By Judy Newman | Read full article from Wisconsin State Journal here
Lucigen Corp. is being noticed for working with customers abroad.
The Middleton biotechnology company was one of 32 companies and organizations across the country honored by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week for exports of their goods and services. Lucigen received a 2017 President’s “E” Award for recording a sustained increase in export sales over the past four years.
Earlier this month, the company received a 2017 Wisconsin Governor’s Export Award.
Johnsonville Sausage, of Sheboygan Falls, is the only other Wisconsin company named for a presidential export award this week. A previous “E” award winner, Johnsonville received an “E Star” award, recognizing four more years of export growth.
Lucigen makes biomedical research products. With the expansion of its distribution network as well as the addition of new products, it has nearly doubled product sales from less than $6 million in 2014 to $11 million in 2016. Product sales are expected to hit nearly $20 million in 2017, said Glaselyn Miller, director of global sales and distribution.
International sales are an increasing part of Lucigen’s growth and have more than doubled over the past three years, Miller said.
Employment at Lucigen also is on the upswing. The company has 65 employees, including 10 added in the past year, and plans to hire another 15 to 20 this year, Miller said.
In addition to its products for scientific research, Lucigen has been working on a quick test for the Ebola virus since 2014. Miller said the company is working on a series of screening tests based on the same platform — called the ClariLight platform — that might provide early identification of diseases such as the Lassa virus; the Zika virus; influenza; human papillomavirus (HPV); Clostridium difficile; and chikungunya virus.
Using a unique enzyme discovered in the waters of Yellowstone National Park, Lucigen plans to create the assays and work with a partner company that would develop the testing instrument and bring the products to market, Miller said.
“I think it would get us closer to providing scientists with a point-of-care solution. We can help researchers in the field to identify cases of infectious diseases (which would) lead to quicker treatment of these diseases,” she said.
Miller said it will probably be a couple of years before the technology goes through the regulatory process and becomes available on the market.