What comes to your mind if you think of plasma? Most common associations with plasma include lightning, a candle or the sun, because we are used to these phenomenons from our surroundings. Beside the very hot aggregate state we usually think of, there is another version which is way cooler and can be modified for special purposes. Learn more about the amazing technology of cold plasma, what it is used for and the team behind this visionary product in this interview featuring ten questions with the founders of terraplasma medical
AZO: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
terraplasma medical develops a mobile, battery operated medical device, the plasma care, for ambulant and stationary treatment of chronic and acute wounds with cold plasma which very efficiently inactivates even multi-resistant bacteria.
The customers of the plasma care are clinics (dermatology, surgery and angiology), wound centers, registered doctors (dermatologists, diabetologists, etc.), as well as stationary and mobile nursing services.
The client’s benefits of cold plasma have been proven in a multi centric clinical study:
- Effective – With the help of cold plasma even multi-resistant bacteria are inactivated within a few seconds.
- Fast – The daily treatment takes only around 60 seconds.
- Painless – The treatment itself is painless and is therefore well tolerated by the patients.
- No side effects – There are no indications for allergic reactions or side effects.
- Mobile & easy – The plasma care device is battery operated and easy in its handling.
terraplasma medical is the subsidiary company of terraplasma and Dynamify and was founded in March 2016. The two Managing Directors Jens Kirsch and Julia Zimmermann, with long time experience in the development of medical devices and plasma research lead the company. PD Dr. Julia Zimmermann, CEO of terraplasma and MD Medical Research & Technology of terraplasma medical, has gained extensive knowledge in cold plasma research and its application in medicine, as well as in the completion of clinical studies. Dipl.-Tech. Math. Jens Kirsch, Managing Director of Dynamify and MD Finance & Operations of terraplasma medical, has gained highly extensive knowledge in the medical technology sector as a project leader and systems engineer. M.A. Beatrice Nibbe, Manager Marketing & Sales at terraplasma medical, has gained lots of knowledge in the medical technology and pharmaceutical industry, as well as in marketing analytics and strategies.
AZO: What was your company’s biggest challenge so far?
terraplasma medical’s biggest challenge so far was the development of a functional, small and mobile prototype.
Based on terraplasma’s knowledge obtained during the development of the plasma source of the large and stationary plasma device SteriPlas (Adtec Healthcare) – which is clinically tested and approved as a medical product – terraplasma medical was able to miniaturise the cold plasma technology. The developed functional prototype incorporates the so-called micro plasma and thin film technology. These technologies allow the use of a low operating voltage of around 3 kV and thereby a miniaturisation of the power source. The miniaturisation made it possible to develop a small, battery-operated and easy to handle cold plasma device, the plasma care.
AZO: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
The three main ingredients of terraplasma medical’s success align with our values. terraplasma medical signifies:
passion for wound care & cold plasma – This means closeness to medical professionals and patients and the responsibility towards the society. The team works for the optimisation of the wound care process of medical professionals and for the improvement of the patients’ quality of life, by reducing their pain.
team cohesion – terraplasma medical successfully combines the competences of the two subsidiaries in one team: long time know-how in plasma research and technology as well as in the development of medical devices. A trusting, open and dynamic working atmosphere motivates every person of the team to realise terraplasma medical’s vision.
advantage through knowledge – Innovation in plasma research and technology as well as in the development of medical devices are the basis for the development of the plasma care which unites both in a small and mobile medical device. Advantage through knowledge is also constituted by the clinical study – conducted with our plasma source of the SteriPlas – which proves the effectiveness of cold plasma in wound treatment. terraplasma medical benefits from its unique business culture and way of working which is used for an effective solution for chronic and acute wounds.
AZO: What do you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria? How did the initiative and its network help you to kick-start your business case?
From ESA BIC Bavaria, we expect great support in building up a valuable network for our startup, ranging from investors to other startup teams. This means that we hope to strongly benefit from ESA’s accumulated experience and knowledge in kick-starting businesses.
Moreover, ESA’s broad network could be used for PR and marketing purposes, in order to communicate the benefits of our innovative cold plasma technology and the plasma care.
With the help of ESA BIC’s financial support we were able to start the development of the plasma care and to build up the company while still searching for venture capital financing. The ESA BIC Bavaria team helped us by connecting us not only to investors but also to relevant companies. In regular networking events, we gained valuable contacts to other teams and network members.
AZO: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in terraplasma medical’s future?
Our future seems to be under a lucky star.
terraplasma medical now focuses on the development of the final plasma care device which will be approved in summer 2018. At the same time, terraplasma medical is granted an exclusive licence over all relevant cold plasma patents by terraplasma and the Max-Planck-Institute. After the approval of the plasma care, the serial production and the market entry is planned in Q3 2018. To reach this goal the product development process was defined and the quality management system was certified according to DIN EN ISO 13485:2003 and DIN EN ISO 9001:2000, Directive 93/42 EEC in July 2016. For a successful market entry, marketing planning already started which will be complemented by a sales team in summer 2017. By the time of market acceptance of the plasma care, a strategic takeover by a global partner is planned to exhaust the full market potential.
Terraplasma is incubated at ESA BIC Bavaria with their exciting product from September 2016 till August 2018.
ESA Business Incubation Centre Bavaria
Since 2009, AZO is managing the Bavarian space incubator with financial support from the Bavarian Ministry of Economics. ESA BIC Bavaria is part of the Europe-wide ESA BIC network, which is coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA). At its four Bavarian locations – Oberpfaffenhofen, Ottobrunn, Nürnberg and Berchtesgadener Land, startups have direct access to expert advice and technical facilities from first-class local partners. The incubation programme provides pioneering space entrepreneurs with a comprehensive support programme from financing to research & development all the way to market entry.
ESA BIC Bavaria has four selection rounds each year. The next application deadline for the incubation programme is 1 March 2017. Apply now for ESA BIC Bavaria