Keene will soon be home to the U.S. headquarters of biotech firm Detact Diagnostics, a Netherlands-based life-sciences company that produces bacterial- and viral-detection solutions.
The expansion is in partnership with the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides resources for entrepreneurs and companies in the state’s rural Monadnock Region, and Keene State College, which will provide space for Detact Diagnostics to create a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment or (CLIA)-certified laboratories as well as an expansive internship and employment program.
“I am happy to welcome Detact to New Hampshire’s growing life science community,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “In addition to the world-class technology being researched and implemented in our state, this expansion and partnership with Keene State College further demonstrate the value of our ‘triangle’ strategy (employer-academic center-government) to generate high tech investment statewide.
CLIA-certified laboratories are federally regulated sites that test human specimens to diagnose, prevent and treat disease. The lab space to be developed at Keene State College will be used for Detact Diagnostics’ on-site bacterial-detection platforms, which enable healthcare providers and food-processing professionals to detect the presence of viruses and bacteria and allow for fast, affordable, and precise treatment.
The patented Detact Diagnostics® platform technology called VIPER® (Visualization by Infrared Peptide Reaction) involves the immediate release of a quenched Near Infrared (NIR) molecule from its peptide bond after contact with a specific bacteria/enzyme, which emits NIR-light (NIRL). The amount of light released determines the presence of bacteria or viruses. Due to its speed, precision, and sensitivity, even with very diluted samples, the potential of this technology is superior compared to other testing products.
The company plans to hire Keene State College students for academic internship opportunities each semester and will roll out multiple hiring incentive programs in partnership with the institution.
“With its easily accessible networking opportunities compared to larger markets, plus its life-sciences ecosystem and the support from Hannah Grimes, New Hampshire is the ideal destination for our U.S. expansion,” said Joost Gazendam, CEO of Detact Diagnostics. “From its proximity to the Manchester and Nashua areas to its affordability, quality of life, and community connectivity, this rural region offers endless benefits that will allow us to continue to grow our company, educate a new generation of professionals and deploy life-changing technology.”
The Granite State’s life science and medical device sector, which includes over 600 companies, employs over 7,000 people, and contributes close to $6 billion to the state’s GDP, is one of the top three leading drivers of economic growth. Medicine manufacturing was the number one sector for job growth in 2019.
The Detact Diagnostics announcement comes on the heels of last month’s news that Novocure, a global oncology company headquartered in Europe, broke ground on its new Portsmouth facility–a $9 million investment into the state’s life-science sector.