Illumina looks to Wisconsin for key R&D

epicentre_logoIllumina, the global leader in genomic sequencing, is expanding its presence in Madison through increased funding of Epicentre, acquired in 2011 and located at University Research Park.

The increased capacity involves the addition of at least five new employees to its staff of 57 and its facilities will be expanded nearly 50 percent to allow for more enzyme manufacturing equipment.

Outside San Diego, Illumina Looks to Wisconsin for Key R&D

By Jeff Engel, Xconomy

When an acquisition occurs, the worst-case scenario for the community of the purchased company usually occurs when the buyer gobbles up the pieces it wants and shutters the local operations.

But this situation doesn’t always play out, and Nick Caruccio is glad that’s not what happened to his company, Madison, WI-based Epicentre, after San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) bought it in 2011 for an undisclosed price. (SEC documents later showed it was $71.4 million.)

“I’ve seen some acquisitions where they would just come in and take the technology and shut you down,” says Caruccio, Epicentre’s general manager.

Illumina certainly could have done that, and skeptics who are unfamiliar with Madison’s biotech scene might wonder why the global leader in genomic sequencing continues to operate the small Midwest outpost. As things turned out, however, Illumina had some good reasons to keep Epicentre’s lights on in Madtown. Read more …

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