Our target markets include both diagnostic tools such as FISH-analysis and microarray tools and microscopes for basic and applied research. Potential customers for the Nanoscope include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research institutions, metallurgical engineers and material scientists, and developers of nanomaterials. The estimated size of the market for microscopes and accessories in 2009 was $2.7 billion, growing at a CAGR of 11%. A recent survey conducted by the company indicates that the total available market for the highest-quality microscopes is approximately $350 million, growing at a CAGR of 20%.
The most advanced microscope technology is currently sold by Carl Zeiss, Leica Microsystems, Nikon and Applied Precision. These companies are the key competitors of the Nanoscope, but would also be likely licensees of our technology if we pursue a licensing strategy instead of our product strategy.
• The PALM method was recognized as top-10 achievement in 2006 by Science and was licensed to Carl Zeiss in 2007. Carl Zeiss deployed the new PAL-M (up to 20nm resolution) and HR-SIM based on Structured Illumination Microscopy (up to 120nm resolution) into the market in December 2009.
• STORM, a method similar to PALM, was acknowledged as a top-10 achievement in 2008 by Nature Methods and was licensed to Nikon in December 2009 and deployed in May 2010.
• The STED microscopy technology (up to 90nm resolution) was developed by Max Planck Institute and licensed to Leica.
• Leica licensed the GSDIM technology (similar to PALM and STORM) from the Max Planck Institute in October 2009. Leica’s product using this technology was priced at $1.2 million in 2007.
• The DeltaVisionOMX microscopes (up to 100nm resolution) developed by Applied Precision have been available since May 2009 and are being sold for $0.9 million to $1.4 million.