Jan 10, 2019 | Monica Heger
SAN FRANCISCO (GenomeWeb) - The 37th annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference continued here on Wednesday with several life science tools and molecular diagnostics companies presenting before investors. Below is an excerpt of the presentations and breakout sessions covered by Genome Web at the conference and in their offices in New York.
Quanterix CEO, President, and Chairman Kevin Hrusovsky said that his firm moved into research markets as the first application for its Simoa immunoassays after previously considering entering diagnostics markets.
"We decided to move into research first where there is no regulatory or reimbursement risk, and taking the technology and applying it primarily in pharmaceuticals and biotech to help drugs get approved more effectively," he said.
The firm has raised $150 million over the past three years as it continues to build out the technology, Hrusovsky said during a presentation on Wednesday.
In December 2017, it raised part of that — $73.7 million — in an initial public offering.
The Quanterix Simoa technology is a detection system consisting of an optical fiber bundle to carry light in and out of each reaction well, a proprietary image-capture device, and image-analysis software to allow researchers to observe the assays on a single-molecule level.
The total available market for its research applications is $1 billion today and "evolving very rapidly," Hrusovsky said, and longer-term, the firm sees a total available market of about $30 billion in diagnostics.
In September 2017, Quanterix terminated a license agreement with BioMérieux that covered commercialization of Quanterix's Simoa immunoassay technology for in vitro diagnostic purposes. With that termination, Quanterix regained control of that portion of its intellectual property and in so doing removed an overhang on the company, Hrusovsky said Wednesday.
The firm launched its Simoa SR-X benchtop instrument in 2018 for neurology research applications. It expects to launch the HD-X, an upgrade to its existing HD-1 instrument, in the second half of 2019, also for neurology research.
Further, Quanterix is planning to launch a multiplex immunoassay technology for cancer applications in the first half of 2019. In November last year, it announced the launch of an early-access program for the new platform, which is called SP-X.
The benchtop platform combines Quanterix's high-sensitivity Simoa immunoassays with higher levels of multiplexing than are offered by its existing systems. By April 1 this year, the firm expects to ship the first instruments, Hrusovsky said Wednesday.
To date, the company has used a bead-based approach in its Simoa platforms, but the SP-X system will use a planar technology, a route to expanding the technology's multiplexing capabilities.