The real-time analysis of nanoparticle size offers exceptional potential for a wide range of Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) and applications across a number of sectors.
AZoNetwork recently spoke to Ad Gerich from InProcess LSP about the company’s role in developing and advancing the field of nanoparticle analysis and his work in developing a real-time PAT solution that leverages the power of optical coherence tomography.
The interview also explores some of the challenges related to operating as a smaller company in a highly specialized sector, InProcess-LSP’s innovative approach to addressing these challenges in a highly dynamic market and the impact of location on market access.
Can you briefly describe the history of InProcess-LSP and how you came to be involved with the company?
In 2014, when the pharmaceutical development departments were closed by MSD in the Netherlands, I took the opportunity to start InProcess-LSP together with two MSD colleagues.
At that time, I was involved in product and process developments within MSD as director of a very skilled group of specialists. One of the typical areas of expertise close to my own background was Process Analytical Technology.
We decided to start InProcess-LSP as a service and consultancy company for Process Analytical Solutions.
In 2016, Rut Besseling (managing partner and science director) discovered the potential of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) for in-line nanoparticle size analysis. This became the main driver to develop a unique PAT instrument for real-time nanoparticle size analysis.
Image Credit: InProcess-LSP
What is the mission statement of InProcess-LSP? How has this mission statement developed over time, if at all?
At InProcess-LSP, we aim to provide valuable PAT solutions for industry to increase their efficiency, minimize waste and enable precise manufacturing leading to next-level quality products. The mission statement has remained the same, but the type of solutions has grown broader.
How does this mission statement help this company stand apart from its competitors?
Most of our competitors are specialists in particle size analysis. However, besides particle size analysis, we are also specialists in process analytical technology. This gives us more focus and the relevant experience to help customers looking for real-time analytical solutions.
Can you describe what makes InProcess-LSP a unique operation?
The combination of a highly skilled scientific team with many years of experience in industry and a strong focus on PAT technologies is what makes InProcess-LSP unique. The relatively small size of the company also helps us operate with high flexibility, providing a personal touch.
What difference does location make to a company like InProcess-LSP?
InProcess-LSP is located at Pivot Park in the Netherlands. Location is important as we operate in an international market (from Asia to the USA). Thus, being located in the Netherlands and EU has given us great opportunities to build and grow our business.
Can you describe how InProcess-LSP’s Pivot Park location plays a role in the company’s ethos?
Pivot Park is a science park with more than 60 companies focused on health- and pharma-related topics. The innovative atmosphere and access to numerous different facilities make being part of this fast-growing science park very enticing.
Can you describe the atmosphere at Pivot Park? What is a day working for InProcess-LSP like?
The atmosphere in Pivot Park is dynamic, energetic and positive. This is because all the start-up companies work together, combining their strengths to learn and grow.
Therefore, a day at Pivot Park is never dull; it is always different and exciting. Every day we are faced with new challenges, and things are constantly changing for the company.
Image Credit: InProcess-LSP
What are some of the challenges that a smaller company in this field may face, and how does InProcess-LSP overcome these?
At the start, finding your first real customer without having all of the required systems in place is a challenge. You need trust from your customer and, more importantly, a very good product.
Secondly, for nearly all start-up companies, finance is a risk. You have to be smart - not naïve - when it comes to financial planning.
We included larger companies in the field to continuously evaluate our product and to co-finance our developments to validate whether our solution would be valuable to them and to generate cash for the development of the technology.
What would you say to potential consumers or partners regarding the benefits of working with a smaller company?
Besides the more personal touch, when it comes to flexibility and the ability to act fast, a smaller company is often the best choice.
Some people believe that working with a smaller operation is risky. How would InProcess-LSP alleviate these concerns?
The long-term stability of a company may sound riskier for smaller companies. However, good innovations and technologies will most likely survive, while existing technology (of mainly larger companies) may disappear. This is also the case from a support perspective.
During your time with InProcess-LSP is there anything that you are particularly proud of?
I am proud that our team developed the NanoFlowSizer as a unique PAT instrument for nanoparticle sizing. Although we had limited resources, we had a great drive to succeed. I am also proud of how the expertise and competencies of our team came together.
Image Credit: InProcess-LSP
Turning to the future, what are the next steps for the company? What challenges do you expect to face, and how will these be overcome?
Our next steps include extending our visibility and showing the world that our innovation is the best possible solution for real-time nanoparticle analysis.
Commercially, there are challenges, and we have started to extend the commercial team that is currently led by Frando van der Pas.
We are also continuously working on new and relevant functionality of the Nanoflowsizer. In 2022, the first fully GMP-compliant system will be installed and other significant developments related to larger particle detection and size analysis of highly concentrated nanosuspensions are expected to be launched.
About Ad Gerich
July 2014-now: Co-founder and Managing Director of InProcess-LSP.
Managing InProcess-LSP & business development. Ad has an academic background in spectroscopy and chemometrics and worked as a scientist between 1990 and 2002 for animal feed and pharma companies. In 2002 he joined the Product Development Department of Organon and fulfilled various Process Analytical Technology (PAT) related leadership positions. Ad ended his career in pharma industry in 2014 as Director Product Development within Merck. PAT, Quality-by-Design and Six-Sigma (black belt) are typical areas of interest and expertise.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by InProcess-LSP.
For more information on this source, please visit InProcess-LSP.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.