Using the method of synthetic biology, engineered bacteria are transformed to produce bactericidal needed to fight acne. Different from traditional genetic engineering, we create a new artificial life in this process. At the same time, the engineered strain competes with Propionibacterium acnes to grow in the skin environment. Compared with traditional treatments, the engineered bacteria have better biological affinity, small clinical dosage, high pharmacological activity, small side effects and few allergic reactions. Moreover, by designing nutrient deficient strains, we can clear the bacteria when necessary, which is safe and reliable.

Market analysis

SWOT analysis

Fig 1. Aceneraser SWOT Analysis

competitive strategy analysis

We use Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model to analysis the competitive environment of our products, and decided the strategy for coping them.

Fig 2. Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model
1.threat of entry barriers

The pharmaceutical industry requires a large amount of capital investment, a long R & D cost and a long development period. In China, the distribution channels of drugs are relatively fixed. At the same time, the public do not know much about live bacteria drugs, so the possibility of encountering new entrants of the same type is small.

2.existing intra industry competition

According to the market research results provided by Narita pharmaceutical company, the market scale of Erythromycin Ointment, Adapalene Gel and vitamin A ointment from 2015 to 2020 was analyzed, and the best products of the top 20 acne treatment products in retail stores were compared. Their scale exceeds 200 million yuan and will reach 1 billion yuan by 2020. The total market scale is growing rapidly, but their market scale proportion has changed little in recent years.

From the perspective of the competitive environment of the industry, the market of acne preparations and drugs has expanded rapidly and has amazing market potential in recent years. Chemical preparations and drugs are mainstream products with high market acceptance. From the perspective of product structure, it is not conducive for products to enter the market in the early stage, but from the perspective of market capacity, the future product marketing has a certain foundation guarantee.

Fig 3. Three major acne medication Market scale in recent years
3.bargaining power of the buyer

Consumers have no bargaining power for drugs at the hospital end. We can control the price through the retail end, and make patients get more positive product information from us through the marketing publicity of social media and new Internet platform, so as to improve the acceptance of products.

4.bargaining power of the supplier

The cost of investing in the research and development of new drugs is very high, and this product is still in the stage of preliminary research and development. Therefore, we still can’t effectively regulate the price of products.

5.threat of substitutes

The intellectual patent protection of drugs limits the choice of product for new entrants. During the patent period, other manufacturers shall not copy drugs, so as to limit the choice of other market entrants. As a new technology-oriented product, we have our own advantages and greatly reduce the threat of substitutes.

Relevant products analysis

With the help of Humanwell Healthcare, we obtained the market research data of top 20 acne treatment drugs at the hospital and retail ends, and conducted Boston matrix analysis to understand the market status of various products in the acne treatment industry and make micro analysis of the market. As the Chinese market has more operational space for retail price and market regulation, it is more reasonable for us to measure the product market status of acne drugs in the near future by using the drug data of retail.

Fig 4. Boston matrix analysis of Erythromycin ointment
Fig 5. The meaning of the bubbles

According to the analysis results, the products are divided into four quadrants according to the market share and growth rate. Taurus products in the third quadrant and thin dog products in the fourth quadrant account for the vast majority in the field of acne treatment in China, which represents the overall maturity of the market. Many old brand products occupy a high market share, while many new products occupy a small market share, with low growth rate and no good development prospect. It represents that it is not easy for new products to enter the acne treatment market.

Consideration of product

Because the engineered bacteria developed by us need to function in the form of living bacteria, the problems of strain activity, the maintenance of strain metabolic ability and the non-pollution of engineered bacteria are the most important. Based on this, we expect that the engineered bacteria culture will be freeze-dried into freeze-dried powder by freeze-drying method. This method requires the dried products to freeze the water contained in them into ice at low temperature, and then dry them in a vacuum environment, so that the ice sublimates and the water is removed from the products to maintain a dry environment. When customers use our products, they only need to mix the lyophilized powder products with the fresh culture solution products provided by us, and then apply them after activating at a suitable temperature.

The risk assessment

After we completed market research, determined the product form and considered relevant products, we summarized the possible risk assessment in the future, and suggest some ways to avoid them:

Fig 6. The risk assessment

Business model

Fig 7. The business Model

Profit model:technical services, sell technology platforms and promote the developed products

We mainly have three models of profitability:

1.Carry out technical services, help related enterprises to carry out synthetic biology or acne treatment-related research and development.

2.Sell part of the technology platform, or a certain technology or patents to relevant research departments to help it develop related products more quickly and effectively, promoting the development of the whole market environment.

3.Sell products through collaboration between pharmaceutical representatives, hospitals, pharmacies and Internet platforms.

Fig 8. Profit model

In all, in terms of implementing our project in the real world, we have to cooperate with prominent enterprises that have some social influence and marketing means for promoting sales, and well-known trademark brands and mature marketing models are excellent conditions to show the public the entirely new mechanistic product. We have shared the high-level display with Ascentage Pharma and Humanwell Healthcare about our project. Mr. Da Jun Yang, chairman of Ascentage Pharma, said our project was well thought and had great potential to consider issues of good patent protection in advance during the process of continuing R & D sales. He looked forward to seeing our project continuing.

R&D mode:through the cooperation with companies and institutions

Production mode:At the initial stage, our products will be produced by OEM companies around Wuhan

Channel sales model:combine the direct sales and commission sales

Target market:Acene is a common skin problem among young consumers

Product strategy:Our product hierarchy is divided into core product, formal product, future product and potential product.

Price:considering the traditional acne market and the positioning of our innovative product engineered bacteria, we decided to adopt skimming pricing strategy

Channel selection:technical services and patent transfer or cooperate with hospitals, pharmacies to sale products

Channel expanding:delineate the target customers, Screening, Signing and expand brand awareness through exhibitions, lectures, academic conferences and other activities

Enterprise communication

In the process of promoting the project, we have had many online or offline exchanges with Wuhan Worldner United Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Ascentage Pharma, Humanwell Healthcare and Junweian Live Technology company, including meetings and regular wechat exchanges. The opinions of the enterprises are very important for the commercialization of our products.

When we first exchanged our project and future commercialization ideas with Professor Ding Hong, chairman of Wuhan Worldner United Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, she reminded us that in China's cosmetics management, it was clearly pointed out that there can be no live bacterial ingredients in cosmetic products. Therefore, we decided to listing our products as finished drugs from the beginning.

Fig 9. Communicate with Professor Ding Hong

After that, the team had an in-depth exchange on our project with Humanwell Healthcare and Ascentage pharma through online meeting.

The researchers of the marketing department of Humanwell Healthcare mainly answered the questions about the commercialization of our project, such as the time and mode of patent application, patent protection before being introduced to the market, as well as the competitive products and customer needs in the current acne treatment market; After hearing about our project, Mr. Yang Dajun, the chairman of Ascentage Pharma reminded us that for drugs with skin surface effects, we should consider the mode of administration and the efficiency of drugs in penetrating the skin. In terms of market selection, we can focus on hospitals or beauty salons, which have their own advantages and disadvantages, and we should design our live bacteria drug to what forms of product. what forms of preparations should be made for the products of this live bacteria drug.

At the same time, Humanwell Healthcare also gave us more guidance and suggestions in market research. After exchanging questions with the market researchers of Humanwell Healthcare, we learned that at present, the incidence of acne is mainly mild to moderate, and the number of patients with severe acne is less. At present, customers prefer to use local skin medication, only for a small piece of skin with acne. In addition, at present, the majority of acne consumers are teenagers aged 13-19, The consumption has a slow growth, which is probably caused by the change of people's consumption awareness of the medical and beauty industry in recent years. Generally speaking, there is no change in the acne treatment market.

After communicating with Humanwell Healthcare, we made it clear that with lower drug resistance rate and better biosafety, we would give full play to the advantages of scientific and technological innovation of the project, occupy a favorable position in the market, sell it through pharmaceutical distribution or retail platform promotion, and began to solve the problem of product form. After forming a business plan in the later stage, It is also revised by referring to the modification opinions of Humanwell Healthcare's market researchers through Wechat.

Fig 10. Online communication with Ascentage Pharma and Humanwell Healthcare

After completing most of the market research and data search, we had the opportunity to have an in-depth exchange and discussion with the executives of Junweian Live Technology Company on the form of our products. The executives pointed out that using freeze-drying method for our products has great advantages. At present, the technology of freeze-drying method of various manufacturers is mature, and there are also products using freeze-drying method on the market in the near future.

Fig 11. Communicate with Junweian Live Technology Company

Complete business plan

Acneraser project is developed by WHU-iGEM, and we affirmed its commercial value and wrote a business plan, which involves our research and analysis of the acne market and what actions we will take in the future to achieve our goals.