Cambridge Consultants advises on microdroplet technology

By Sam Collins
12:00 AM

A multidisciplinary team of technology strategists and scientists from Cambridge Consultants has provided advice to Cambridge Enterprise regarding potential applications for microdroplet technology in a high-growth sector of the drug discovery market, currently valued at US$140million.

Cambridge Enterprise is the world-leading technology transfer arm of the University of Cambridge, responsible for the commercial realisation of its inventions, innovations and discoveries.

Cambridge Consultants' assignment involved undertaking a review of the Intellectual Property (IP) landscape in the field of microdroplets which, together with a programme of qualitative and quantitative market research, has informed the commercialisation plans of the Microdroplets Group at the University's Department of Chemistry.

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Based on the findings of the studies, the Cambridge Consultants team was able to provide expert opinion on the validity of key IP, together with an assessment of the commercial opportunities and potential for the technology in three specific market areas.

Richard Day, senior consultant at Cambridge Consultants, said, "We unearthed a densely-populated minefield of IP in the microdroplet area, but were able to identify a subset of representative patents for further analysis. A screened list of the ten leading, and potentially blocking, patents of greatest interest were reviewed in detail to establish the validity of their claims. This enabled us to provide specific advice, allowing the University to identify regions in the IP landscape open for further investigation."

Having identified areas for the technology to be further exploited, a project team of healthcare market specialists analysed the market and competitor activity.

They took a systematic approach to assessing the market and commercial opportunities, interviewing a panel of industry experts from world-leading commercial organisations in the field to identify the most promising and beneficial applications for microdroplets.

The result was an industry-validated overview of the potential benefits of the technology, which could be used to inform strategic decision making, and to highlight what further laboratory development is required. The result was a validation of the University's belief in its own technology, and evidence to support a successful market adoption.

Maher Khaled, technology manager, Cambridge Enterprise said, "University researchers will be exploring applications for the microdroplets platform over the next few years. Cambridge Consultants has obtained invaluable insight from industry leaders on where this technology could be applied for the greatest value. With a number of potential paths to commercialisation, Cambridge Consultants has also assisted the microdroplets team by evaluating established patent positions.

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