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LabCorp exec: No dangerous specimens to be stored at biobank

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
KANNAPOLIS ó The new biorepository at the N.C. Research Campus will not store dangerous biological specimens, according to an official with Laboratory Corporation of America.
“There will be nothing there but blood and tissue samples of patients enrolled in clinical trials,” said David King, president of LabCorp. “No viruses, nothing that would pose any danger.”
King talked about the biorepository, LabCorp’s first, in Kannapolis Wednesday after announcing a new program to fight chronic kidney disease. Burlington-based LabCorp is a founding tenant of the N.C. Research Campus.
The 45,000-square-foot biorepository at the corner of Chippola Road and U.S. 29 will serve universities, pharmaceutical companies and other researchers who need to store blood and tissue samples for many years, King said.
Developing a biobank at the N.C. Research Campus made sense because of the presence of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, which will offer world-class scientific instruments, and numerous university and business partners, King said.
Strategically, LabCorp sees the future of health care in the development of personalized medicine, one of the goals of the Research Campus, he said.
For example, researchers in Kannapolis will use samples in the biorepository to help determine genetically why some people respond to a certain drug while others don’t, King said.
LabCorp will operate the facility in partnership with Duke University’s Translational Medicine Institute, which will store all samples from the MURDOCK Study on the site.
Research Campus founder David Murdock gave Duke $35 million last year to launch the health study that bears his name. Study investigators plan to collect blood samples from about 50,000 area residents.
The biorepository will help attract more companies to Kannapolis, said Clyde Higgs, vice president of business development for Castle & Cooke North Carolina.
“It’s definitely a recruitment tool when you have that kind of capability,” Higgs said.
Castle & Cooke will build the biobank and lease it to LabCorp.
Campus officials have been recruiting a big-name pharmaceutical company.
The biorepository will feature 40,000 square feet for state-of-the-art storage space with robotic capabilities and 5,000 square feet for other uses, including labs, computer rooms, offices and space for freezers and other equipment.
LabCorp is expected to hire 36 technicians to work there.

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