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VitalMedix plans move to Wisconsin

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New Richmond is in the running to attract a potential new industry to town.

VitalMedix, a startup Minneapolis company, has been talking with officials in New Richmond and Hudson about a possible move to St. Croix County within the next 90 days.

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VitalMedix is a new biotech company working to develop a drug that would help people survive cases of severe blood loss and protect patients from organ damage during medical resuscitation. The drug, Tamiasyn, will be used by first responders to potentially keep trauma victims alive longer.

The drug has been tested on animals and could go into human trials as early as a year from now.

According to Paul Mayer, president of the New Richmond Area Economic Development Corporation, the company has been working with local officials for about three months in their search for a building.

Right now, Mayer said, VitalMedix is looking to lease an existing building in western Wisconsin, due to favorable investment tax credits offered by the state.

While New Richmond is in the running for the business's location, Mayer guesses there's only a slight chance VitalMedix will end up here. He said location is key for the company.

"They need to be in Wisconsin, but as close as they can to the University of Minnesota," he explained.

Mayer said he's unsure when a decision will be made on a location, and he's not certain when the move will occur. He said the company needs to raise adequate cash before making its move.

According to Robert Barbian, director of development for the city, said the state's tax credit program is attractive to businesses like VitalMedix.

Early-stage businesses may be designated as "Qualified New Business Ventures" in Wisconsin.

This designation assists businesses in their efforts to attract investors by making state tax credits available to individuals and groups investing in these businesses.

Qualifying angel investors and angel investor networks that invest in Qualified New Business Ventures may be eligible to claim an income tax credit on that investment, equal to 12.5 percent in each of two years.

Businesses can receive up to $4 million in tax credit-eligible cash equity investment, of which no more than $1 million in tax credit-eligible investment can come from angel investors.

High-technology industries -- like biotechnology, health technology, information technology or nanotechnology -- are among those targeted by the state to receive the tax credits.

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