Local firm nets high-tech honor
PLATTSBURGH -- Multiplex Biosciences and its owners, Dominic Eisinger and Laurie Stephen of Lake Placid, have been selected as the 2007 New York State Small Business Development Center's (SBDC) High-Tech Company of the Year.

The entrepreneurs were honored May 1 at the SBDC Entrepreneurial Awards Banquet in Utica. Entrepreneur of the Year awards honor New Yorkers who have overcome significant obstacles and exercised vision and persistence to launch their businesses.

The awards ceremony, which takes place during the annual conference of statewide SBDC professionals, celebrated the conference theme of "Looking to the Future through Education, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development." Eisinger and Stephen were nominated by the North Country SBDC. They were selected from among hundreds of SBDC clients across the state.

"Starting a biotech business has lots of challenges. It was great to have support from our families and local agencies such as the SBDC, Sen. (Betty) Little, Empire State Development and the Lake Placid Village," Stephen said.

"We were quite surprised and honored to receive the award," Eisinger added. "The North Country SBDC is a great resource to help drive entrepreneurial growth in Upstate New York."

When Eisinger and Stephen decided to start a biotechnology company, one of their first stops was the North Country SBDC. Business Adviser Tony Maglione helped them write a business plan and develop detailed financial projections. The North Country SBDC also counseled the clients on different business structures, as well as the issues involved in taking on additional equity investors.

As a result, Eisinger and Stephen attracted enough funding to start the company (including a loan from Lake Placid's Revolving Loan Program.) In April 2006, they began renovations on an old warehouse in Lake Placid. The lab was completed in June and the company hired its first two employees on July 1, 2006.

Today, Multiplex Biosciences Inc. (MxB) is a New York State C-Corporation, providing research and development and manufacturing services to biotechnology companies and institutions worldwide in the field of multiplex immunoassays, a method to simultaneously measure multiple types of novel protein biomarkers in a single drop of blood.

The field of protein biomarkers is a rapidly growing segment of the biotechnology industry that holds great promise for disease diagnosis and treatment.

In August 2006, MxB signed an agreement with BioLayer Corp. of Australia to collaborate on product development, technical support and licensing. In November 2006, MxB Inc. announced it was merging with Rules Based Medicine Inc. (RBM) of Austin, Texas. RBM is the leading multiplexed biomarker testing laboratory for the life-sciences industry.

This merger will allow MxB to extend its research-and-development capability in multiplex assay product development and expand its customer base. MxB has just added its fifth employee in April and is expecting additional employment growth in the near future.

"When Upstate Bio shut its doors in Lake Placid and moved to California, Dominic and Laurie, both highly acclaimed scientists in their field, decided they were not going to uproot their families and follow them nor go elsewhere," Maglione said. "They demonstrated true entrepreneurial spirit by making a commitment to start their own biotechnology firm in Lake Placid. A year later, things have gone even better than optimistic expectations, and they are now well positioned for several years of rapid growth."

The SBDC, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York and the State University of New York, provides high-quality, pro-bono, small-business counseling, training and focused research to approximately 15,000 entrepreneurs a year.

For more about the North Country Small Business Development Center, visit www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/support/sbdc online. or contact Dee Clark or Tony Maglione at 564-2042.

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