CHAPEL HILL- Liquidia Technologies is making the SCI-FI of yesterday real today.

With innovative fluoropolymers that are liquids at room temperature, but cure to crystal clear “PTFE-like” elastic solids when exposed to light for a few minutes, the UNC/NCSU spinoff is revolutionizing nano-technology. This ground-breaking technology produces solvent and chemically resistant materials that combine the properties of elastomers and glass.

“We are enabling companies to breakthrough current technological limitations and are uniquely positioned,” shares company president, Bruce Boucher in a recent QA with Local Tech Wire. “In the case of nanoparticles we are enabling production of previously unavailable custom shaped and sized particles.”

The complete interview with Boucher and Dr. Ginger Denison follows:

The momentum has picked up over the past year in many segments of venture capital. Are you finding more interest among potential investors? Please explain why or why not.
We have been very enthusiastically received by investors during our initial seed stage. They were attracted to our technology, its broad appeal, benefit to customers in existing and new applications and to the management team and investors that are involved with the company.

Even in a better investment climate, VCs are more demanding than ever in terms of due diligence. Why should investors be interested in your firm?
Liquidia offers an innovative materials technology platform with multiple applications that address unmet market needs in the areas of microfluidics, semiconductor fabrication, and custom nanoparticle manufacturing for industrial and pharmaceutical applications.

What’s your “elevator pitch” in a paragraph or a few sentences?
The Liquidia Material Platform, based on innovative fluoropolymers that are liquids at room temperature but cure to clear “Teflon• (PTFE)-like” elastic solids, enables the creation of sub-100 nanometer features with unprecedented clarity. Liquidia’s products will include solvent and chemically resistant microfluidic devices and high performance imprint lithographic materials and processes. In addition, a process innovated by Liquidia Technologies and based on the Liquidia Material Platform enables the continuous fabrication of monodisperse and shape-specific isolated objects or “nanoparticles”.

What is the “pain point” (or points) you address for your customers?
In microfluidics, customers have previously been limited by materials that are either too expensive, too inflexible or not resistent to solvents. For microchip fabrication, no material has previously enabled low cost soft imprint lithography at the nanometer scale. This is the first fabrication of monodisperse shaped and sized custom particles on such a scale.

What makes your company unique? Do you have a proprietary and/or a patented technology? Please explain why it is unique and what the status is of any patent filings.
Liquidia’ has proprietary and patented materials and methods licensed from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University based on breakthrough materials technology research from the labs of Prof. Joe DeSimone and Prof. Ed Samulsky at UNC-Chapel Hill.

What makes your product(s) and/or services unique vs. your competition? (Who is your competition, and what do they offer?) If you have no competition, why not? Does your company already generate revenue? If so, how much? Are you cash flow positive?
We are enabling companies to breakthrough current technological limitations and are uniquely positioned. In the case of nanoparticles we are enabling production of previously unavailable custom shaped and sized particles. Customers have been receptive to our technology before our launch and we currently have a development revenue stream that will lead to licensing revenues.

What is your target market? What is the size of that market in terms of dollars? What share of that market do you believe you can win?
We believe our potential is extremely high. Particularly when you consider the potential for revenues from new nanotechnology technologies and products that some anticipate will generate $1 trillion per year in 2015. This includes markets in materials ($300B/yr), pharmaceuticals ($180B/yr), aerospace ($70B/yr), electronics ($300B/yr), and chemicals (catalysts) ($100B/yr). (Dr. M. C. Roco (presentation in Boston 11/7/03), Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at NSF.) Even a fraction of that business would be respectable. In microfluidics new applications are being developed such as lab-on-a-chip at $1 billion and some existing potential applications are $10 billion such as ink jet printers. Again, a portion of this business alone would be impressive.

What will you do with the invested funds? What is the timeline for product delivery? If you have existing products and services, how will additional funding help you expand your company, if that is the intention, or will you develop new products?
Liquidia just completed a very successful series A round of funding for its launch. That investment will be used to determine its priorities for development and what additional capital is required. Liquidia is opening its own lab and office facilities and will continue to expand the technology base and additional strategic partnerships to strengthen the commercialization efforts.

What do you want from an investor other than money?
Liquidia seeks strategic resources and those willing to contribute to the success in the company through active involvement or external relationships that will facilitate the realization of market applications.

Why will investors be impressed with your management team?
Liquidia has been able to assemble a world class management and business and scientific advisory team that possesses skills and expertise in business creation and commercialization, experience with cutting edge technology, and the operational leadership and management skills that are essential for the success of a technology-based start up company. This management core has attracted a team of talented and inspired scientists and business individuals with varied skill-sets who have guided Liquidia’s early research and application development efforts and have committed to build the company into a successful technology venture.

What is the exit strategy for the investor from your company? Are there potential strategic alliances with larger companies? Do you wish to take the company public? Or do you wish to grow the company and either sell it or acquire other companies?
Given our broad practical and real applications base, initial customer response and large market size, we believe any and all exit strategies are viable and we will endeavor to maximize the return for investors.