In March, Myriad RBM will be vacating the old Village Offices in Saranac Lake but now there’s a group of 4 Myriad employees who have announced an arrangement with Myriad and the village to remain on the first floor of the building and to continue developing and producing bio-markers and specialized marker products for the research industry. Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau says it’s an important step to keeping Saranac Lake a center of technology and biotech.. “The village used some of it’s Community Block Grant funding to renovate the building and now we have a state of the art office building geared to biotech.” Rabideau said Tuesday morning at a press conference to announce a new biotech initiative for the building. “The Building comprises three floors with a square footage of about 9,000 square feet.” Mayor Rabideau says Myriad has a commitment to lease the building through 2017 and they’ve committed to make those payments through July of 2017. In the interim, Rabideau said Lauri Stephen who is starting up a new biotech firm in the same building called Ampersand Biosciences. “Her kids love it here, and they love the North Country, they Love the School District, and Lauri is an integral part of the community right now.” Stephen, along with 3 other former employees of Myriad RBM will be making use of the first floor of the building and the other two floors will remain vacant, with the exception that Mayor Rabideau says he would like to reach out to other firms to let them know that a state of the art facility exists in Saranac Lake.
“When everything closed down, some of the people in Austin Texas where Myriad is based said we should start a company of our own because they would be able to contract with the new company and make use of expertise that they don’t have anywhere else within the company, except in Saranac Lake.” Stephen said “We were also able to secure committments from some existing customers to do some contract work once Myriad vacates the building.”
Mayor Rabideau says there’s an important relationship between the Village, Trudeau Institute and it’s relationship with other organizations in and around the North Country.. “Clarkson University has turned out to be a big resource for Saranac Lake and for Trudeau Institute which is an integral part of our community and heritage. They’ve brought a lot of pragmatic know-how to Saranac Lake when it comes to making a buck from science.” Rabideau went on to explain that making a dollar is important now more than ever because the NIH grants are not as readily available today as they had been in the past. “That’s why Trudeau has gone through this big transition, moreover, Clarkson has business expertise that they bring to the floor and Clarkson has brought down a handful of businesses to have a look at Saranac Lake but it’s a tough process, this is free enterprise and there are no givens. The ages of Kodak’s and RBM’s are long gone, when there was a company town and you could count on them to help a community remain stable and grow a town. We have to be competitive and Saranac Lake is Manning all of the bases.”
This small new biotech offshoot will continue some of the work of Myriad RBM but will most likely switch their work from research into new biomarkers to creating the products that other research organizations can use in their efforts, whether for diabites research or otherwise, the produced package of bio-marker will originate from 3 Main Street and Stephen says it will not take very long to get the production under way and they already have a number of arrangements with research firms interested in their products. Ampersand Biosciences will make use of many pieces of equipment currently in the facility which have been given to them by Myriad in order for them to continue their work. Although the basic work has already begun, this new firm will formalize their relationship with Saranac Lake as they begin in the wake of Myriad’s exit from the community in March.