Rarezot schreef op 4 februari 2020 20:56:
I think it will be extremely difficult to make a cartridge without the Phillips IP (not saying it can't be done or they can't find a loophole in the patents or something like that). I don't know the details in the current patents, but you will need a way to pump liquids in the cartridge (and choose which liquid at which time), heat up a small part of the cartridge without heating too much of the rest. And it all has to fit in a small package and you have to find a way to increase shelf life. I'm not a bio-chemical engineer, but the temperature parameters, the liquid quantities and all that are really strict.
So I would say that if you have a dedicated team, you might be able to redesign it. If there is a major flaw in the patents (which I doubt), and they are able to get their hands on some cartridges of Biocartis, it will be 'fast'. I would estimate 2-3 years to find the flaw, do some major redesigning just to get some working test cartridges and a test system (that's with a flaw in the patent). Then you have to set up production, convince people that your product is better/easier/cheaper, get the necessary approvals,...
Another way they might circumvent the Phillips IP is making the cartridges specific to the test (physically). The cartridge of Biocartis is really versatile, you have some interchangeable parts, but the core of the cartridge is always the same. That way it's 'easy' to develop different tests and the Idylla-system doesn't have to change except for some software updates. So maybe they can physically alter the cartridge so much and lose this versatility. But that would make it hard to sell...
Let's just say that, unless some Bio-engineers find a new better way, I think it's impossible (or way too expensive) to get aroud the Phillips IP. The cartridges for Idylla are too compact and versatile, and you will create too many disadvantages for yourself by altering the design enough to avoid IP-conflicts.