Interview by Will Soutter
Jeremy Warren, General Manager of NanoSight, talks to AZoNano about the recent acquisition of NanoSight by Malvern Instruments.
WS: It’s an exciting time for NanoSight, with the recent announcement of your acquisition by Malvern. Can you tell us a bit about how this move came about?
JW: It is a very exciting time. We went through a complex process over the course of a year, trying to understand where NanoSight’s value was and where we best fitted. Malvern was the obvious choice to many both within the organization and outside, but we spent a long time convincing ourselves that that was the case.
I’m now more convinced than ever that Malvern is our natural home. This move is right for our technology, its right for our people - and I think the position that we're in now make us a formidable proposition, which I wouldn't like to have to compete with, myself.
NanoSight's NS300 nanoparticle characterization system with enhanced fluorescence capability
WS: So the process took about a year – was this option in the pipeline before then?
JW: we’ve been talking to Malvern for years. I think we first talked to Malvern in 2006.
This was never a foregone conclusion – we could have gone to someone else. The more we look at this though, now we’re in here, the more it feels exactly the right thing to have done.
WS: So was this sort of move always on the cards for NanoSight, since the company formed in 2002?
JW: Yes, NanoSight was a venture backed company, so the investors were always looking for exit opportunities.
WS: What is it about NanoSight’s technology that makes it such a good fit within Malvern?
JW: Malvern acquired us because we have unique technology – Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis - which serves expanding markets, mainly in the biopharma area. Whilst there is a small overlap with Malvern Instruments’ DLS technology, Dynamic Light Scattering, we’ve always positioned ourselves as complementary.
For Malvern this is a great opportunity for growth, and for increasing access to the biopharma markets.
Jeremy Warren with Paul Walker, Managing Director at Malvern Instruments
WS: What are the main benefits of the acquisition from NanoSight’s point of view?
JW: From our point of view, there are two major gains which we are excited about. One is the depth and scope of Malvern’s capabilities in engineering and development. Their approach to producing robust tools is more mature than ours is. For NanoSight to be able to get much bigger, much faster, and to become a volume producer on the global market, we need that systems experience and infrastructure rigor.
The second thing is Malvern’s channels to market, which are very impressive, and again are more mature and robust than what was available to NanoSight alone.
WS: Is there a particular growth area you will be focusing on now you are part of Malvern – expanding into new markets, or developing your technology further?
JW: All those things, really. There is lots of opportunity in terms of new products and new markets from both camps. The onus is now on us to make the very best decisions we can in taking this forward.
WS: It seems there is a very positive feeling about the acquisition within NanoSight.
JW: Certainly, and increasingly. This has given the people at NanoSight an opportunity to reflect on what we've been able to create, and I think that, to a man, people are justifiably proud of where we've got to – and from this point, the Malvern move looks like a very good way to go forward from everybody's point of view.
In addition to the opportunities for the business as a whole, I think Malvern presents significant personal opportunity for the people working at NanoSight. It's a larger organization with more opportunity within it and I think that's great.
Bob Carr, the founder of this business, has summed it up the best I think – he said that Malvern is our natural home. That certainly rings true for me as well.
Jeremy Warren served as CEO of NanoSight Ltd for 9 years, and will continue as General Manager of NanoSight as part of Malvern Instruments.
NanoSight's Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis technology (NTA) can track and perform multi-parameter characterization of nanomaterials in suspension on a particle-by-particle basis.
The acquisition of NanoSight by Malvern Instruments was completed on the 27th September, 2012.
For more information on NanoSight's technology, please visit their website.