Photo Courtesy of Renaissance RX

From 80 to 800 -- New Orleans Biotech Company Rides Market Demand

Oct. 21, 2014
Renaissance RX, which provides pharmacogenetic testing revealing how individual patients respond to specific medications, based upon their genetic makeup, expands in New Orleans.

When Renaissance RX was created just two years ago with 5 employees in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, it might not have guessed that it would grow to employ 800 across the region.

Earlier this month the company, whose laboratory offers pharmacogenetic testing and advanced toxicology, announced it will make an $8 million capital investment in a new headquarters location in the Central Business District of New Orleans.

Currently the company employs 80 in the New Orleans area. The new expansion will add 425 new direct jobs and an additional 407 new indirect jobs – for a total of more than 800 new jobs in the greater New Orleans region

Renaissance RX provides pharmacogenetic testing revealing how individual patients respond to specific medications, based upon their genetic makeup. The results allow physicians to prescribe the precise medications and dosages that will work best for each patient. Renaissance RX’s technology targets not only the optimum medication for an individual patient but the optimum dosage as well. By validating a patient’s genetic makeup, the process helps protect physicians against prescribing medications that may be ineffective or harmful.

“Over the next decade, personalized medicine will be common practice,” said Dr. Jolly, the Renaissance RX founder, physician and CEO. “We will live in a world where virtually all healthcare decisions will consider a person’s genetics, and we are setting out to position New Orleans as the center for molecular excellence. By doing this, we’re creating better jobs and retaining local talent in Louisiana and improving health outcomes for patients across the country. "

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes a $925,000 performance-based grant to defray headquarters and laboratory expansion costs, with the grant to be paid in five annual installments of $185,000 each. In addition, Renaissance RX will receive the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart – the nation’s No. 1-ranked state workforce development program – and the company is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs Program. 

“New Orleans is becoming known as the greatest comeback city of the 21st century in America,” said Stephen Moret, secretary, Louisiana Economic Development. “ The city is experiencing rapid growth in its high-tech sector, health care, entrepreneurship and trade-related commerce. The remarkable growth of homegrown Renaissance RX adds yet another significant economic development win in our state, which has outperformed the South and U.S. in employment growth since January 2008. The company’s expansion plan offers the promise of hundreds more professional jobs in the biomedical sector of New Orleans.” 

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