MetroWest Daily News: Marlborough, Westborough companies get Life Sciences loans

“The MetroWest area is a hub for the biotech industry – a great place to make an investment and a great place for companies to do business,” said state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton.

By Paul Crocetti
5/7/09

Two local companies are among a select few to receive loans of up to $500,000 for product work and marketing through the state’s Life Sciences Initiative.

Spectra Analysis of Marlborough received $500,000, while Wadsworth Medical Technologies of Westborough picked up $400,000.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center approved a total of $3.4 million in loans for seven companies. The center received 88 applications.

Spectra Analysis is a supplier of molecular spectroscopy systems and applications for chromatography. The loan will be used for product development work and marketing of current products, said George Giansanti, company president.

Spectra Analysis products can be used for drug development, Giansanti said. One of the instruments enables chemists to determine the rate that medicine dissolves in the body.

The company, located on Simarano Drive, is 4 years old and has three products in the field.

“We’re looking to grow and fortunate enough to receive this loan,” Giansanti said.

Wadsworth Medical Technologies specializes in wound closure. The loan will go toward manufacturing its lead product and testing it, said Andrew Fox, founder and CEO of the company.

The Dermaloc Wound Closure System, which is in clinical testing, applies tension to skin wounds and uses adhesives to close them without sutures or needles.

Fox said he expects the product to be on the market within a year, and he intends to take it to Third World countries and hand it out for free.

“My company is behind that type of charitable distribution,” he said.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is a quasi-public agency that is implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative. The center is closely affiliated with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

“The MetroWest area is a hub for the biotech industry – a great place to make an investment and a great place for companies to do business,” said state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton.

The loans come from the Life Sciences Investment Fund, one part of the $1 billion initiative signed into law last year. The fund supplies $250 million over 10 years.

“In these difficult times, young companies need all the help we can provide to bring their promising ideas to fruition,” said state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough.

The loans match other funding. Spectra Analysis and Wadsworth Medical Technologies have both received support from investors.

The loans have a 10 percent interest rate. They can be paid in five years or after a company reaches $5 million in private capital fundraising.