As genetic testing becomes more and more part of standard medical care and research, the need for space to handle and store patient samples is also growing.
That’s the issue Mayo Clinic is addressing with an $11.6 million expansion of its John W. Marvin Building at 2915 Valleyhigh Dr. NW. The expansion will add 39,000 square feet of space to the 176,455-square-foot biorepository.
The first phase of construction is expected to wrap up by the end of 2021, according to Mayo Clinic spokesperson Kelley Luckstein. The smaller second phase is expected to be completed in early 2022.
Once complete, the facility will be able to ramp up its processing and storage of bio samples, which supports medical research of all kinds. The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine operates the Biorepositories Program.
The Marvin Building is also the home of a Mayo Clinic business.
Mayo Clinic Bioservices, a for-profit company formed in 2014 following the model of the nearby Mayo Medical Labs, is based in the Marvin Building.
"Basically, we're taking advantage of some internal business that we've been doing for some time and now we're offering all of that externally to customers," Stephen Thibodeau, the director of Mayo Clinic's Biorepositories Program, said in 2014 about the creation of the then-new company.
Mayo Clinic Bioservices doesn’t run tests on genetic samples, though it does process, store and ship samples for its clients, like Los Angeles-based Sanguine.
“. . . Samples stored in this new expansion will be for both Mayo Investigators as well as Mayo Clinic Bioservices clients,” wrote Luckstein to explain that it will accommodate both business and clinical needs.
In 2014, the biorepository opened with 50 employees. That number has since grown to 125.
“We expect a small increase in that number over time, once the new space is completed,” according to Luckstein.
This expansion is the latest milestone for the 55-year-old warehouse. It has been used by a variety of companies, including IBM.
Mayo Clinic purchased it in 2012 for $2.95 million.
It was later named in recognition of the philanthropy of John W. Marvin, who has led his family’s business of Marvin Windows and Doors in Warroad, Minn. in the past.