stem cell lines and access to a diversified neurological disease patient stem cell biobank

Doug Flanzer, CTO, added “We built the Herophilus Discovery Engine from the ground up to power a new model for tech-enabled scientific discovery. This modern discovery paradigm is based on the generation of large-scale, complex experimental datasets and the application of machine learning / artificial intelligence to unravel complex disease etiology, discover new targets, illuminate mechanisms of action, and develop disease-modifying therapeutic interventions. Such a complex data-driven approach needs an enterprise-strength full-lifecycle scientific data management system, which simply did not exist when we started Herophilus. I’m excited to see the dream realized.”

About Herophilus

Herophilus is a San Francisco-based neurotherapeutics company focused on curing complex brain diseases. The company combines brain organoid science, systems neuroscience, robotic automation, and advanced machine learning techniques to scale the ability to discover novel drugs for complex neurological and psychiatric diseases. The company has pioneered the use of multi-modal phenotypic screening in complex in vitro models to discover characterizations of diseases never before achievable. These deep phenotypes are exploited to identify novel therapeutic targets and drug treatments for disorders for which traditional discovery techniques have proved least successful, including neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. To learn more, visit

SOURCE: Herophilus