Lucigen diagnostic platform could add 60 jobs

Middleton-based Lucigen Corp. is developing a testing platform for hospital-acquired infections, thanks to a recent $500,000 state loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) together with a $2.8 million, three-year grant it received in 2012 from the National Institutes of Health. The WEDC loan will help the life sciences company purchase the equipment necessary to develop the diagnostic platform, which will initially target Clostridium difficile, also known as C diff, a bacterium that causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 U.S. deaths every year. Lucigen’s platform could lead to a test for infectious diseases that would produce results within 30 minutes, speeding treatment.

Lucigen’s platform stems from a unique enzyme it discovered in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park that can multiply either DNA or RNA at a steady temperature, which is key to the company’s research. Clinical trials could happen a year from now, and if approvals are obtained from the FDA, the product could be on the market in late 2015.

The development of the diagnostic platform could lead to 60 additional jobs over the next five years, according to reports.