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ECI Biotech Expands in Worcester

MassDevelopment Provides $400,000 in Emerging Technology Fund Support

MassDevelopment today announced the closing of a $400,000 loan from its Emerging Technology Fund for ECI Biotech Inc., a leading diagnostic and therapeutic company in Worcester.  

The company will use the funds to upgrade its facility and purchase equipment for its new office, research, and manufacturing operations at 85 Prescott Street. The former mill building, once home to the Massachusetts Lottery, is in Worcester's Gateway Park district, a commercial-industrial development led by the Worcester Business Development Corporation and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and financed in part by MassDevelopment. ECI Biotech leased 11,610-square feet of the former mill building, more than twice the square-footage of its 6 Park Avenue facility. The relocation will allow ECI Biotech to expand operations and begin manufacturing biosensors for consumer and professional care diagnostics.  

"MassDevelopment is pleased to support ECI Biotech's expansion with this low-cost financing," said Robert L. Culver, MassDevelopment president/CEO. "The Emerging Technology Fund helps companies like ECI Biotech, which have achieved success in research and development, transition smoothly to production and manufacturing. Retaining these growing life sciences companies in Massachusetts strengthens our economy by creating new jobs and supporting the Commonwealth's world-class biotechnology cluster."  

Founded in 1998 by Mitchell Sanders, Ph.D. as Expressive Constructs, Inc., ECI Biotech develops diagnostic sensors that detect infection (ExpressDetect®) and therapeutics that prevent tissue damage caused by infection (ExpressProtect™). Both of ECI Biotech's technology platforms can be applied broadly to provide unique solutions in food safety or freshness, and medical situations related to wound care, cardiac/vascular problems, vision care, oral care, and feminine hygiene. The company has been recognized for its pioneering work by Mass High Tech, the Small Business Association of New England (SBANE), and Worcester Business Journal. While ECI Biotech had only two employees nine years ago, it now employs 14. Company officials plan to hire an additional 22 workers over the next five years.  

"Many thanks to MassDevelopment for financing our relocation and expansion in Worcester," said Anthony J. Bernardo, ECI Biotech's CEO and president. "Our move will help us commercialize the knowledge and techniques we've been developing for years. We're excited to be able to expand our operation and produce our first products right here in Worcester, where we hope to continue to build and grow our business for years to come."

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and local officials to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. From FY 2004 through FY 2007, MassDevelopment financed or managed 796 projects statewide representing the investment of more than $6.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of nearly 6,800 new housing units and more than 39,000 permanent or construction-related jobs.

ECI Biotech (www.ecibiotech.com) is a leading-edge biotech company engaged in research and development of new protein detection technologies. Today the company holds five issued patents and has 17 more worldwide patents pending.

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