Assurex Health to anchor new Mason bioscience business park

The new development will be part of the city’s larger Oak Park District, which calls for mixed use development — such as business offices alongside retail storefronts, restaurants and walking trails. It will be a new business entry into the city, leaders say.

There, Assurex Health, which provides genetic tests and analysis to help guide doctors’ treatment decisions, will build its new approximately $15 million, 60,000-square-foot headquarters on city-owned land. Assurex Health, which currently leases space at the city-owned Mason Campus, announced earlier this year plans to stay put and grow in Warren County. It was being courted by other states.

But until now, the location of the new headquarters building, which also includes a research and development laboratory and genetics laboratory, had yet to be announced.

“What we love is that the city wants to work with us and DTZ to site plan the entire area so we hopefully, as an anchor, can help attract other companies like us to that district,” said Don Wright, chief operating officer of Assurex Health.

“That is nothing but great for us. Clusters of biohealth and biotech companies just means more of those types of jobs,” Wright said.

Commercial real estate firm DTZ has been hired by Assurex Health to help with development of the 30-acre site.

Expect construction on the new Mason headquarters to start by the end of the year, and employees to move in by the end of 2016, he said.

Assurex Health’s growth plans demonstrate the benefits of public-private partnerships, said Mason Mayor David Nichols.

“Here you’ve got a premier company on the cutting edge of technology… and they’re going to be an anchor on the gateway of a new interchange,” Nichols said.

The Warren County Transportation Improvement District was awarded full funding from the state this year to make improvements at I-71 and Western Row Road, to improve turn lanes and add more on- and off-ramps to the interchange. Currently, drivers can’t exit southbound I-71 onto Western Row Road; or access northbound I-71 from Western Row Road, said Savannah Shafer, a spokeswoman for the county.

Founded in 2006, Assurex Health was spun off from technology started at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It also received funding from the Ohio Third Frontier program. Partnerships with Cincinnati Children’s and Lindner Center of HOPE, as well as local governments, were key to the company’s retention, Wright has said before.

In addition to mental health hospital Lindner Center, other biohealth-related companies in Mason include AtriCure Inc., a medical device manufacturer that is building a new headquarters on Innovation Way. Assurex Health joins AtriCure in the newly-forming Oak Park District.

Assurex Health’s GeneSight test is based on proprietary technology and uses pharmacogenomics, the study of the genetic factors that influence an individual’s response to drug treatments.

In the past three years, Assurex Health has more than tripled its employment to nearly 300 employees including those locally; field staff such as sales, medical science liaisons and customer support across the country; and a Canadian laboratory. It’s also quadrupled the number of patients that have received its GeneSight tests to more than 140,000, according to the company.

There are about 180 Assurex Health employees in Mason now, Wright said, and he added that the new headquarters will big enough for about 500 workers. The building will be designed with room to add an additional 30,000-square-feet.

“We think over five to 10 years we’ll probably expand into multiple buildings,” Wright said.

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