Press Releases

LUMICKS collaborates with AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge to form the first ever Center of Excellence for Dynamic Single-Molecule Analysis for Accelerated Drug Discovery and Biology

27 June 2018

The center will be based around LUMICKS’ C-Trap™ optical tweezers–fluorescence microscope, which for the first time enables real-time observation and probing of biomolecular interactions. The approach will be pioneered in several pharmacology and biology assays with the aim of accelerating the discovery of potential new drugs. [read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 8am CET, 27 June 2018 – LUMICKS, a world leader in dynamic single-molecule analysis, has partnered with AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) and the University of Cambridge Biochemistry Department to form the ‘Center of Excellence for Dynamic Single-Molecule Analysis for Accelerated Drug Discovery and Biology’, the first of its kind worldwide. As part of the collaboration, a C-Trap™ optical tweezers–fluorescence microscope has been installed at the University of Cambridge and will be used by AstraZeneca, University of Cambridge research groups and LUMICKS, to provide new insights in biology and early-stage drug discovery research.

LUMICKS’ technology allows for analysis of complex dynamic details related to the behavior and interaction of single molecules, allowing the center to investigate both the fundamental cause of diseases and potential for drug optimization. This collaboration aims to generate data that will validate the use of dynamic single-molecule technology for biomedical and pharmaceutical research and potential applications for accelerating drug discovery.

Olivier Heyning, CEO of LUMICKS commented: “Establishing the first ever Center of Excellence in Cambridge is an important step in introducing the power of dynamic single-molecule analysis to the biomedical and pharmaceutical research communities. Our tools enable scientists and pharmacologists to analyse the mechanistic details of processes underlying health and disease, with or without a small molecule drug lead being identified. This paves the way for the design of novel, more efficient strategies for highly-targeted drug discovery, and the selection of higher quality drug leads.”

Dr. Geoffrey Holdgate, Principal Scientist, Discovery Sciences at AstraZeneca said: “C-Trap is a unique and powerful tool that could help us unravel precise molecular mechanisms of diseases and the mode of action of lead compounds. We are excited to be the first pharmaceutical company to use this technology and look forward to working with LUMICKS to validate the potential of single molecule analysis to enhance the drug discovery process.”

Professor Luca Pellegrini, Group Leader at the University of Cambridge Biochemistry Department  said: “This is a great opportunity for researchers across the University to explore complex molecular interactions and gain access to novel dynamic single molecule information regarding the workings of important biomolecular processes, especially in relation to the origin of diseases.”

In addition to installing the C-Trap™ system, LUMICKS will provide on-site support to center participants, as well as an application scientist who will work with the participants to create standardized and robust single-molecule analysis workflows.

About C-Trap

The C-Trap™ is the world’s first instrument that allows simultaneous manipulation and visualization of molecular interactions in real-time. It combines high-resolution optical tweezers, confocal microscopy or STED nanoscopy with an advanced microfluidics system in a truly integrated and correlated solution. Using LUMICKS’ groundbreaking C-Trap correlated optical tweezers–fluorescence microscope, scientists are now—for the first time—able to simultaneously and in real-time visualize individual molecules and measure mechanical properties of biomolecular complexes to reveal even greater detail. This revolutionary single-molecule visualization technology enables the understanding of biological processes to the smallest detail, which is critical for life science research and drug development.


LUMICKS is the global leader in dynamic single-molecule analysis (DSM) equipment: an emerging niche in biology research and drug discovery addressing pivotal trends towards smaller scale and functional analysis at an advanced level. Its DSM instruments enable researchers to understand and visualize complex biological processes occurring at the molecular level, providing unparalleled insight into the fundamental cause of disease and potential for drug optimization.

LUMICKS is a privately-owned company based in the Netherlands and was founded in 2014 as an academic spin-off from the research group of Prof. Gijs Wuite, Prof. Erwin Peterman, and Prof. Iddo Heller at the VU University Amsterdam. Following rapid adoption by key scientific institutions, LUMICKS aims to establish its breakthrough technology as a standard analytical method in biology and is focused on increasing this adoption, as well as growing its pharma customer base. The Company is well funded through Series-A financing from Gilde Healthcare partners.

More information can be found at

For more information contact:


Olivier Heyning, CEO

+31 (0) 20 598 79 84

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

David Dible, Isabelle Andrews

+44 20 7282 1057


LUMICKS launches new generation of dynamic single-molecule analysis instruments setting new standards for life-science research.

16 Feb 2018

On February 17 – 21 LUMICKS will introduce its new generation of the C-Trap™ optical tweezers-fluorescence microscope and AFS™ Acoustic Force Spectroscopy system at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in San Francisco. The new generation represents an evolution of LUMICKS’ original instruments, which set the benchmark for high-resolution and high-throughput single-molecule analysis, by adding new enabling features, improved performance and automation capabilities. These developments allow biomolecular processes to be studied in real-time with unprecedented detail and ease-of-use, making the novel biophysical insights that can be unlocked by these technologies accessible to biologists across all disciplines. [read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”] 

Enabling Scientists to Produce Groundbreaking Discoveries

Building on the market-leading C-Trap, the second generation model adds a new dimension to the performance for which the optical tweezers-fluorescence microscope is renowned. Featuring unmatched force stability, ultra-fast sensors, precise temperature control, and an entirely new software suite, the C-Trap G2 enables biologists to perform complex experiments with ease and investigate dynamic biological processes that occur at the molecular level with extremely high detail. For the first time, it becomes possible in real-time to sense the smallest biomolecular changes and the rarest and most transient molecular states that are responsible for generating a plethora of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

The new AFS G2 offers intuitive features and improved performance, thereby further increasing the data quality and improving the ease-of- use of the system. New additions, such as the drift correction option, automated stage, and integrated temperature control contribute to a quick experimental workflow for highly-multiplexed force spectroscopy measurements. The unmatched capability of the AFS for manipulating large numbers of biomolecules saves researchers months of time needed to gather statistically relevant single-molecule information.

“We continuously work to produce tools that can and will enable breakthrough discoveries,” says Olivier Heyning, CEO of LUMICKS. “With the G2 product line we have added novel features and capabilities that armor researchers to rewrite biology textbooks and uncover new insights with major impact on human health and drug discovery”

For more information, please visit


Lumicks is a privately owned, Netherlands-based company, strategically located in the Zuidas business district of Amsterdam and housed within the VU University Amsterdam. Founded in 2014 as an academic spin-off from the research group of Prof. Gijs Wuite, Prof. Erwin Peterman, and Prof. Iddo Heller at the VU University Amsterdam, LUMICKS has rapidly evolved as the global leader in dynamic single-molecule analysis equipment: an emerging niche in biology research and drug discovery. Its dynamic single-molecule analysis instruments enable researchers to understand and expand the knowledge of complex biological processes occurring at the molecular level that are at the basis of diseases for the prevention and development of future cures.


Olivier Heyning, CEO

+31 (0) 20 598 79 84


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