Labcyte's Road to Commercialization - an Interview with Mark Fischer-Colbrie at PMWC Silicon Valley 2017


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The recent PMWC Silicon Valley event held in late January at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, boasted 10,000 attendees and 1,500 speakers. Topics at the event ran the gamut from patent and law policies, economics and emerging technologies to clinical enablement and genomic data analysis. One of our favorite sessions was an onstage discussion between Alex De Winter of GE Ventures and our CEO, Mark Fischer-Colbrie. Titled “How to Commercialize Technologies that Advance PM,” their conversation focused on Labcyte’s path to monetization and commercialization in the realm of precision medicine.

Fischer-Colbrie started with a brief introduction and history of Labcyte, and acoustic dispensing and how it eliminates the problems inherent to pipetting, as well as current adoption and markets. He also mentioned its significant impact, citing drugs both repurposed and brought to market, leukemia patients now in remission and the development of new diagnostics. Next, the conversation focusing on advice for startups to break into new markets and find early adopters, who for Labcyte were “often the people who come up with novel workflows” and who tended to evangelize about the platform during major conferences.


Fischer-Colbie asserted that end user benefit was one of the most important factors in highlighting the enormous cost and data quality advances. The accuracy of precision is incredibly powerful, which led to a team at Helsinki’s Institute of Molecular Medicine discovering the precision medicine application for acoustic handling. Fischer-Cobrie’s vision extends beyond precision medicine, and incorporates entire U.S. and global healthcare system. Massive cost savings and tremendous data quality will help get drugs to market faster, enable better diagnostics, and allow researchers to take advantage of big data collections.

With his 30+ years of experience and knowledge of taking three companies public, Fischer-Colbrie was well-positioned to answer De Winter’s many questions. He offered the perfect blend of practical advice and insight for fledgling companies to increase adoption, access new markets and attain commercialization.