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Updated: June 8, 2023

Genetic testing center expands its Waterville lab

Courtesy / Genotyping Center for America Genotyping Center for America has tripled its space and added equipment and employees in recent months.

After a recent expansion of space and the addition of more equipment and employees at its Waterville headquarters, biotechnology company GenoTyping Center for America expects to increase its volume of genetic testing output for U.S.-based research institutions and biomedical operations. 

The company’s growth is driven by the acquisition of new customers, with the addition of the company’s first salesperson a year ago in May.

Other drivers include expanded business with its customer base and the launch of a non-invasive genotyping technique.

“Our dedicated team and professional laboratory staff now have more space, additional state-of-the-art equipment and increased capacity to serve current and future clients better,” said Michael Greene, the company’s CEO and co-founder. 

GenoTyping Center of America was founded in 2012 to address a growing need for fast, accurate and cost-effective genetic testing services. 

The company now provides genetic testing and colony planning services to accelerate pre-clinical and drug discovery research and improve laboratory animal welfare. 

Originally based in Ellsworth, co-founders Greene, COO Todd Dehm and CSO Kat Taylor moved the company into 700 square feet at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville  in 2018.

At the time, the company had grown approximately 90% over each of the previous three years.

The company still has a business office at the Union River Center for Innovation in Ellsworth, but staff in the Ellsworth area are financial and customer service employees who work mostly remotely from home, so that office sees little use. The primary location is now the laboratory in Waterville.

Over recent months in Waterville, the company took over additional available space next to its lab and now has a combined 1,870 square feet, Greene told Mainebiz.

In the same timeframe, the company also bought new laboratory equipment, including three new LightCylers — a type of gene detection and analysis system — and hired additional employees, increasing the workforce from 11 full-time employees and three part-time lab technicians to 12 full-time employees and one part time.

The increase in the staff occurred by hiring one and converting two others from part time to full time.

In 2022, the company realized 65% growth in sales over 2021.

The new equipment and staffing level can accommodate an expansion of three to five times the company’s ouput. At that point, staffing becomes the limiting factor and the company will need to hire more people. 

The equipment alone can handle at least 10 times the current throughput.  

The expansion allows the company to increase its capacity to conduct genetic testing, expand its testing portfolio, optimize workflows and maintain client turnaround times. Clients include pharmaceutical and biotech companies, academic institutions and research organizations and collaborations with biomedical and drug discovery research institutions nationwide.

The company is a graduate of the 2022 edition of the Dirigo Labs accelerator program, based in Waterville.

"We are thrilled to support GTCA's ongoing growth in downtown Waterville, and we take pride in having their operation as an integral part of Maine’s vibrant bioeconomy community," said Garvan Donegan of Central Maine Growth Council. "GTCA’s expansion, and inclusion in the Dirigo Labs accelerator program, exemplifies the team’s dedication to advancing innovation in biotech while boosting the local economy." 

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