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Duke, LabCorp OK deal on biostorage

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
Laboratory Corporation of America and Duke University reached a deal Tuesday regarding operation of a high-tech storage facility near the N.C. Research Campus and management of up to 10 million human biological samples.
Burlington-based LabCorp and Duke are collaborating on the 40,000-square-foot biorepository at U.S. 29 and Chipola Road, which is under construction by campus developer Castle & Cooke North Carolina and should open later this year.
The biorepository will store samples for academic centers, research organizations, health-care providers and biotechnology companies.
Duke will use the facility to house samples collected from 50,000 Cabarrus County and Kannapolis residents who enroll in the university’s long-term medical research study.
The study, named for campus founder David Murdock, uses genomic technologies to identify patterns across large groups of people with chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes. Eventually, scientists hope to discover new ways to diagnose and treat disease.
LabCorp chief executive officer David King said the biorepository will lead to new diagnostic tests that will benefit patients.
The company also considers the biorepository an important service for its commercial clients, King said in a statement.
The facility will offer both a high-security storage environment and on-site nucleic acid and sample preparation capabilities.
Companies and universities that pay to store samples in the biorepository could also make use of the nearby Core Laboratory at the Research Campus, which features some of the world’s best instruments for analysis and biomarker development.
Personalized and genomic medicine are the future of healthcare and “require an ability to store and analyze large quantities of tissue and blood samples,” said Dr. Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs and chief executive officer for Duke University Health System.
LabCorp commercializes diagnostic technologies and offers clinical tests ranging from routine blood analyses to HIV and genomic testing.

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