MolecularHealth made headlines in the second half of 2013 with a high-profile campaign to announce the company’s move toward fully launching and commercializing its service offerings in the U.S. by establishing a new headquarters just north of Houston in The Woodlands. BioNews Texas had the opportunity to interview MolecularHealth CEO Dr. Lloyd Everson back in early October, who at that time announced that the company would be ready to roll out its bioinformatics analysis services to the U.S. market in early 2014, and would also be looking to ramp up its new woodlands operations with additional hirings.
Now, the company is making good on its claims, having recently announced the official opening of its U.S. headquarters and clinical lab in The Woodlands, Texas, thus putting the company on track to fully launch its diagnostic platform for cancer care in the first quarter of 2014.
Dr. Everson notes that the new Texas-based facility will offer comprehensive support to the company’s U.S. efforts: “Our main focus as a company is on the unique and advanced analytics platform we’ve built, which provides oncologists and pathologists extremely valuable and personalized information on their patients’ tumors. But in order to run our analyses, we have developed a lab that can handle everything from preparing samples to conducting whole exome sequencing tests.”
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According to the company’s recent press release, MolecularHealth’s lab will feature the state-of-the-art technology that serves as the platform for their service offerings. The lab will run the Illumina sequencing equipment, which will offer two tests: a targeted gene panel of more than 500 known cancer genes, and whole exome sequencing of the tumor genome. Together with the executive offices, the entire facility boasts approximately 7,000 square feet of productive workspace in the Black Forest Technology Park, which will eventually be staffed by 40 professional biotech job positions in 2014, including an on-site medical director, genetic technologists and client services representatives.
Shelly Gunn, M.D., chief medical officer for MolecularHealth, explained the concept behind the design of the new facility: “A great deal of work has gone into designing and building a world-class next generation sequencing lab that will enable us to offer testing that is currently unparalleled in the U.S.,” adding that, “This clinical lab was built with the intent of serving cancer patients across the country and making sure that we can guide them and their doctors to the best possible treatment decisions.”