The promise of Nanomedicine
NanoMedicine: opportunities and roadblocks - Keynote Presentation
Dr. Paul Smit, Senior Vice President, Philips Medical Systems
Healthcare systems worldwide are under increasing pressure due to the well known demographic trends, the success of contemporary medicine and the rise of life style diseases. It is also starting to dawn upon the western world that trend-breaking productivity increases in healthcare provision are needed over the next 15 years to overcome the insatiable growth in demand for clinical personnel. In parallel the understanding of many diseases on molecular and cellular level is increasing rapidly, leading to new insights in diagnostics and therapy. This is fueling the demand for nanotechnology in medicine to help solve many of today’s challenges in healthcare. It is at the interface of a better understanding of disease and nanotechnology that dramatic breakthroughs are expected. Around the world nanotechnology stimulation programs are being put in place to accelerate this development. In the European Union’s Strategic Research Agenda for NanoMedicine, a number of disease and nanotechnology areas have been defined in which the greatest impacts are expected. In the presentation these areas will be highlighted, and several examples of new nanotechnology products and their applications will be discussed.
- Healthcare systems around the world face huge productivity and outcomes challenges
- Increase of molecular and cellular understanding of diseases creates opportunities for Nanotechnology
- Breakthroughs are expected at the interface of where disease understanding and nanotechnology meets to address key Healthcare issues
- Nanotech products need to focus on disruptive improvements of Care Cycles to reach breakthrough status
- The EU is stimulating NanoMedicine research as one of the key nanotechnology programs
The Role of Nanotechnology in Healthcare- Keynote Presentation
Dr. Leonard Fass, GE Healthcare
Nanotechnology will have many applications in healthcare including diagnostic imaging agents, drug delivery systems, body sensors, displays, high performance X-ray tubes, tissue engineering, microfluidics lab on a chip, pathogen detection systems and compact electronic systems including miniature ultrasound systems.
The size of nanoparticles determines improved physical properties that permits the production of advanced materials as well as the possibility to enter cells without changing cellular function. Size, for example, becomes a method for changing the fluorescence wavelength of quantum dots or the MRI signal of diagnostic imaging agents.
Much of early discovery will be in SME`s or Academia but systems integration will tend to be performed by large companies. Infrastructure costs are very high and will require large investment not usually available to smaller organizations. Healthcare instrumentation, for example, could include very high-density electronics, ultra-small transducers and compact displays all based on nanotechnology.
IP protection could be complicated as different sub-sytems are integrated. Drug delivery systems for example may have cocktails of drugs possibly from different manufacturers and layers to by-pass barriers such as the immune system.
Regulatory approval could significantly delay product introduction and should be taken into account in the funding process. For devices or substances to be used inside the body it will be key to use biocompatible materials that are easily eliminated from the body. Technology that will be not be used inside the body such, as sensors attached to the skin will tend to have a shorter approval time.
As nanotechnology develops it will key to update medical education so that healthcare professionals understand and introduce the new applications.
Nanotechnology Enabled Medicines
Dr. Arne Hengerer, Director, Molecular MRI, Siemens Medical Solutions
Nanotechnology will enable novel products in many Siemens business segments. The application of effects based on nano-sized materials and structures will create high-value-added products that feature novel functionalities. Nanotechnology is primarily used with key components, which significantly define the functionality of a product and the customer value. The contribution to the total revenue might be relatively small- the leverage effect of nanotechnology however is considerable.
Being a platform technology, nanotechnology will drive various medical product and system innovations. Nanocoatings of hearing aids repel water, sweat, cerumen and other adherents. By preventing moisture attack these coatings provide increased reliability. Other nanotechnology activities are pre-product related. Nanostructured microfluidic sample handling for diagnostic biosensors and Lab-on-a-Chip modules for PET radiotracer synthesis are in our R&D pipeline. We investigate nanoscale contrasts agent to enable detection of r aw molecular disease markers by MRI. Our prototype for magnetic drug targeting is used for enrichment of Mitoxantron loaded iron oxide nanoparticles within experimental tumors.
All the above mentioned developments depend strongly on interdisciplinary collaboration. It will be mandatory to create partnership networks along the entire value-added chain from R&D to mass production to address the major challenges in nanotechnology:
- manufacturing of starting materials in the required quality and quantity at competitive costs
- tailoring of properties to the respective application
- retention of nano-based properties after integration and processing (macroscopization)
- assurance of effect longevity (control of degradation)
- assessment of the manufacturing, application and disposal risks
Nanomedicine will be an important part of the 7 framework program of the EU. This program aims to establish nanotechnology within Europe as an enabling technology and driving force for product innovation. Furthermore it bundles activities and facilitates the use of synergies.
Small Company Presentations – Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, Implants, Devices and Regenerative Medicine
Nanobiotechnology at the Interface
Dr. Dale Athey, Managing Director, Orla Protein Technologies Ltd
Countless applications in the field of life sciences are based around the use of proteins which have been chemically immobilsed to a surface. Orla has developed a unique new technology which will render traditional methods of protein immobilisation obsolete, and dramatically simplify and extend our capabilities in the many areas hitherto dependent on imprecise and complex chemical methods.
The talk will give an overview of Orla’s unique approach to the design and manufacture of protein based biological surfaces and their commercial application.
- Surface Biology
- Molecular Biology and Protein design
Functional Nanocoatings for Surface Biotechnology
Jas Pal Badyal, Surface Innovations Ltd
'Over the years, several methods have been developed to coat solid surfaces for biotechnological applications. Success has primarily been achieved by using wet chemical methods employing solvents, or strong acid / base media, some of which are becoming increasingly unacceptable due to environmental and safety concerns. An alternative approach is to employ non-isothermal plasmachemical processing. This technology offers many potential benefits including low energy consumption, absence of solvents, minimal waste, rapid treatment times, ambient temperatures, applicability to a whole host of different substrate materials, and control of surface functionality. Specific examples will include high throughput and low-cost technological solutions for preparing re-writable DNA microarrays, protein chips, antibacterial surfaces, thermo-responsive protein resistant coatings for tissue engineering, and substrates for rapid cell growth.'
Future non-biofouling materials by nanoscale surface modification
Tessa ten Cate, TNO Science and Industry
Bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation are important issues in the use of medical devices and implants, often leading to complications or even failure of the implant. The Innovative Materials Group within TNO Science and Industry focuses on the development of medical materials which will provide improved quality of life and reduce the costs of primary healthcare. We have a history in surface chemistry and are developing several approaches to reduce control bacterial adhesion to (for example) ophthalmic, urological and intrauterine contraceptive devices, catheters, stents, barriers for medical textile and orthopaedic pins.
Polymer nanobrushes, monolayers of organic compounds on substrates form an important candidate for molecular control of surface properties. Application of the brush coating to different surfaces has been shown to result in a significant decrease in bacterial adhesion, as well as an increased release of bacteria. Performance and stability of the coating are superior to existing technologies due to an improved procedure to apply this coating to a variety of relevant materials. Other approaches to reduce biofouling include nanostructured surfaces based on nanocomposite materials, exhibiting "Lotus-like" self-cleaning properties, and enzym-based coatings. Examples of these new technologies will be presented.
Carbon coated nanomagnets for biomedical applications
Rüdiger Klingeler, Institute for Solid State Research at IFW Dresden, Germany
There is a fastly increasing interest in applying carbon nanotubes (CNT) in biomedicine since they can be filled with tailored material, thereby acting as chemically and mechanically stable nano-containers. The carbon shells provide wear resistance and oxidation protection, can stabilize novel magnetic molecules and enhance the possibilities for exohedral (e.g. bio-) functionalisation of the nanoparticles. We report on a systematic approach to exploit the potential of filled CNT to act as magnetic nano-heaters, drug-carrier systems and sensors which allow a diagnostic and therapeutic usage on a cellular level. We have studied the magnetic properties of individual, iron-filled multi-walled CNT which imply their potential for magnetic nano-heaters. Indeed, there is a substantial temperature increase of FeCNT treated muscle tissue under applied AC magnetic fields. Moreover, we successfully inserted ferromagnetic CNT into cancer cells which shows their applicability for local in-situ-heating (hyperthermia). Filled CNT can also be used for diagnostic purposes since the nanocontainers can be filled with appropriate sensor materials. One example is their filling with CuI, which exhibits a strongly temperature dependent NMR signal so that nanoscaled contactless temperature sensors are realised. The potential for drug-delivery by CNT is demonstrated by inserting cytostatics into CNT.
Nanomedicine and infectious diseases: the use of nanoviricides™ in the treatment of acute and chronic viral illnesses
Dr. Eugene Seymour, Chief Executive Officer, Nanoviricides Inc, USA
NanoViricides, Inc., a development stage company, is currently developing antiviral drugs, called “nanoviricides™”, based on a novel nanomedicine approach. A nanoviricide is an antiviral agent that is designed to seek out a specific virus, attach to, and then engulf or coat the virus particle. Thus the virus’s infectivity is neutralized. In addition, the virus particle is destabilized and possibly dismantled. Optionally the nanoviricide may also be made capable of attacking the viral genome (RNA) thereby destroying the virus completely. The current generation of nanoviricides are injectables, but in the near future we will begin the development of bronchial sprays (similar to asthma medications), nasal sprays (similar to allergy medications) and oral inhalation formulations (for deep chest cavity inhalation), for greater ease of use. A nanoviricide is designed to reduce viremia (viral load) and thus help the body fight the infection. This is a distinctly different approach when compared to all other antiviral developments although it may be complimentary to other approaches.
It is possible to create a nanoviricide drug against any given virus, if an antibody that binds to the virus is available, by using the portion of the antibody that binds to the virus as the targeting molecule “ligand”. Small chemicals or peptides also can make useful targeting ligands.
It is possible to make a single nanoviricide drug that responds to a large number of viral threats by using targeting ligands against the desired set of viruses in the construction of the drug. It is possible to “tune” the specificity and range of a nanoviricide drug within a virus type, subtype, or strain, by appropriate choices of the targeting ligand(s).
It is possible to develop a research drug quickly against a novel life-threatening field disease within 3-6 weeks after the infection is found, that is, as soon as antibody is available for modification. This enables a “war-like” responsiveness against emergent viral threats, whether natural or man-made (such as bio-terrorism). It is possible to stockpile a small array of drugs to fight a large number of viral diseases, if drugs are developed ahead of time. This enables emergency preparedness response with minimal costs, unlike the current approach of stockpiling one or multiple drugs for each threat agent.
These characteristics make the development of nanoviricides a highly attractive proposition for the Army, the Homeland Security, and the Emergency Preparedness Health Services agencies. In particular, the Army (MRMC and USAMRIID), have an interest in the development of nanoviricides against viruses such as Ebola, Marburg, Hanta, dengue, and other hemorrhagic viruses. Nanoviricides are expected to become the obvious drug development choice when the development and deployment of a vaccine is either impractical or results in insufficient success levels.
Nanoparticle mediated cell killing gives unique safety for cell based therapies .
Dr. Martin Roland Jensen, CEO, Nannovation Biotech
Nannovation has developed a proprietary selective cell killer technology based on nanoparticles designed with an intrinsic ability to mediate controlled cell killing or growth arrest of live nanoparticle loaded cells. Thus paving the way to fully control selective cell killing of specific cells in mixed cell populations in vitro in cell culture and to completely or partially remove or inactivate live cells administered to the organism in vivo. The unique possibility to kill or inactivate a pre-specified population of the cells in cell culture at exactly the right time will be an invaluable tool in the production of cell based vaccines, tissue replacement and stem cell products. The possibility to stop or arrest the growth of transplanted cells in the organism, will provide unique and previously unobtainable safety and the possibility for new applications of cell based therapies.
Neuronal regeneration using Nanotope technology
Dr.Chris Anzalone, CEO, Nanotope
Nanotope is a regenerative medicine company that leverages proprietary technology to address multiple therapeutic markets. Using platform technology, Nanotope is developing a suite of products, each customized to regenerate specific tissues.
Nanotope’s initial focus is on products for neuronal regeneration, cartilage regeneration, and wound-healing. The products are injectable compounds that work with surviving cells in and around the point of injury or defect to initiate and support regeneration where it would not naturally occur. Once regeneration is complete, the compounds are safely broken down and removed by the body. Nanotope’s lead product is aimed at spinal cord regeneration for reversal and prevention of paralysis associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). We anticipate beginning clinical work in Q2 2007.
Medical Nanotechnology- Patents, Regulation, Risks, Safety and Society
Nanotechnology and risk: Insurability challenges and requirements for success
Dr. Thomas K Epprecht, Senior Risk Specialist, Swiss Reinsurance Company
- What are the challenges for insurability in light of a major technological change?
- What triggers tolerability from a societal viewpoint?
- Loss potential: Are there analogies to the past?
- What's required for technological and commercial success?
EMEA’s reflection on nanotechnology-based medicinal products for Human Use
Marisa Papaluca Amati, MD,Deputy Head of Sector Clinical Safety and Efficacy, European Medicines Agency (EMEA)
The presentation reflects the current thinking and the initiatives taken by the EMEA in view of recent developments in relation to nanotechnology-based medicinal products.
Nanotechnology is an emerging scientific research field with a wide applicability and in the context of medical science it is expected that it will contribute in developing a more proactive paradigm for the diagnosis and therapy of diseases. Medicinal products containing nanoparticles have already been authorised both in EU and the US under the existing regulatory frameworks. Although nanosizing does not necessarily imply novelty, it is expected that nanotechnology will yield innovative products. Such products could span the regulatory boundaries between medicinal products and medical devices, challenging current criteria for classification and evaluation. Appropriate expertise will need to be mobilised for the evaluation of the quality, safety, efficacy and risk-management of nanomedicinal products and the need for new or updated guidelines will be reviewed in the light of accumulated experience.
Lead Aerosol Size Distribution and Occupational Health
Dr Robert Muir, Director and Cofounder, Innospan
The presentation will show that conventional occupational hygiene measurement techniques may not be adequate in assessing occupational health risks associated with sub-micron aerosols. The presentation will describe a novel method for sampling aerosols in situ, and show a direct correlation between particle size and health effects. The paper will propose the significance of such analysis in developing abatement strategies.
Converging Technologies for Healthcare Applications
Clinical Applications of Nanobiotechnology:
Possibilities and Promises
Leeds Vascular Institute
The burgeoning science of nanobiotechnology has invaded the medical arena, creating the specialist field of nanomedicine. This ‘specialty’ deals with the application of nanoscience in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human disease.
Several groups of researchers, including clinician-scientists, are working on exciting developments in areas embracing all aspects of patient care from molecular imaging and diagnostics to nanoparticle treatment of cancer. Whilst currently there is widespread interest in harnessing this technology in all fields of medicine, in order to realize the full potential of nanomedicine it is perhaps important to prioritise areas in which to focus our research endeavours. Clinicians and patients should clearly understand what applications are currently available to them as well as what this rapidly evolving technology can deliver in the future.
The clinical community is both excited by the promise of what this technology can deliver in terms of patient care and wary of some of the potential dangers of embracing this new field. Thus, it is important for clinicians, scientists and industry to develop a scientifically and socially conscious platform from which to foster the development of nanomedicine within clearly defined and ethically responsible boundaries. We should jointly strive to achieve this goal so that the promise that nanomedicine holds for improved healthcare is realised.
Overview Australian BioNanotechnology scene and Nanotechnology Victoria’s role
Dr Bob Irving, Nanotechnology Victoria Ltd
We will describe the way in which Nanotechnology Victoria Ltd has used demonstration projects to lead our major investments into Product Demonstration and Development. Employs various commercialization strategies across a range of products and partners and specific cases of bio-nanotechnology product development projects in which NanoVic with its partners are capitalising on multidisciplinary teams to bring nanotechnology outcomes to diagnostic sensing and delivery
NanoVics MicroArray Patches for transdermal delivery of protein and peptide nanoparticulate drugs and hormones; vaccines and insulin Point of care/home test nanoparticle diagnostic tests; Meningococcal disease
Summary to include brief mention of under development projects;
- The Cardiovascular disease in vivo nanoparticulate imaging reagent systems
- Prostate cancer in vivo nanoparticulate imaging reagent systems.
- Pulmonary nanoparticulate drug delivery devices
Small Company Presentations – Nanotechnology in Diagnostics, Imaging
Novel Piezoelectric film technology for diagnostic applications
Dr Neil Butler, CEO, Vivacta
Immunoassays account for 42% of the value in lab diagnostics today, whereas in point of care (excluding glucose self testing) immunoassays only account for 25%. The reason for immunoassay’s shortfall today in PoC is partly because it is not possible to carry out many of the higher sensitivity tests or where there is a need for quantitation, high sensitivity combined with wide dynamic range. Vivacta’s Piezofilm technology brings ultra high sensitivity combined with wide dynamic range in a point of care format with a rapid time to result. As it can be applied to any binding assay it is planned to translate the technology into molecular diagnostics following introduction in immunoassays.
Electronic Nose Technology for the early detection of TB
Dr. Tim Gibson, R&D Director, Scensive Technologies Limited
Scensive Technologies Limited develop and produce biomimetic sensor based instruments. In 2005, it acquired the business, assets and IP of Bloodhound Sensors Limited from the University of Leeds and began manufacturing its own Bloodhound™ products based on proprietary chemical sensor array technology.
The new Bloodhound instruments have found customers for odour recognition in universities, public and private research laboratories and public health, national security and manufacturing companies. Applications include: infectious disease detection in humans, animals and plants, environmental monitoring and industrial process control. Instruments are currently undergoing independent field trials for the rapid field diagnosis of tuberculosis. Scensive plans to develop portable instruments which will expand the range of point-of-care disease diagnostics including STDs and cancers.
New Diagnostic Tests Based On Nanoparticles Functionalised By the Hand-In-Glove Method Dr. Maryam Mehrabi, Department of Chemistry, Liverpool University
Rapid diagnostic strips were first introduced in the 1980’s and subsequently have become the mainstay of a multi-billion dollar diagnostics industry. They have succeeded because they allow untrained personnel to detect trace amounts of target molecules in extra-laboratory settings, and because they are very inexpensive. They are based on nitrocellulose strips striped with antigens or antibodies, and antibodies attached to a label that can be seen with the unaided eye. Most often this label is colloidal gold (or gold nanoparticles). Recently there have been numerous attempts to develop new and improved methods of detection based on the latest developments in nanotechnology. Although gold nanoparticles have often been at the heart of these new developments they have so far failed to make any impact on real-world applications in the diagnostics industry. Much effort has been devoted to producing new particles and functionalising them in ways that are as ingenious as they are innovative, but while all this has been taking place nobody has investigated the effect of changing the number of molecules attached to individual particles. One reason for this is that the possibility of engineering changes at this level is believed to be beyond the scope of existing technology, but we have developed a very simple method that has allows us to overcome this barrier.1 The defining characteristic of the method is that it not only allows the number of molecules attached to a nanoparticle to be varied, but also allows the user to know what this number is without resorting to cumbersome and error prone indirect methods to find out. During the last six months we have used the method to increase the sensitivity of a lateral flow test beyond what is possible with existing technology. The other major characteristic of the method is that it allows virtually any molecule, or molecules, to be conjugated to metal and semiconductor nanoparticles. In published work we have conjugated low MW antigens to gold nanoparticles,2-3 and oligonucleotides to gold and silver nanoparticles.4 More recently the method has been used to conjugate molecules that intercalate into double stranded hybridisation products to gold nanoparticles. This is an important result, because it shows how novel combinations of nanoparticles and probe molecules can be used in place of expensive existing technology such as customized fluorescent probes. In this presentation the method for changing the number of probe molecules attached to a nanoparticle, and the use of intercalating gold nanoparticles as alternatives to fluorescent labels will be described.
Nanoplex™ Biotags: Nanoscale Optical Detection Labels for Ultrasensitive, Multiplexed Diagnostics, Spanning the Gap between Point-of-Care and Hospital Central Lab Technologies. Dr. Peter Corish, Applications Manager Biodiagnostics, Oxonica Healthcare
The convergence and overlap of diagnostics, therapeutics and the increasing output of biomarker discovery from genomic and proteomic analyses is leading to major improvements in the identification and treatment of disease states that will impact directly on the provision of healthcare. Nanotechnology will provide significant contributions to many aspects of the healthcare pathway, influencing drug development, delivery methods, the monitoring of efficacy and reduction of risk from toxicological effects. This ability will be based on sensitive, robust and multiplexed analysis of suites of highly-relevant biomarkers both proximally and distally to the patient, thereby aiding the acute and chronic clinical decision making process.
Oxonica will describe diagnostic applications of Nanoplex™ Biotags, a powerful new optical detection label based on Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) that can be used across the spectrum of in vivo and in vitro clinical diagnostics. Key features of SERS nanotags include: (a) 785 nm excitation, allowing interrogation in complex tissue and/or whole blood samples; (b) excellent sensitivity comparable with current state of the art chemiluminescence; (c) high-level multiplexing due to the unique ‘fingerprint’ nature of Raman spectra and (d) excellent stability and biocompatibility, afforded by the inert silica shell. A wide variety of performance benefits and applications for biological analyte detection and localisation will be described.
Endomagnetics: Making Magnets Work For Healthcare
Prof. Quentin Pankhurst, Deputy Director, London Centre for Nanotechnology, and Co-Founder, Endomagnetics Inc.
Endomagnetics Inc. is a spinout company from the University of Houston and University College London. It is an outcome of a research partnership between the institutions that was established through the UK/Texas Bioscience Collaboration Initiative - a program established in 2003 to develop intellectual property and enhance the commercialization of bioscience technologies in the UK and Texas. Endomagnetics Inc. was founded to solve a range of important surgical and healthcare diagnostic problems through the application of novel advances in bio-magnetics, nanotechnology and magnetic sensing technology based on high-temperature superconductors. Endomagnetics Inc. is developing a portfolio of medical device products based on its unique and patented ability to sense magnetic materials in the human body at exceptionally high levels of accuracy. The company’s products enable surgeons and clinicians to deliver standards of care that are a significant enhancement on existing practice, whilst achieving improvements in work flow that will deliver cost and efficiency savings. The company’s first product, SentiMAG™, is an ultra-sensitive hand-held probe that can detect tiny magnetic fields within the human body. By sensing concentrations of clinically introduced and FDA approved magnetic nanoparticles, SentiMAG™ is able to locate lymph nodes for assessing and staging the treatment of breast cancer. SentiMAG™ has the potential to considerably simplify pre and post operative hospital procedures for sentinel lymph node biopsy compared to the current gold-standard of gamma probes and radioactive tracers.
Label-free screening of bio-molecular interactions With Acoustics
Dr. Mathew Cooper, Founder and Chief Scientist, Akubio Ltd.
Acoustic sensors that exploit resonating quartz crystals to directly detect the binding of an analyte to a receptor are finding increasing utility in the quantification of clinically-relevant analytes. We review the growth in different application areas including bacterial, viral, and oligonucleotide detection, with a focus on piezoelectric immunoassays developed by academic and commercial groups. Example data will be presented for detection of myoglobin, interleukin 1 beta (IL-1b) and enzyme co-factors. The specificity and affinity of antibody-antigen and enzyme-cofactor interactions can be rapidly and accurately determined without the need for concomitant labeling of the receptor or the analyte. The Akubio systems enable determination of protein concentration (recombinant human IL-1 b and recombinant human myoglobin) and quantification of co-factor binding (NADP+ and NAD+) to the enzyme glucose dehydrogenase. Resonant Acoustic Profiling is able to detect different classes of analytes in a relatively simple receptor-binding assay in less than 10 minutes. The technology shows promise for application to real-time immunoassays, biomarker detection and analyte quantification in general. The combination of this powerful technology platform with existing analyte concentration and presentation technologies should lead to simple, label-free, high sensitivity methodologies that can be used in multiple application areas of clinical chemistry and diagnostics.
Anti-viral Nanomaterial Targeted at Pandemic Viruses
Dr Paul Reip, QinetiQ Nanomaterials Ltd, UK
Investing in Medical Nanotechnologies- Evaluation, Finances and Challenges
Medical Nanotechnology: Business Models, Financing and Valuation
Dr. Ogan Gurel, Chairman, AesEO, Duravest inc
- Nanotechnology as an enabling technology
- Nanotechnology as a disruptive technology
- Nanotechnology underpinning convergent medical technologies
- Bridging the device – drug cultural divide
- Challenges in building business models for medical nanotechnology
- Implications for financing and valuation
- Suggestions for building value
EIB financing of Research, Development and Innovation Projects
Mr. Kim Kreilgaard, Head of Division, European Investment Bank
The presentation would give a brief overview of the EIB's financing activity to date in support of RDI projects in Europe, introduce the RSFF (Risk Sharing Finance Facility) being an initiative currently under development with the DG Research of the Commission and elaborate on the EIB's increased capacity to take socalled sub-investment grade risks under this mandate and what products/type of financing we can offer in support of such projects and companies in the life sciences area.
EIB major lender to Research and Innovation:
- New partnership with the EU Commission/DG Research in support of higher risk financing for RDI (the RSFF);
- EIB developing financial products in support of sub-investment grade promoters of RDI
The Role of Technology Roadmaps in Making Investment Decisions in Nanotechnology
Dr J M Wilkinson, Managing Director, Technology for Industry Ltd
Investors are often presented with what appears to be a technically sound investment proposition but what is missing is an overview of technology trends, competitive solutions and windows of market opportunity. Market forecasts that present overall growth figures for a sector do not provide enough detail for an investment decision. More insight into what is happening is needed, specifically how long new technologies will take to come to the market and the barriers that have to be overcome. This can be provided by Roadmaps.
Roadmaps tracking emerging technologies within a specific application field can provide the level of information that is needed for a sound initial assessment of the attractiveness of the opportunity. The Roadmap must include a detailed timeline that projects at least ten years into the future for medical applications. The investor can then decide whether the opportunity is worthy of a more detailed and expensive due diligence investigation.
In this paper, new roadmaps for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery and Blood Glucose Monitoring are presented that illustrate how several recent disruptive technologies fit into the competitive space of these sectors. These roadmaps represent the result of extensive research and inputs from many leading companies and research organisations. Also presented will be some examples of how nanotechnology commercialization is taking place and the competitive situation. Both investors and start-up companies should find these insights helpful.
Are you ready for investment?
Paula Knee, Senior Project Leader, Quotec Ltd
Equity investment whether from venture capital firms or business angels, is often seen as the answer to a technology start-up's finance needs. However attempts to acquire such investment often end in failure. This presentation will describe the current environment for equity investment in technology businesses, outline the key motivations and criteria behind investment decisions and discuss some of the common pitfalls made by companies seeking investment. Equity investment whether, from venture capital firms or business angels, is often seen as the answer to a technology start-up's finance needs. However attempts to acquire such investment often end in failure. Most start-ups do not have previous experience in raising finance and can improve their chances by better understanding the motivations and expectations of equity investors, and creating a business plan that explicitly addresses their needs.
Investment firms typically receive between 500 and 800 business plans a year and plans that do not meet investor needs on a brief first review are unlikely to make it to the next stage. Experience from London’s Gateway 2 Investment (g2i) investment readiness programme shows that business plans tend to fall short of investor requirements in three areas: failure to fully address the market need for their product; insufficient consideration of the competition; and lack of appropriate management skills to deliver the outputs and growth required by investors.
The presentation will describe the current environment for equity investment in technology businesses, outline the key criteria behind investment decisions and discuss ways to address some of the common pitfalls made by companies seeking investment
Reputation and Investment Risk
Dr. John Browne, Strategic Advantage
Reputation and The direct link between the valuation of a company and its reputation have been proven. For many nanotechnology firms, reputation can be worth between 30% and 60% of market value. Reputation is, therefore a critical issue for investors and managers. For nanotechnology there is also an “industry reputation” issue that affects the attractiveness of the whole industry for inward investment and, ultimately, whether the UK is a preferred location in the future. Learning points will be drawn from mistakes made by the GMO industry. The presentation will cover the tools available to assess reputation risk and emerging issues and how to manage those risks to maximise company value and ROI.