GENETWORx to develop headquarters at former Innsbrook Library

Henrico-based GENETWORx, a fast-growing company that specializes in providing personalized medicine based on an individual’s genetic profile, will establish its corporate headquarters and operations center in the former Innsbrook Branch Library. The move is expected to create at least 200 jobs and $2 million to $3 million in capital investment for Henrico County during the next two to three years.

GENETWORx, established last year in Glen Allen, had been looking at buildings throughout the metropolitan area to expand its operations.

“As a premier place for business, Henrico County welcomes the investment, growth and entrepreneurial spirit of GENETWORx,” said Gary R. McLaren, executive director of the Henrico County Economic Development Authority (EDA). “Cutting-edge health care reflects a promising growth industry for Henrico. The decision by GENETWORx to remain and expand in the county is a testament to Henrico as a premier place for businesses to succeed.”

GENETWORx plans to lease the former Innsbrook Branch Library, at 4060 Innslake Drive in the Innsbrook Corporate Center. The Henrico Board of Supervisors on March 12 voted to transfer the 17,794-square-foot building and 2.5-acre property to the EDA. The EDA on March 21 is expected to consider a proposed agreement allowing GENETWORx to lease the property for three years with an option to buy it. Terms have not been finalized.

“With its business-friendly environment and superior quality of life, Henrico County is an important part of GENETWORx’s early success and plans for growth,” said Scott W. Blevins, chief executive officer of GENETWORx. “The vacant library is ideally suited to provide access to our expanding market, and it can be outfitted quickly with state-of-the-art technology to help us serve clinicians and their patients.”

In the new facility, GENETWORx expects to increase its employment to 20 to 30 in the first year, 50 to 100 in the second year and 200 to 250 after the third year. A majority of the positions will be full time and include scientists, heath care professionals and administrative personnel. Salaries are expected to range from about $35,000 for administrative personnel to more than $120,000 for certain health care professionals.

The company’s projected capital investment of $2 million to $3 million would occur over about two years of operation.

GENETWORx uses pharmacogenomics to offer itself as a leader in personalized medicine. The company works with clinicians and other health care providers to consider an individual’s unique genetic profile when providing health care and drug therapies.

Using a GENETWORx Test Kit, clinicians collect a patient’s DNA through an oral swab and mail the sample for analysis. The results are returned to the health care provider, allowing prescriptions, including the specific medication and dosing, to be tailored to provide the maximum benefits and least adverse reactions to the patient.

Drug-response genetic testing has shown promise in improving patient health and reducing costs of care, according to the Personalized Medicine Coalition. Benefits include emphasizing preventative rather than reactive treatments; identifying optimal therapies, thereby reducing trial-and-error prescribing; improving patient safety by avoiding adverse drug reactions; increasing patient compliance with treatment; and reducing the time and costs of clinical drug trials, according to the coalition.

The Innsbrook Branch Library operated from 1992 to 2007, when Henrico opened the larger Twin Hickory Area Library to serve the county’s northwestern area. The Innsbrook Branch Library building served most recently as the Capital Region Employment Transition Center, which closed in June after providing job-placement services for three years.
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