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7TSO Diagnostic GmbH

Sommersemester 2011 

Executive Summary 

Abstract 

Founded in 1996, the Center of Excellence (CoE) for “High-Field Magnetic Resonance” has developed from an interdisciplinary group of internationally recognized researchers to a prestigious and respected institution currently employing more than 20 scientists and medical doctors from all around the world. Since its foundation, the CoE has successfully accomplished to concentrate the world’s leading research activities in the area of high field magnetic resonance at the Medical University of Vienna (MUV) and the Vienna General Hospital (AKH). Key success factors are the possession of the CoE’s own 3T and 7T appliances as well as the staff members’ long lasting experience in evaluating MR images and MR data packages. 7TSO is an independent spin-off of the underlying Center of Excellence, led by the most renowned scientists of the MUV. MR Imaging provides various advantages in comparison to other examination and analytical methods, thus making knowledge and expertise in this specialized field of medical research more and more important and essential.
7TSO combines all these unique resources and assets and makes them available to pharmaceutical companies which are in the urgent need to test the safety and validity of newly developed drugs in order to receive admittance to the clinical market. By pooling the know-how and the expertise of Prof. Trattnig, the world’s leading scientist in the field of MRI, and his highly recognized team of physicists and specialized MR doctors as well as the spin-off’s intense collaboration with the MUV (allocation of equipment), 7TSO is able to provide unique service offerings of highest quality and importance to pharmaceutical companies. 

Initial Situation 

7TSO is fully owned by the core team (2 radiologists, 2 physicists) and the MUV. It is an independent legal cooperation, funded by the incoming payments for the company’s equity as well as two publicly offered subsidies which sum up to at least EUR 200.000,-.

The spin-off has access to modern and state of the art equipment due to its intense collaboration with MUV and AKH and the company’s staff members enjoy an excellent reputation both in the academic and scientific as well as the corporate (pharmaceutical) world. Prof. Trattnig’s long professional history in the field of MR Imaging and his constant drive for improvements and developments of analytical MRI methods have gained the trust and confidence of pharmaceutical companies to assign the evaluation and design of medical studies in order to provide clarification about the safety and effects of newly developed drugs to 7TSO’s team. 

7TSO will not only offer the evaluation of already existing data packages (e.g. MR images etc.) but also the design of entire medical studies. Pharmaceutical companies which previously often had to rely on cooperations with medical academic institutions (often lacking the necessary business orientation and speed of execution) have yearned for a coequal business partner for a long time. 7TSO is able to meet this need 

Project Target 

The main goal of the underlying project was to assess the economic and financial possibility and reasonableness of the foundation of a spin-off in the field of high field MR. Furthermore, potential service and product offerings were worked out and the corresponding markets were analyzed intensively in order to make recommendations about the most promising and fastest growing sectors in this particular industry. After conducting a plethora of analysis and collected pieces of information, a
detailed market entry and marketing strategy was prepared in order to guarantee a smooth entry of 7TSO in the medical service market. 

Procedure and Methodology 

It was crucial to identify and to decide on the services the company will offer as its core business and to prove whether there was a substantial market need for these services followed by the examination of their financial feasibility and the most efficient way to market them. 

  • Identification of the Services
    The beginning of the project was marked by this essential part to decide on the right services with the most promising projected revenue streams. To achieve that, the feasibility, market potential, price and the need of each of the service proposed by both the student and the professional team were analyzed. This analysis was also based on the assets the company has, namely the expertise of the scientific team and the inhouse developed evaluation software they possess. Finally, three services were detected to be worked with further on. 

  • Analysis of their Commercial Potential
    Next the potential of the chosen services to be commercialized was analyzed. The first, namely data evaluation has been found to
    have a great potential, as already first inquiries have been made, the evaluation doesn’t take much time and effort but is very valuable and a high price may be charged. The service to offer study design is also seen as promising as the know-how and capacities needed to set up and design bigger studies are given. The third service which the company is willing to offer is clinical diagnosis on the 7T MR appliance, but the implementation of this service depends on regulations and the admission date of the 7T MR appliance. 

  • Deriving a Commercialization Strategy
    The pharmaceutical market is heavily based on connections and public relations. Therefore the main communication activities to enhance the awareness of the spin-off will focus on the maintenance and establishment of relationships to the specific pharmaceutical companies. In the first years the company will take part and organize symposia together with the Medical University of Vienna, and it will put efforts into getting press coverage in the specialized journals. 

Results 

The spin-off will be incorporated in the beginning of 2012 and will concentrate in its first year solely on data evaluation and start with the design of whole studies in 2013. These two services provide a constant revenue stream and this together with the simple and flexible cost structure will result in a projected positive cash-flow from the first year on. The future aim is to develop further essential services for research institutes and the pharmaceutical companies.

Cooperation Partner 

  • Medical University of Vienna
    Center of Excellence for High-Field MR
    Lazarettgasse 14
    1090 Vienna, Austria

  • Contact Person
    Mag. Michael Hoffmann
    Tel:+ 43 (0)1 4277 62188
    E-Mail: michael.hoffmann@meduniwien.ac.at

  • MUV’s Team
    Univ.Prof. Dr. Siegried Trattnig
    Pavol Szomolanyi, PhD
    Mag. Michael Hoffmann 

Student Team

  • Lukas Hochgerner, BSc (WU)
    Mag.a (FH) Barbara Prokes
    Lukas Sam, BSc (WU
    Christian Trethan, BSc (WU)
    Dora Tüz, BSc (WU)