Laser-based lab equipment maker Hamilton Thorne Inc. (CVE:HTL) derives a major part of its revenues from the life sciences R&D market. CEO Meg Spencer says that requires the company to surf the leading edge of several life science research waves, including stem cells and regenerative medicine.
The Beverly, Mass.-based company looks to help solve some of the problems scientists encounter as they develop their research on stem cells into regenerative medicine techniques. Those often involve the growth of millions — or even billions — of cells, so anything that can accelerate or automate that process is vital to innovation in the space.
Click here to listen to MassDevice’s interview with Meg Spencer. You can also download an MP3 of the interview by right-clicking.
Scientists can’t count on that many cells growing uniformly without some care and feeding. Keeping cultures that size clean of irregular cells is a 24/7/365 job. Enter Hamilton Thorne’s Stiletto and Staccato devices, which are designed to cultivate the cultures, relieving researchers of hours of tedium.
The company is hoping that what Spencer calls its “wow factor” is enough to catch the rising tide in regenerative science, focusing its sales and marketing efforts on creating an installed base of labs doing cutting-edge work. Hamilton Thorne has had some notable successes on that front.* Scientists from Cornell University’s Weill Lab recently published a paper evidencing the Staccato product’s ability to increase their productivity 10-fold.
The company also lays claim to 90 percent of the U.S. laser fertility market, according to Spencer. Clinicians use the company’s lasers to facilitate pre-implantation genetic screening or even to prime the wall of an embryo for implantation with its FDA-cleared Zilos-tk laser.
Although Hamilton THorne has yet to post a profit — it recently replenished its coffers with a $650,000 debt offering (PDF) — the company’s financials are improving. Sales during the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2010, were a full 25 percent above the same period from the previous year, rising to $4.5 million. Its full 2010 results are due April 21.
Click here to listen to MassDevice’s interview with Hamilton Thorne CEO Meg Spencer. You can also download an MP3 of the interview by right-clicking.