Mass spectrometry specialist at University of Rochester
- LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry) industry trends
- Recent developments to Thermo Fisher's (NYSE: TMO) LC-MS platform offerings
- Purchasing criteria and comparison of component manufacturers – increasing importance of software, and assessment of Thermo's offering
- Market disruption from technical advancement of mass spectrometry
- H2 2021 outlook and growth expectations
Could you give an update on purchasing volumes since our previous Interview [see Liquid Chromatography Equipment & Purchasing Decisions – 1 July 2020]? You mentioned that purchasing had largely stalled during the pandemic, given factors such as a weaker profitability volume vs ELISA [enzyme linked immunosorbent assay] and overall turnaround times. How has this trended since and how is it impacting Thermo Fisher vs peers?
Would you agree with specialists’ statements in other Interviews [see LC-MS Market – Competitive Landscape & Development Trends – 13 April 2021] that the pandemic has prompted a greater focus on the performance of LC-MS [liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry] technology and less on the cost? How might Thermo fare because of this, given its price strategy in this area?
How do you think LC-MS technology has trended over the past five years regarding the evolution of its innovation or ruggedness, as you called it? You mentioned what you believe to be the key criteria for assessing the technology across the board. How have features such as sensitivity or compliance changed?
How would you assess Thermo’s LC-MS offering and its broader technology? Where do you think there are strengths and gaps?
What are your thoughts on the May 2021 announcement that Sciex and Waters are partnering to offer customers Sciex’s MS systems fully configured and interoperable with Waters’ LC instruments? You mentioned that Thermo’s MS technology is far superior to its LC technology, which you think has a lot of limitations. Are you surprised by this partnership? How might it impact Thermo’s growth?
You think there will be a need for Thermo to further enter the production setting in the clinical market, particularly with the Orbitrap, but you believe this will be difficult to execute. Could you expand on this? How important could this be for Thermo as it attempts to protect or strengthen its offering, particularly following the announcement of the Sciex-Waters partnership?
Which price-sensitive areas could Thermo potentially succeed in, given its lower price point? You said that Waters and Sciex’s growth or utilisation might be limited as they are premium products. Could you give an overview of price sensitivity across the board? Where might Thermo achieve greater success if it were to make the necessary LC improvements you mentioned?
You highlighted Thermo’s success in omics-based technologies amid a potential competitive landscape shift. Could you expand on Sciex’s omics-based solution that you mentioned, particularly the potential threat the company poses in this area? Could another peer potentially displace Thermo in certain use cases?
Do you think Thermo could improve its instruments in the drug discovery segment for more targeted analysis, such as validating biomarkers or quantifying proteins? You mentioned during our previous Interview that you might transfer to a Sciex instrument for its more targeted analysis.
How much actual software interoperability exists and how might it change? Agilent and Thermo have an interoperability partnership, which includes enhancements to Thermo’s Chromeleon software that allow users to potentially streamline compatibility with Agilent’s gas chromatography and HPLC [high-performance liquid chromatography] instrumentation. How much software interoperability improvement would you expect from the Sciex-Waters partnership?
Is there anything else you think we should highlight regarding Thermo’s LC-MS offerings and the company’s potential growth runway in this area?
Where else do you think Thermo could be put in a risky position by or potentially lose market share from a player such as Sciex?
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