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Heard on the Street: Mayo Clinic-spawned biotech firm opening lab in One Discovery Square

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A young biotech firm, founded by two Mayo Clinic doctors, announced Wednesday that it will be moving into the new One Discovery Squarecomplex in downtown Rochester.

Rion LLC, created by Dr. Atta Behfar and Dr. Andre Terzic, will focus on "advancing regeneration through innovations related to its exosome biotherapeutic platform, development of novel off-the-shelf biologics, technologies and biomanufacturing."

Wednesday's announcement by One Discovery Square developer Mortensondoes not say how large of a space Rion will occupy, how many employees will work there or when Rion is expected to start operating in the 89,000-square-foot complex, on the corner of Fourth Street and Second Avenue Southwest.

Rion, which Behfar and Terzic launched through Mayo Clinic's Employee Entrepreneurship Program, already leases a 2,000-square-foot office in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center, which is owned by the City of Rochester.

It took over space previously occupied by Sri Lanka-based Brandix i3. Rion signed a three year lease with the city in 2017.


No one from Rion was available to ask if the firm is closing its current Rochester space to move to One Discovery Square or if it will be a second location.

In today's announcement, Rion CEO Scott Rosenowwas quoted as stating, "While currently Minnesota is one of the leading medical device hubs in the country, Rion, with its focus in regenerative medicine, can develop and expand the biotechnology sector in Minnesota, leading to larger and more diversified medical products industry in the state."

This is the latest tenant announced for the high-profile center built as part of the Destination Medical Centerinitiative.

Mayo Clinic will anchor the building by leasing 30,000 square feet spread over the upper levels of the four-story complex. B oston Scientific, Royal Philips, Epic Systems, WuXi Diagnostics, the University of Minnesota Rochester and Cafe Steamare also tenants.

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