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Optimization of drug manufacturing processes

18/02/2020

Wintersemester 2019 - LightMatters

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

LightMatters is a spin-off project who will use its patented light-based technology to provide particle measurement equipment for industry and research. The core team consists of two project founders and 4 project members from the Medical University of Graz.

The product is a measuring instrument technology for the analysis of (nano) particles (particle size range measured from 20 nanometres- 10 micrometers) and biological cells for pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics. Through their technology, they can create customer value by providing better quality control, reducing waste and analysing nanoparticles, for the first time, in real-time and through continuous analysis.

In the first phase of its existence, the organisation will initiate pilot programs with pharmaceutical companies to validate their process. After the product is validated, they aspire to expand their client network, sell some devices and then move forward by forming strategic partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies, distributors or producers of measurement devices (i.e Malvern Panalytical and Anton Paar). By being able to analyse nanoparticles and increase quality control for large producers, the start-up can participate in profits of the potentially €50 million market by 2023.

The Goal of the Project

Since LightMatters technology is very innovative compared to current methods, it was uncertain how customers will perceive such technology and whether there is a market for such a method (OF2i method). An additional challenge was the competitive situation itself, as it was unknown if there are similar technology and other application fields for this innovation. Furthermore, since it is a new technology, overcoming entry barriers such as regulatories, mindsets, etc is also a problem. Therefore, the key areas to focus on was to validate this technology and analyse its competitive landscape.

Approach

In the first step, customer discovery interviews were conducted with experts in several application fields such as pharmaceutical and cosmetics. The interviews were conducted without mentioning the existence of this newly developed technology. Furthermore, extensive research was carried out concerning identifying competitors and analysis their technologies. Additionally, we conducted market research in the DACH and Italy region because language constraints were a major concern in other European regions.

Results

Overall, we developed an intensive business plan and derived a service addressable market of €50million. Most importantly, we identified two key competitors who have produced a similar product as LightMatters, however that helped us to formulate two unique selling points for the organisation. First, the innovation can scan nanoparticles 70x faster and second, the innovation is more precise in its results when compared to these two key competitors. During this phase, the organisation successfully signed three letters of intent with big pharmaceutical corporations. This will aid them to expand into similar markets within the next 6 years.

Through this project, LightMatters hopes to seek out the interest of collaborators and potential investors who will enable the foundation of this organisation to further advance the technology and deliver a high-end nanoparticle measuring instrument.

Contact Person

  • Ing. Dr. Christian Hill, MA
    christian.hill@medunigraz.at
    +43 316 385 71696

  • Dipl. Ing., Gerhard Prossliner
    gerhard.prossliner@medunigraz.at
    +43 316 385 71696

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Student team

  • Shitika Kulshreshtha

  • Elena Spinetto

  • Fulvio Rizzi

  • Andrea Vaccaro

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