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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up March 27, 2020

Lux Research
March 27, 2020

Each week, our analysts gather the biggest headlines and trends and provide their analysis on major industry developments in the news. Our researchers evaluate news based on potential importance ranking developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.
Each Friday we will highlight our Lux Take on the news for the week. 

Check out our weekly round-up for the last week of March below.

Point-of-care diagnostic that diagnoses COVID-19 in five minutes developed in Singapore

Nardev Ramanathan Ph.DNardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Analyst | @Nardev_R Ico twitter
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive


"Just days ago, we highlighted a diagnostic test for COVID-19 that gives a result within an hour. Now that can be done in five minutes, based on a breakthrough in developing an extremely rapid amplification method in Singapore to identify genetic material from a patient's swab. Unlike current techniques that require expensive machines to run and experts to carry out the tests, the kits are designed to be portable and simple to use. As the pandemic grows, the spotlight is increasingly falling on testing to contain the spread. The lack of testing may be hiding many cases. Companies should look to get in early as a development partner to scale and get this technology to market upon approval in a world clearly in demand of capabilities like this."

Asahi Kasei's next step into digital transformation: Establishing a strategic center in Tokyo

Xiao Zhong - Lux Research -Xiao Zhong, Ph.D., Analyst | @conanxzxz Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"
As the most active company in materials informatics (MI), Asahi Kasei recently announced a plan of setting up a strategic center for digital technologies by the end of the fiscal year 2020. As the next step toward its goal of connecting all business units (BUs) together using digital tools, the center will host data and build infrastructure across all BUs. As an example application, teams from R&D and production will collaborate such that MI can develop new materials faster and optimize production conditions, which will speed up time to market. Despite potential challenges, Asahi Kasei is heading in the right direction. Companies should monitor closely and be aware of their specific situations that may require a different strategy."

 

Pear Therapeutics gets FDA authorization for digital therapeutic for chronic insomnia, through both the precertification and 510(k) pathways

13261-thumb-squareDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"This technology allows for the tracking of disease within a large group, but it is unclear what is actionable about that data. If it can identify a sick individual in a crowd, it may allow for some anticipation of a spike in cases in order to prepare, but the damage is largely done. In contrast to the temperature check mechanisms deployed in Singapore, where an individual can be pulled aside and either informed of their condition or isolated, there isn't a lot that a drone can do other than identify a problem in an already problematic situation (a crowd during a pandemic). Companies should continue to look for partners for solutions that provide actionable information, such the development of digital biomarkers and telehealth platforms."

UPS Flight Forward's new drone partnership will increase the range of drone deliveries

Josh Kern Analyst Lux ResearchJosh Kern, Analyst | @josh_kern_ Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"
UPS's drone subsidiary previously partnered with drone company Matternet to conduct deliveries of medical supplies between hospitals within a city. While Matternet's multirotor drones only have a range of 20 km, the hybrid fixed-wing/multirotor design of Wingcopter's drones gives it a range of 100 km with a 2 kg payload (about 65% of consumer parcels are under this weight). This increased range will set up UPS's drone division to expand beyond short-range deliveries, which is mainly only useful in urgent use cases like medical supply transport. With longer range delivery, more consumers could be served by a last-mile delivery service, although delivery in dense urban areas will still face challenges due to noise and congestion."

Climate Corp. cuts data sharing collaboration with Tillable prior to reaching live status 

12744-thumb-squareJoshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @JHaslun Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"
The multiyear collaboration leverages Evogene's digital framework to identify novel herbicide candidates or exploit known leads. AgPlenus claims 10 potential leads with novel modes of action in its pipeline. Corteva's relationship to Evogene now spans the company's ag input product development programs. Novel herbicide modes of action come rarely, and with Bayer's recent announcement identifying a new herbicide type this year, and BASF's release of Luximo and Tirexor and its continued connection to Evogene, the next generation of actives is moving forward faster than before. Companies, look to those with strong natural and synthetic databases – like Evogene's – supported by computational capabilities to find candidates and cash in."

Graphene field-effect transistor pathogen sensors enable rapid and inexpensive pathogenic bacteria tests

Lisheng Gao

Lisheng Gao, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important



"A research group at Boston College developed highly selective, rapid, and inexpensive graphene field-effect transistor (G-FET) sensors to identify pathogenic bacteria. A sensor measures the resistance and charge change caused by binding of targeting bacteria to the highly selective peptides bonded to a graphene layer of the sensor. The group aims to use the sensors to help medical providers identify pathogenic bacteria, enabling them to prescribe the appropriate medicines to patients. Using proper medications increases the efficiency of treatment and reduces the chances of creating antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria. Companies interested in electronic pathogen sensors should monitor the progress of the research and potential spinoffs."

Diligent Robotics raises $10 million Series A to scale its hospital robot

Josh Kern Analyst Lux ResearchJosh Kern, Analyst | @josh_kern_ Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"
The company's robot, Moxi, is a mobile robot with a dexterous robot arm and gripper. Moxi was deployed in five different hospitals across Texas in 2019 to assist nurses and clinical staff in laborious tasks like bringing supplies from a stock room to patient rooms and collecting soiled linens. The robot uses a combination of supervised learning and physical world simulations to learn new tasks while deployed. Nurses can teach Moxi tasks by guiding its manipulator and using audio cues to indicate failure or success. Companies should expect this approach to dominate service robotics markets where tasks are complex and robots are deployed in varying environments."

Saving lives of COVID-19 patients with 3D printing

Matt Wagner, Ph.D., Senior Analyst Lux ResearchMatthew Wagner, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"
Yokogawa claims that its subsidiary Amnimo will leverage Grazper's FPGA IP core in its recently announced LTE gateway for security applications in smart city projects. FPGAs consume less power and offer low latency and high bandwidth compared to fixed instruction set architectures like CPUs and GPUs. However, FPGAs are much harder to program. Therefore, the use of FPGAs is justified only in applications that require a large amount of data processing in real time with a resource-constrained device, such as a smart surveillance camera. For other applications, CPUs, GPUs, and even software-based edge computing may suffice. Companies should refer to this insight to see if their applications require hardware-based edge computing."

Yokogawa acquires Grazper Technologies, provider of a real-time computer vision system that runs deep learning on FPGAs

Miraj Mainali Lux Research Research AssociateMiraj Mainali, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance


"
Yokogawa claims that its subsidiary Amnimo will leverage Grazper's FPGA IP core in its recently announced LTE gateway for security applications in smart city projects. FPGAs consume less power and offer low latency and high bandwidth compared to fixed instruction set architectures like CPUs and GPUs. However, FPGAs are much harder to program. Therefore, the use of FPGAs is justified only in applications that require a large amount of data processing in real time with a resource-constrained device, such as a smart surveillance camera. For other applications, CPUs, GPUs, and even software-based edge computing may suffice. Companies should refer to this insight to see if their applications require hardware-based edge computing."

Desperate for investments, Royole announces flexible display phone upgrade amid economic downturn

Vladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior AnalystVladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @roznyatovskiy Ico twitter
Lux Take: Ignore


"The FlexPai by Royole was one of the first flexible display phones a few years ago, though, similar to most releases, it never reached the mass market. The unicorn startup with a flexible display technology focused on scalable and financially competitive manufacturing of midresolution screens attracted considerable investments, built a billion-dollar production facility, and pushed Samsung to release the Fold prematurely. With the flexible phone market not growing as predicted and the company running out of money, Royole considered an IPO to raise money and remain afloat. Therefore, the release of the FlexPai 2 with just a few improvements and no immediate volume production sounds like nothing more than a marketing campaign for investors."

Metal-organic frameworks as the "next-generation semiconductor"? Probably not

Drishti Masand - Research Associate at Lux Research

Drishti Masand, Research Associate | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Ignore


"A team of researchers from Clemson University's College of Science recently demonstrated that a novel double-helical metal-organic framework (MOF), in a partially oxidized form, can conduct electricity. Until MOF processing is improved, these materials cannot be used in different geometries, compositions, and functions suitable for electronics and energy conversion and storage devices. Companies should ignore this research, as it is too early, and is unlikely to perform as expected; it's better to focus on applications like carbon capture and process gas storage for MOFs."

 

 

FURTHER READING:

- Blog: Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up March 13, 2020

- Blog: 3 Ways The Wuhan Coronavirus Will Not Be The Next Great Influenza

- Lux's COVID-19 Innovation Resources

View COVID-19 Resources    Schedule a Demo