Morten Sommer, a 26 year old Danish postgraduate student currently studying for his PhD at Harvard University in the US, is a busy man. According to an article in financial daily newspaper Børsen, he is also getting ready to enter the equipment market for protein structure determination with a product called Crystal Maker through his company Microlytic ApS, which he established in 2006.
Sommer aims to gain a 10% slice of the protein structure determination market in three years. He told Børsen: "The total market is worth about DKK 1bn (USD 209m) annually. And it's our hope that Crystal Maker will win widespread acceptance among customers since it has a 30-fold greater success rate than conventional technologies. It is also easy to use and is priced very competitively."
Crystal Maker offers a new way of making protein crystals, which has proved successful in producing better results with greater reliability, reports Børsen. Crystallizing proteins is a procedure which can cause bottlenecks in the process of determining protein structures, and it is here that that Crystal Maker can prove its value.
Microlytic is working hard to get the production line ready by May, and will give the product its first public airing at the ICCBM12 (12th International Conference on the Crystallization of Biological Macromolecules) conference in Mexico, where it hopes to take the first orders.
Microlytic was originally set up with funding from the Danish Ministry of Science and CAT Seed. Børsen writes that the company will need further capital to finance scaling up of production and creating a sales organisation. A number of investors are reported to be interested.