With additional funding of almost CHF 1.5 million, raised from private and institutional investors, ELDICO’s product development will be getting a boost. In addition to several industry-savvy private investors from Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, the Aargauische Kantonalbank (AKB) and the Swiss start-up promotion organisation Venture Kick are also among the investors.
“Electron diffraction is a highly innovative technology used in the field of nano-crystallography, i.e. nanocrystalline solid state analysis. Pharmaceutical companies use these analyses for their drug discovery and can thus identify more active pharmaceutical ingredients in a shorter time and use their research funds in a more targeted manner,” says Dr. Eric Hovestreydt, founder and CEO of ELDICO Scientific.
ELDICO, located in Park Innovaare, next to Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerlands largest research center for natural and engineering sciences, will develop the first electron diffractometer specially designed for nano-crystallographic research; such instruments do not yet exist today. ELDICO plans to have the first instrument ready for use at the customer’s premises in the first quarter of 2021. After that, rapid expansion of production is projected. At present, work on product development is proceeding at full speed. Suppliers and development partners from five countries are contributing to the project, including the Swedish company Excillum, the German companies Axilon and SmarAct, and the world’s leading manufacturer of 2D detectors in Switzerland, Dectris (Baden, CH).
During the development of its device, ELDICO benefitted from research and development cooperations with the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). PSI supported ELDICO in pilot studies, achieving the proof-of-principle and product development. ELDICO received technical knowhow from PSI especially in regards to electron optical parameters particularly critical for the diffraction of small crystals, strategies for optimizing the transmission electron microscope for diffraction applications, optimization of experimental parameters, application to catalysis research.
Nano-crystallography has a broad field of application, but specific devices are not yet available. Future users of ELDICO technology include research institutes in science and industry, pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations (CROs), agrochemical companies and companies in the advanced materials sector. In contrast to the technologies currently in widespread use, this process can be used to test many chemical substances that cannot be analysed at present, for example with regard to their suitability for developing of new drugs. For the pharmaceutical industry, this will mean an increase in the number of drug candidates and a reduction in time-to-market.
For more information, you can download our press release here.