LCM Technologies, Inc.
State College, PA 16801, US
LCM Technologies was founded as a S-corporation in 2004 with the mission of developing improved-performance products for biomolecular and clinical analysis, and has been the recipient of several federal small business innovation research grants. The company’s core technology is electrophoresis, which separates proteins or DNA fragments by size while moving through a polymer/gel matrix.
In 2008 the company began developing an improved polymer, seeing an opportunity to enter this lucrative market when patent protection began expiring. That goal has now been achieved with the development of its “LV” series of polymer matrices designed for DNA sequencing, forensic DNA analysis and other types of fragment analysis used for a wide range of biomedical tests.
The company is now preparing to enter the market with its “LV” series of polymers and associated buffer. The estimated total worldwide market for these product is $10 to $20 million with a high margin relative to production costs.
The company founder, owner and operator is Gary Loge, Ph.D., who is largely responsible for developing the improved polymer matrices during the last six years, with initial assistance from a former polymer chemist employee. Both were formerly employed by SpectruMedix Corp., which developed one of the first DNA sequencing machines using capillary electrophoresis.
Products / Services
LV Polymer Matrices
A water soluble polymer separates biomolecules by size. The polymer in the “LV” series offers superior performance. A 28 ml bottle of this polymer matrix used in DNA sequencers sells for more than $1100 and contains about 1 gm of polymer. So a modest production facility could easily meet the $10 – $20 million market needs.
These polymer matrices require extremely pure components and precise polymer molecular weight distributions. LCM has developed the expertise and production procedures and is now preparing finalizing production methods and documentation.
LV1 Polymer Matrix
This version is designed for forensic DNA analysis. There is a high barrier to market entry, which is the requirement that it be demonstrated to give results with concordance to results using the currently accepted method. However, a leading reagent company for this type of analysis is currently testing LV1 for this use and would be an ideal partner in this effort. Their reagents could be designed for use with our improved polymer giving them a competitive advantage over other the other reagent supplier.
Customers for this version would be state and federal crime labs, as well as independent testing labs, which often serve smaller municipal crime labs, and provide paternity and maternal testing for court cases.
LV2 Polymer Matrix
This version is designed for DNA sequencing in older machines that use lower pressure to fill capillaries. It offers significantly higher performance than what is presently available. However, this is a relatively small market segment.
LV3 Polymer Matrix
This version is designed for improved DNA sequencing performance in the more recent sequencing machines, about 20%-30% increased number of bases sequenced per run, which is significant because of the high cost of sample preparation. The remaining barrier for market entry is the need for a “correction” file for the software that obtains sequencing data from the original data. We need to purchase a small sequencing machine ($17,000 refurbished) with the software for this purpose.
Customers for this version would be universities and other research institutes, as well as sequencing service providers. About 500 such machines are in use in this country and another 500 worldwide. Each uses about $8000 of polymer matrix per year.
LV1-n and LV2-n Polymer Matrices
These matrices are designed for fragment analysis (separation) of double-stranded DNA, “non-denaturing”. The polymer is the same as the corresponding “denaturing” polymer matrices, but the matrix has no denaturants added.
We are targeting several instrument manufactures to use these versions in their machines, used for research and clinical applications. Direct sales are not foreseen, but market size for the clinical segment could be greater than all others combined, if it materializes.
AST Buffer Concentrate
A buffer with characteristics (pH and conductivity) optimal for use with LV Polymer Matrices.
President Research & Development
Gary W. Loge
See LinkedIn profile.