Spaulding's hand-held ECG fuels tax credits and hiring boom

Spaulding Clinical Research's development of a hand-held portable electrocardiograph machine for use at drug-testing sites is starting to pay dividends. On the market for just a year, the product is already fueling an expansion.

The 5-year-old Wisconsin CRO plans to create up to 183 jobs in its home state over the next few years, fueled with $850,000 in state tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Spaulding credits its iQ Electrocardiograph for driving much of that job growth. Weighing 3 ounces, the device records up to 5 minutes of ECG data and effectively automates cardiac trial monitoring. The private company told The Business Journal of greater Milwaukee that 40 U.S. drug-testing sites already use it, and plans are ongoing to ship it to 40 countries this year.

"We've made something very small that is easy to use and a low cost to ship," The Business Journal quotes CEO and company namesake Randy Spaulding as saying. "It gets us in the door. It's the secret sauce that makes a pharmaceutical company choose us over someone else."

Interestingly, the company plans to also sell the device in non-research related medical markets, according to the story, including home care and for physician's office use.

As of December, the company employed 140 people. But Spaulding said in a statement announcing the tax credit package that it has hired 5 full-time employees and 10 part-time clinical staff since January alone. Additional hires driven by the tax credit package will range from medical industry professionals to sales staff. Spaulding will significantly expand its cardiac safety testing services as staff grows.

In December, the company announced that it would expand from first-in-human CRO work to more advanced patient studies, according to the story. And Spaulding had planned to hire 75 people or more to handle expansion into CRO markets including Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia and South America. In August, for example, Spaulding inked a deal with India's Biocon to offer clinical trial services to biotech companies.

- here's the company/Wisconsin announcement
- Read The Business Journal's take