When it comes to state of the art technology and bio-tech developments, one can look no further than nanotechnology and its increasing uses in the medical world.
A company focused on this very niche area of the bio-tech sector is Nanostart AG (FSE: NNS), a German based company that undertake equity investments in emerging nanotechnology companies which hold the potential to deliver extraordinary long-term growth.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term ‘nanotechnology’, it refers to the targeted creation and manipulation of structures at the molecular and atomic level. Nanotechnology is a completely new way to create structures and products at a molecular level, with opportunities that go far beyond anything we know today.
Generally speaking, structures and systems within the realm of ‘nanotechnology’ have a maximum size of 100 nanometers. To put this in perspective, a human hair is about ten thousand times thicker than one nanometer, or seen another way, the relationship in size between a nanoparticle and a soccer ball, is about the same as the relationship between a soccer ball and planet earth. Thanks to the research advances, and the rapidly increasing understanding of the organization of atoms and matter, nanotechnology has already begun to transform many industries, with startling implications for business and society.
Nanostart has a market capitalization of €119 million, and holds a portfolio of ten companies for which it calculates a conservative net asset value (NYSE:NAV) of €134 million. The company provides venture capital financing for nanotechnology companies in various growth phases, with a focus on what it calls “innovation driven industries of the future”, such as cleantech, life sciences and IT/electronics. Since its founding in 2003, Nanostart has been profitable from day one, and last year made a net profit of €1.2 million.
The company’s largest holdings include a 70% stake in MagForce Nanotechnologies AG, who created the world’s first nanoparticle based cancer treatment, and a 50% stake in Holmenkol AG, who produce a variety of sports products such as ski waxes and sports equipment coatings, based on nanotechnology.
Just yesterday, Nanostart also announced that it had increased its ownership in Singapore based BioMers, a company that producers polymer composite wires based on nanotechnology, and is the only company in the world able to produce the wires needed in orthodontic braces, from clear or colored translucent plastic; an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the traditional wire.
This latest move to increase the company shareholding in BioMers took its equity stake from 16% to 25%.
BioMers is a spinoff from the world renowned National University of Singapore (NYSE:NUS). Using the company’s proprietary technology, originally developed at NUS, extremely strong nanofiber reinforced polymer composites can be produced for various biomedical applications. These include the first successful commercial application, the use of the polymers in orthodontic wires used for braces and retainers.
Until now, these wires had to be made of metal in order to have the needed physical properties. With this new technology, BioMers is now the world’s only company able to produce these wires from clear or coloured translucent plastic, thus making braces and retainers which are more aesthetically pleasing.
Nanostart suggests this breakthrough provides the company with a decisive competitive advantage, giving it the potential to fundamentally transform the global market for orthodontic devices.
Andreas Kröll, managing director of Singapore based Nanostart subsidiary, Nanostart Asia, said; “BioMers has a truly unique product portfolio in the field of orthodontics which fits very well with the current market trend. The global market for braces is becoming much more oriented toward aesthetics, and this market – as well as the return potential for investors – is enormous”.
Nanostart has a proven ability to proactively identify the most promising nanotech sectors and, through its worldwide network, the first hand insights to choose the best investment opportunities from among those.
This latest move to increase its stake in BioMers, a company that is already using nanotechnology in a commercial program, with massive growth potential, is another prime example of Nanostart’s seeing an opportunity, and making sure they are in a position to benefit from it.
Disclosure: no position