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Mayo Clinic, Thermo Fisher kick off collaboration

Dr. William Morice II, the president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and Thermo Fisher President of Specialty Diagnostics Gianluca Pettiti spoke to a small crowd Wednesday in front of the One Discovery Square complex about their new collaboration.

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Mayo Clinic and Thermo Fisher Scientific officials officially kicked off their new joint venture during a Wednesday event in front of the One Discovery Square complex.

Dr. William Morice II, the president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and Thermo Fisher President of Specialty Diagnostics Gianluca Pettiti spoke to a small crowd at 202 Fourth St. SW about the collaboration.

The goal of the venture is to validate new diagnostics tests to manage a variety of medical conditions in areas such as hematology, oncology, allergies and autoimmunity issues.

The tests will be jointly developed in Mayo Clinic’s Advanced Diagnostics Laboratory in One Discovery Square. The work should start soon.

“We’re getting some instruments in now … There’s a lot of logistical work to do to get things set up,” said Morice. “. . . We hope to be able to get to work within a month or six weeks, at most.”

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Part of those preparations involves finalizing the Mayo/Thermo Fisher team. Some members will work remotely, possibly from Europe. Overall, Morice estimated the project team could include 12 to 15 people, with many working in the Discovery Square lab.

The joint venture will be based in the Advanced Diagnostics Laboratory, which is also occupied by the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. Morice estimated that the Thermo Fisher collaboration will represent about 10 to 20 percent of the activity in the lab.

Brent Webb, development executive at Mortenson, lauded the project. The Twin Cities-based Mortenson built, owns and manages One Discovery Square.

“Today is really inspiring. When we started this journey, this is exactly what we were hoping for,” he said.

He confirmed later that One Discovery Square is now “100 percent leased.” Madison, Wis.-based Exact Sciences was moving into its space in the building on Wednesday.

Webb said Mortenson is now turning to focusing on building the larger Two Discovery Square center next to the original complex as well as making plans for Three Discovery Square.

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