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Standing tall in a field of giants


PSS develops and manufactures instruments and reagents used in research and development and in vitro diagnosis (IVD) in fields such as infectious diseases, oncology, genetics and human identification. The company’s automated diagnostic products are used in human, animal and plant applications. Leading products include the magLEAD range of automated extraction solutions for human molecular testing.

PSS’s operations are based on three different business models. The company has a long tradition as an acknowledged OEM supplier, producing equipment for specialist firms such as Roche, Quiagen and Diasorin. Up to 80% of PSS’s turnover is currently generated via this route.

The second business model involves the sale of equipment through exclusive distributors of equipment under the PSS brand. The company partners with a number of distributors across Europe, and this is where PSSE plays a very important role.

“I am responsible for distribution within Europe, which includes finding and setting up contracts with new distributors. I am also putting more structure around the distribution setup, which will include better support for distributors through distribution managers,” explains Dr. Thomas Baier, who is Head of PSS Europe. “We have recently moved into our new headquarters in Mainz, which is fully equipped to demonstrate our products to prospective distributors and clients from around the region.”

Dr. Baier was really satisfied with the decision of Hideji Tajima (CEO) to win Hitachi High Technology (HHT) as an investor and technology partner for PSS. “Molecular diagnostics is a new area for HHT, and this particular market is currently growing by 6 to 8% per year,” says Dr. Baier. “This cooperation fills a gap for them, and it is, of course, great news for us in terms of support for new projects. Our partnership with Hitachi also offers great prospects for strong growth in the future.”

The third business model relates to the company’s new geneLEADVIII technology, a fully automated sample-to-result gene analysis system for use in small to medium-sized laboratories that will be launched in 2018. The compact, cost-effective and flexible system is designed to deliver complete and precise results in around 1.5 hours.

Additionally, PSSE will support customers to adapt their favorite assays onto the machine. PSS’s systems are sold to private or public laboratories as well as to universities. Dr. Baier is the first to admit that PSS is not the largest player on the market.

“We are a small company in a field of giants,” he laughs. “However, we are very focused, and we recognize and leverage our strengths.” Despite being a very specific market, trends and new client demands are very evident. “Everyone is looking for faster analytics,” Dr. Baier points out. “It is not possible to stand still in this market. Innovation and new developments are everything, and we are very active in this area. As an example, we are working together with the BioM team of Prof. Domdey in Munich in order to identify together with my Japanese colleague, Tetsuya Ueda, new technology advancements. It is incredibly motivating to have the chance to combine my technical and marketing know-how, and to create close relationships with our customers. This is really my strength. One thing is very clear to me: There are some really exciting discoveries waiting to be made. Let’s see what is possible.”

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