Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A biotech company founded by a Mayo Clinic researcher has announced plans to establish a research and manufacturing facility on the IBM campus in northwest Rochester.

A news release says Vyriad has signed a contract to build out 25,000 square feet of leased space that will include offices, research labs, and a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice facility to produce the company’s oncolytic virus therapies, which are currently the subject of clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Arkansas. The firm has obtained $9-million dollars in financing for the project and is receiving $370,000 in assistance from the state and the city for equipment funding.

Vyriad’s technology utilizes highly specialized viruses that are engineered to select and destroy cancer cells while also triggering an immune response from the patient to attack cancer tumors. The new facility at the IBM complex will be used to produce the virus therapies needed for the ongoing clinical trials and future testing of the promising cancer treatment. Vyriad hopes to have the new facility fully operational by the end of this year.

The news release says Vyriad is actively recruiting new team members for the expansion and consolidation of its operations at a single site. The firm’s management and personnel are currently working at several different sites in downtown Rochester, including the BioBusiness Center. The company’s founder and CEO is Mayo Clinic physician-researcher Dr. Stephen Russell.

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