By Amanda Jones Hoyle - Staff Writer - Triangle Business Journal
Genetic research firm Sequenom Inc. has announced that it will construct an $18.7 million molecular diagnostics laboratory at the N.C. Biotechnology Center campus inside Research Triangle Park. The move is expected to create 242 new jobs in RTP by 2015.
Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) has been awarded a state Jobs Development Investment Grant that could yield up to $2.3 million if the company meets all its job creation and investment targets, according to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office.
The company chose the RTP site over another location in Dallas, Texas.
Perdue made the economic development announcement at the N.C. Biotech Center’s annual meeting on Oct. 12. Average wages for the jobs that Sequenom expects to create will be more than $53,721 a year plus benefits, which is higher than the Wake County average wage of $44,980 a year.
Sequenom is developing a noninvasive test for Down syndrome, called the MaterniT21 test, that the company is preparing to launch in the coming months as well as other diagnostics for prenatal diseases and conditions. The MaterniT21 test checks for trisomy 21, the most common cause of Down Syndrome.
San Diego-based Sequenom was founded in 1994 and employs about 280 employees.
According to stock research firm Seeking Alpha, Sequenom has a market capitalization value of $517.7 million and its estimated EPS growth over the next five years is 27.5 percent. Sequenom’s stock price was trading at $5.23 at the close of the market on Oct. 11.
Sequenom has facilities in Michigan and in San Diego. The San Diego lab is its primary facility for processing samples for its Down syndrome tests. The N.C. facility will serve primarily as a back-up to the San Diego lab.
The Michigan lab processes other types of tests.