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Nano Startup Incubation

Materials are important but it is products that change the world. At nanoComposix we’ve helped hundreds of companies use precisely engineered nanomaterials to generate innovative product concepts. With over 15 years’ experience in nanoparticle fabrication, functionalization, integration and prototyping, we’ve had a front row seat to both the amazing potential and the limitations of nanotechology. Our highly characterized nanoparticle library of over 500 different sizes, shapes, surfaces, and materials allows researchers to rapidly test ideas and concepts. When successful, we can help produce larger quantities or customize materials for the next design iteration. Often, we can draw upon our prior successes and failures to provide guidance on next research steps that will accelerate the company towards its next critical milestone. For some clients, the supply of high quality materials is all they need and we support them all the way through to commercial supply. For clients where their technology is:

A game changing idea that uses nanotechnology to dramatically improve an existing product or to create a brand new product concept AND the product can be manufactured at a commercial viable cost,

we often become more involved. In a number of cases we’ve provided capital by investing in their seed or Series A fundraising rounds. We also help by allowing our partner companies to use our facilities for meetings with prospective clients, providing access to our analytical and laboratory equipment, and teaming to raise non-dilutive funding. We help companies get connected with key resources and other investors (if we put in our own money, someone else should be interested too!). What we love about this model is that once we’ve got skin in the game to see the company be successful commercially, our collective R&D strategy is efficient and cost-effective. Partner companies that we have invested in include nanomedicine companies working on treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, dermatology companies treating acne and skin cancer, diagnostic devices for fertility, consumer toys, solar signage, and one-way illumination advertising for windows.

Case History Study: Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

In 2010, Todd Harris, a biomedical engineering PhD graduate from MIT, approached us with the idea of using plasmonic nanoparticles for dermatology applications. We discussed the various options and decided that silica coated silver nanoplates had the right combination of resonance tunability, high concentration stability, and cost-effective manufacturing. In exchange for particles, access to laboratory space, and the exclusive licensing of nanoComposix IP in dermatology fields, nanoComposix was provided an equity stake and future royalties. Over the next few years, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals successful ran a number of pilot and pivotal clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of plasmonic photoparticle therapy for acne and light hair laser hair removal. Joint IP between nanoComposix and Sienna was developed that has resulted in two issued US patents (9,212,294, 9,526,745) and 7 other international patent issuances. In 2016, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals completed a $34 million Series A round that was followed a year later with a $40 million Series B. Sienna Biopharmaceuticals went public on NASDAQ in July 2017 raising $65 million with a $300 million market cap (ticker SNNA). The commercial launch of the photoparticle therapy for acne vulgaris and unwanted light-pigmented hair reduction is anticipated for early 2019 which will be followed by drug candidates that treat pruritus, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. The success of this collaboration emphasized how early stage alignment of incentives can accelerate the commercialization process and our collaborative interactions with Todd and the rest of the Sienna team is a model for our future partnerships.