Former Midwest Sales Manager at MaxCyte
Michael has a PhD in Immunology and is a Former Midwest Sales Manager at MaxCyte. He was responsible for selling ATx ExPERT machines to large academic and biopharma customers and driving leads to upsell larger GTx machines for clinical therapies. He managed large customer accounts and understands the technical aspects of the machines and the cuvette selling process. Michael is currently a Sales Manager at Sysmex in the Flow Cytometry division.Read moreView Profile Page
- MXCT customer segmentation
- One element of MXCT's competitive advantage is the quality of the cuvettes.
- 3 structural advantages of MXCT: cuvettes, electroporation protocols, and the knowledge and IP from years of experience.
- FDA MasterFile speeds up the journey to clinic and time is critical to biopharma companies.
- MXCT competitors' don't offer the same scalability from R&D to clinic because MXCT electroporation protocols are saved in FDA MasterFile and easily replicated on a GTx
- The biggest competitive risk to MXCT: viral methods!
- Customer inertia is a potential reason non-viral methods like electroporation will not win market share
- PEI has a longer transfection process relative to electroporation
Discaimer: This interview is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. In Practise is an independent publisher and all opinions expressed by guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of In Practise.
Michael, can you provide some context to your role and responsibilities at MaxCyte?
At MaxCyte I was an account manager for the central portion of the United States. My role was to prospect, work with customers, provide proof of concept and, ultimately, to position the MaxCyte expert platform.
When we look at the customer base, it seems as if they split them up between the research and discovery customers that are using the ATx machines and then the developers with the GTx. How likely is it that we see these research institutions or research and discovery customers actually transition to become an SPL customer?
That was MaxCyte’s initiative, when they hired me. They were looking at the academic institutions as the little starter fires for all of these spin offs. For academic institutions, it’s going to the be larger ones – the Baylors and Dukes of the world – that will look at the ATx and the GTx, ultimately, to get into the clinic.
MaxCyte’s customer base had, essentially, three different prongs. There was the cell therapy, then protein production, which was predominantly the STx platform. It is pretty much the same as the GTx except it doesn’t have the GMP certification. The last one, ironically, is virus production. Instead of using a virus, you could use electroporation to transform cells. But people were using the MaxCyte platform to transform cells, to make a lot of virus, so they could then transform white blood cells. The GTx is a GMP instrument; it can be put into a GMP suite for cell manufacturing. The ATx and the GTx are identical, with the exception of the scalable transfection system that the GTx can do. That can go up to 100 milliliters of cells, I believe.
When we look at the pipeline of potential new SPL customers, where do they really come from? Is it really upselling from the ATx and STx machines or is it a different type of customer?
As I said, the STx was predominantly for protein and virus production. The ATx is used for cell therapy. Where the SPL customers come from are larger academic institutions that are trying to develop their own CAR therapies, that want to go into the clinic at some point. Then there is a whole host of small biotechs, small bio pharmas, that are pursuing CAR therapy, be it T-cells or NK-cells. That is the predominant customer base for the cell-based therapies.
Can we walk through the pitch to a potential SPL customer? If you are walking into the room, how do you communicate the core value proposition of the expert platform?
The ExPERT platform is absolutely fantastic when it comes to transfection efficiency and viability. It is a little bit of a black box in that the competition will sell you an electroporation device and you can go in and change the pulsing in the voltage. MaxCyte has taken that guesswork out for the customer. When we walked into a room and they would tell us what cell type they were trying to transfect and what they were trying to put in there, we had a really good idea, right from the start, how to make it work for them.
It was a team of internal experts, with 20 plus years of experience in the industry and it’s the uniqueness of the platform in that the transfection efficiencies and viabilities were outstanding. We would blow our competition away in that regard.
You would almost customize the machine for each customer?
They tell us the cell that they want, they tell us what they are trying to put in, and we would be able to give them three different experiments to try, knowing pretty well that one of those three is likely going to give a very good result.
The competitors just have a standard machine that the customer can then tweak and change those variables?
Yes; the customer has to do all the optimization on their own. The competition sales reps know how to press buttons and ask the clients what they want to do. There is definitely not nearly as much guidance as what comes from the field application scientist team at MaxCyte.
What is unique about MaxCyte’s technology?
Number one, it’s the consumables. The other electroporation platforms on the market use aluminum coated cuvettes; MaxCyte does not. MaxCyte uses a much more inert metal that is proprietary. A huge differentiator between MaxCyte and the competition is the robustness of the cuvettes.
What is so different about the consumables?
They are made with a different metal.