30 Jun GenTel receives $250,000 state loan
Madison, Wis. – Governor Jim Doyle announced that the Department of Commerce’s Technology Venture Fund program, which provides low-interest loans as seed capital to Wisconsin high-tech companies of fewer than 100 employees, awarded a $250,000 loan to Madison-based GenTel BioSurfaces, Inc., helping to finance their biochip project.
Biochips are surfaces about the size of a microscope slide that contain multiple testing factors for properties such as allergies, coagulants, cancer markers or different anti-bodies. A small sample of blood can be smeared on the biochip, enabling clinicians to test for more than one thing at a time as well as finding patterns of what they are testing for and fine-tune different therapies to pursue.
“The old-fashioned kind [of diagnostic tool] is the conventional technology…one big tube of blood tested against one thing and it’s laborious and time-consuming,” said GenTel president Alex Vodenlich. “So this is a way to really [perform] multiple tests simultaneously. It’ll save a lot of time and money, and it’ll lead to information that was never before possible. ”
The company currently markets blank biochips that are then set up at the clinician end. This project is intended to bring to market pre-packaged chips pre-printed for specific tests. Vodenlich expects the project will be brought to market next year.
The total cost of the project is about $1.7 million. In addition to state funding, the company has also received another $250,000 in federal dollars as well as private funding, according to Vodenlich. GenTel currently employs ten people, and Vodenlich expects to take on four more.