Sep 25, 2013

Irish biotech startup chooses Madison for U.S. headquarters

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Karen Rivedal

Irish biotech company GenCell Biosystems Ltd. has opened a two-person U.S. office in Madison’s University Research Park, with plans to hire a few more people in the coming 12 months.

GenCell, an analytical-instrument maker based in Limerick, employs 30 people in Ireland, where it was formed in spring 2011. It hired Robert Roeven, a former senior manager for diagnostic test maker Third Wave Technologies/Hologic, to run the Madison office, known as GenCell USA, which will provide customer support on technical and sales matters, Roeven said.

Roeven said Madison was a logical location for the company, quickly standing out as preferable for GenCell’s needs to even major bioscience hubs in larger cities on the East and West coasts.

“It’s ideally located,” Roeven said. “It’s central to a number of our customers in the Midwest.”

“University Research Park made the choice fairly easy,” he added. “I would say they’re very helpful in getting a young startup company, as GenCell is, established.”

Greg Hyer, associate director of University Research Park, said GenCell located in Madison largely so it could recruit Roeven, whose expertise in Third Wave’s ag/bio sector gave him complementary expertise.

“That illustrates why it’s important to keep some of this scientific and business talent in the Madison area, even as individual companies go up and down,” Hyer said, in a reference to Third Wave’s pending closure next year, after its purchase by Hologic in 2008.

“It’s important to hold those people here so they can end up being an attraction to these national and international companies,” Hyer said.

Read the full article.