Spindale welcomes high-tech laboratory

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 06:07 AM

A new molecular diagnostics laboratory officially opened its doors in Spindale Thursday.

Cohesion Phenomics held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new location (230 Spindale Street).

The lab is one of the few certified in the region that handles genetic testing for heritable disorders, including cardiovascular diseases.

"They will do testing for a variety of genetics to identify various diseases," said Matt Blackwell, Rutherford County Economic Development Commission director. "For example, all pregnant women have testing during their pregnancy for a genetic disease that would cause developmental disabilities."

According to a press release, the lab in Spindale has developed partnerships and collaboration with Harvard Medical School and Fullerton Genetic Center of Mission Hospital in Asheville.

"They do not have one-on-one contact with patients," Blackwell said. "Physicians will order the tests and the work will be sent to the lab."

Dr. Sumy Joseph, president of Cohesion Phenomics, said the company employs three full-time, board certified people and the intent is to expand in the future.

"We are keen with working with the local schools and community colleges to develop programs that foster scientific curiosity and expand employment opportunities," Joseph said, in a statement.

Part of that expansion could include hiring lab technologists, bioinformaticians, genetic counselors and administrative support staff.

Blackwell said Cohesion Phenomics is a solid addition that, he hopes, will help lure other high-tech companies and jobs to Rutherford County.

"This really diversifies our business opportunities," Blackwell said. "We want to attract more of these."