A Chinese pharma and biotech giant plans to open its first U.S. facility in Rochester as part of partnership with Mayo Clinic.
WuXi Diagnostics, a one-year-old joint venture between Shanghai-based New WuXi Life Science Investment Limited and Mayo Clinic, confirmed today that it plans to open a "research and diagnostic testing development facility" in downtown Rochester ... "to accelerate esoteric diagnostic product development, and bring more personalized and accurate clinical diagnosis services for global patients."
The new facility will be located on the third floor of the new One Discovery Square complex on the corner of Fourth Street and Second Avenue Southwest. This follows a WuXi Diagnostics building permit filed in Rochester in April for a $543,000 tenant space project.
The Chinese company expects to open the new Med City facility "before the end of the year." The announcement does not say how many employees will staff the site or how much space it will occupy in One Discovery Square.
New WuXi Life Science Investment Limited and Mayo Clinic formed WuXi Diagnostics in early 2018 as a joint venture. “It focuses on the development of advanced diagnostic technologies to create a world-leading clinical special diagnostic platform and integrated research and development of clinical diagnostic reagents and products platform, establish a comprehensive large-scale clinical testing data center, and empower Chinese medical institutions,” according to a description by WuXi.
The new joint venture soon won the 2018 MedTech Insight Award for the Best Partnership/Alliance at the MedTech Conference.
WuXi's announcement states that the Rochester site will "optimize existing diagnostic tests and collaborate in the development of new diagnostic tests with Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, specifically its Advanced Diagnostics Laboratory."
Dr. William Morice, II, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and chairman of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, lauded WuXi's announcement.
“This facility allows us to further leverage our existing knowledge and expertise in the esoteric diagnostics in a wide range of areas –- cancer, hematology, neurology, gastroenterology, genetics, to name just a few -– to provide patients worldwide with laboratory testing that addresses their specific health care needs,” Morice was quoted in the announcement as stating.
WuXi employees have been unofficially working in Rochester, since a small team from the company opened an office earlier this year in the Collider 424 co-working space in Mayo Clinic's Connolly Building at 410 Third St. SW. That's the building slated to be demolished to clear the way for Mayo Clinic's recently announced Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building.
The latest announcement represents another piece in what city officials and Mayo Clinic leaders hope will evolve into a “hub for bio-medicine, research and technology innovation” -- the Discovery Square sub-district of the Destination Medical Center initiative.
In addition to the WuXi/Mayo Clinic joint project, Mayo Clinic partnerships with Boston Scientific, Royal Philips and Exact Sciences are opening offices in the One Discovery Square building. The University of Minnesota Rochester, Epic Systems of Wisconsin and Café Steam @ Discovery Square are also tenants of the the 89,000-square-foot One Discovery Square complex built on land owned by Mayo Clinic.
“This joint venture and WuXi Diagnostics’ new R&D center is another example of Rochester, Minnesota’s attractiveness as a global hub for healthcare innovation,” DMC Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke said in the WuXi press announcement on Thursday.