The adage “show, don’t tell” follows most people throughout their lives, especially in the scientific community. Even the most compelling idea won’t make an impact without the data to back it up. This is what the 65th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics (ASMS 2017) was all about for us – going from telling people about our technology to showing them what it can do.
Amassing a Following
At last year’s ASMS, we not only displayed our full line of solutions – M908™, G908™ and the ZipChip™ platform – but announced our collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific, (read our blog post from last year here). Since then, we’ve put our mass, so to speak, behind advancing our separations platform and forging stronger relationships within the life science community.
In addition to showcasing all three of our products again at this year’s show, our partnership with Thermo Fisher was once again a highlight of the conference. This year, we expanded our partnership through the signing of a co-exclusive Value Added Reseller (VAR) Agreement, making it easier than ever for biopharma labs to gain access to the ZipChip platform as a complement to Thermo Fisher’s line of HRAM MS instruments. Having Thermo Fisher strengthen their investment in our separations platform caught the eye of a lot of attendees, many of whom were searching for a way to enhance and streamline their analytical capabilities. It was also exciting to speak with the Thermo Fisher sales representatives present at the show, who have become very familiar with our platform and can now offer this value to their customers.
And this was just the beginning. We’ve come a long way since arriving at ASMS 2016 with our ZipChip platform and visions for its potential. This year, we came with an enhanced, award-winning platform and the support of more than 13 researchers, who filled the agenda with presentations and poster sessions showcasing proven applications for ZipChip. Among them were scientists from North Carolina State University, Boston University School of Medicine, Amgen-Thousand Oaks and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as well as members of our own research team. What’s more, we had two papers from Biogen and Boston University, respectively, publish ahead of the show further demonstrating the capabilities of our technology.
Established Thought Leadership
This wealth of information added a whole new dimension to our conversations at the show. Discussions with attendees were deeper, moving from an introduction to our platform to how it can help them run specific tests and meet particular needs. Oftentimes, we were able to direct an attendee to an upcoming presentation or poster session covering that topic, so he or she could learn firsthand from a ZipChip user and see real-world data backing up our claims. In other cases, we met with people who had attended a ZipChip session and stopped by the booth for a deeper discussion.
We also had the pleasure of connecting with numerous customers who took time out of their busy schedules to stop by the booth and share their experiences with ZipChip. One individual using the platform told us it made them “cry with joy” – a particularly enjoyable sentiment as they are using the platform to analyze tears! Others told us that they’ve been able to speed up analysis processes from two days to as little as two hours with ZipChip, which has allowed them to focus more on the science and less on the tedious task of sample assessment.
Top Takeaways & A Look Ahead
This year’s show saw a growing interest in capillary electrophoresis (CE), which is the basis of our ZipChip platform. Norman J. Dovichi, Grace Rupley Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, gave an excellent presentation on this topic, which was very well attended. It’s exciting to see other industry leaders educating attendees on the relationship between CE and MS. Also exciting was Professor Dovichi’s mention of Dr. James W. Jorgenson, a member of our advisory board and one of the inventors of CE. It’s an honor to be able to collaborate with someone as distinguished at Dr. Jorgenson, and it made us all very proud to hear others discussing his early work, for which he has earned the title “The Father of CE.”
We also noticed more involved and developed discussions around the cannabis industry. While still a maturing market, many of the attendees we spoke with have now found their place within it and have a more applications-focused story to tell. These conversations provided us with the opportunity to showcase the full breadth of what 908 Devices can do and how we’re expanding the applications of our GC-HPMS technology to meet the analytical needs of this marketplace, from testing labs, to the growers and producers.
Additionally, we were able to speak about the recent release of our latest device for the safety & security (S&S) community, MX908™. We received a lot of interest in our extended product line and the potential that our patented High-Pressure Mass Spectrometry™ (HPMS), which powers our S&S devices, can have on the life sciences.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the engaging and thought-provoking exchanges we had this year. We’ve always stood behind the belief that analysis can be heightened without sacrificing simplicity. It was an honor to share this idea with the mass spec community last year, and even more exhilarating to be able to prove it to them this year with the help of our customers.
We’ve come a long way, and its onward and upward from here.
See you all next year!
By: Dr. Kevin J. Knopp, President & CEO of 908 Devices