By Ali Tinazli, Sony DADC BioSciences
The translation of innovation from academia to a commercial setting is becoming increasingly complex owing to the sophistication of new solutions as well as the challenging financial and regulatory environments. To make that leap, products must demonstrate the potential for financial sustainability in the marketplace and, of course, high technical performance. In order to achieve the latter, however, new solutions are often based on nano-, micro-, or biotechnologies, which, in turn, pose challenges to entrepreneurs in terms of the definition of the product specifications, manufacturability, and competitive cost structure. Here are some tips for overcoming these three potential barriers to success.
Product Specifications: Depending on the core IP of a given organization, the product might be based on a new proprietary assay and/or a new platform technology. In each case, the specifications have to be well aligned according to the actual needs of the end-users, whether they are hospitals, service labs, or physicians. But doing so is usually challenging because the major innovation force driving a new product—based on lab-on-chip concepts, for example—is its technological superiority in the corresponding market landscape. However, this aspect is by no means trivial. Focusing on the core performance specification of a new technology does not guarantee success.
|Ali Tinazli will present alongside David Hanlon of Quanterix Corp. on establishing cross-industry partnerships as a way to foster innovation and decrease manufacturing time to market at the IVD Business Strategy Conference Nov. 6-8 in San Diego.|
Manufacturing: New product ideas often require new manufacturing strategies. The main asset of a diagnostics tools company is its biomedical IP—not manufacturing. In most cases, the required manufacturing expertise already exists in consumer electronics companies. Hence, applying the design and manufacturing technology know-how from the consumer electronics and optical media sectors is very convenient. Taking the complexity of partnering deals into account, a mechanistic and transparent B2B partnering model is essential.
Cost: A combined strategy of product development and manufacturing roadmap is very important for proper control of the cost structure of a new product. The resources for development have to be aligned with the investment costs for the manufacturing tools. Partnering with a suitable contract manufacturing company at an earlier stage proves to be useful in this context as some manufacturing tools can be used at the product development stage. Overall, this approach ensures an optimized, lower-cost structure of the final product.
The definition of the product specifications based on a new technology is not trivial, and is the most challenging part of the process after the innovative step. But as soon as the product concept has been defined, mechanistic tools are available for a straightforward development and manufacturing roadmap. The cost structure of a new product can also be controlled if coordinated early enough with the manufacturing setting. Finally, a comprehensive anticipation of product requirements, technical feasibility, manufacturability, and cost structure is a prerequisite for success.
|Learn more from Ali Tinazli about a commercialization roadmap for innovation at the IVD Business Strategy Conference Nov. 6-8 in San Diego.|
Ali Tinazli, PhD, is head of business development and sales at Sony DADC BioSciences. Since 2008, he has contributed to Sony DADC’s new business and initial growth in the U.S. in the arena of smart consumables in the life sciences and in vitro diagnostics tools markets. In 2012, Tinazli opened the official U.S. business office for Sony DADC BioSciences in Cambridge, MA.