WATERVILLE — An Ellsworth-based biotechnology firm has occupied space in the Hathaway Creative Center, making it among the latest tenants to move into the redeveloped old mill.

The GenoTyping Center of America, which has a business office in Ellsworth, opened a laboratory in early summer that will perform genetic testing services. The move was announced this week in a news release from the Central Maine Growth Council.

“We are excited to be opening our laboratory in Waterville, where we will have access to an emerging technology community within the city’s budding downtown, a highly skilled workforce and innovation support systems that are essential for a startup biotech company like GTCA,” Michael Greene, marketing director and co-founder of GTCA, said in the release.

The company, founded in 2012, has experienced growth of about 90 percent over each of the past three years, the release said. It currently employs six people in the Ellsworth and Waterville offices, but anticipates another three to four jobs being added in the next year.

Co-founder and director of business development Kat Taylor said if growth continues at the same pace, the company could employ up to 20 people over the next few years.

The company’s four co-founders, which include Greene, Taylor, Todd Dehm and Carrie LeDuc, met while working at The Jackson Laboratory, a nonprofit biomedical research institute in Bar Harbor.


Dehm has lived in Waterville since his wife accepted a teaching position at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. In addition, the four decided that Waterville would be a good place to expand their company based on the proximity of a number of colleges and other supporting businesses. Colby College, Thomas College and KVCC are all in the immediate area.

“For us, it’s about a community that wants to work together, and also having a similar community of minds,” Taylor said. “We’re in science. There are a lot of colleges and students, a lot of research that is in line with what we do.”

GenoTyping Center of America laboratory assistant Anna McKenney prepares a plate for a DNA sample Wednesday at the company’s site in the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville.

The lab’s work will include confirming the genetic makeup and consistency of research models. Their clients include universities, research hospitals, other biotech companies, contract research organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

The center also anticipates partnering with local institutions and technology companies to provide internships and other learning opportunities. “Anyone who wants to go into bioscience, we would love to have them intern with us,” Taylor said.

“We are delighted to welcome such an innovative genetics company like GTCA to the downtown district,” said Garvan Donegan, director of planning and economic development at the Central Maine Growth Council. “As the downtown’s first biotechnology enterprise, GTCA adds to our region’s diverse mix of people, facilities and resources, and helps position Waterville and mid-Maine as a growing technology and knowledge-based hub.”


Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: