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May 10, 2019

Biotech firm gets MTI grant to expand Waterville laboratory

Large brick building Photo / Maureen Milliken GenoTyping Center of America will use a grant from Maine Technology Institute to expand its laboratory in Waterville's Hathaway Creative Center.

GenoTyping Center of America has been awarded a $37,500 grant from Maine Technology Institute to help the rapidly growing company expand its Waterville laboratory.

The Ellsworth-based firm announced in August it was moving into the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville to have access to the city's growing technology community. The biotechnology company is focused on genetic testing as well as designing, developing and "commercializing next generation genotyping to address unmet needs of research institutions and biomedical companies around the globe." Genotyping analyzes the genetic makeup of organisms.

The grant will be matched by the firm's investments and used to expand its laboratory. The company plans to acquire additional equipment, and has already bought and installed a new real-time PCR machine, which will more than double current capacity. A PCR machine is used in the DNA amplification process.

“We continue to display strong growth trends and are on track to more than double the number of samples processed, and thus double our revenue in 2019," said Michael Greene, CEO and co-founder, in a news release. He said the company grown approximately 90% over each of the past three years.

“We are excited about our expected revenue growth over the next 12 to 24 months and we will be looking to further increase our capacity and hire top talent, especially for technical laboratory work and process management to refine our operations as we continue to scale up," Greene said.

The firm initially moved in to 700 square feet in the Hathaway center, with ability to expand to 1,600 square feet, it said in August. The Waterville space is where the firm operates genetic testing services. It also has a business office at the Union River Center for Innovation in Ellsworth.

At the time of the move, the company had six employees, including four co-founders who split time with the Ellsworth office. It's added seven, according to the news release.

"GTCA is providing accurate, flexible and fast genetic testing services to confirm the genetic makeup and consistency of research models," the release said, which also said all of the company's revenue comes from out of state.

The grant is the second GTCA has been awarded from MTI. In 2014, two years after the company was founded, it was awarded a $9,362 grant . 
To receive two grants from MTI is a significant accomplishment that underscores the value of the services provided by GTCA, said Garvan D. Donegan, director of planning & economic development at Central Maine Growth Council. 

“MTI funding opportunities are some of the most competitive grant processes in the state of Maine and this award speaks to the innovation, talent and science that GTCA is producing," Donegan said in the news release. "Having a genetics company like GTCA in the downtown district presents a multitude of exciting opportunities and platforms for our local, regional, and state economy."

Donegan also said the growth of the firm is good for Waterville. “As the downtown’s first biotechnology enterprise, GTCA, bringing together world-class academic and industry ideas and entrepreneurs, and placed in the heart of downtown Waterville, this will not only help us attract a new generation of entrepreneurs who want an urban work-live environment, but it will also help continue to propel the redevelopment of the city center," he said.

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