N.O. company's expansion plans call for more than 400 new jobs

BioInnovation Center (FOX 8 photo)
BioInnovation Center (FOX 8 photo)

The New Orleans-based company Renaissance RX is planning a major expansion that economic development leaders believe will have a big impact on the local economy.

"Four hundred twenty-five direct, new jobs - that's on top of the 80 people they already have in New Orleans with an average salary of $54,000 a year. So, it's a very exciting new professional opportunity and a great company to come into the fold and create more middle-class jobs for New Orleanians," said GNO Inc. Senior Vice President of Business Development Matt Rookard.

On Tuesday, Renaissance RX founder and CEO Dr. Tarun Jolly reflected back the company's beginnings and talked about how far it has come.

"In 2012, we started [in New Orleans] with just five people and now, in a little bit over two years, we're responsible for over 800 people employed throughout the U.S.," he said.

Jolly, a New Orleans native, said the company deals in a form of personalized medicine, where DNA tests lay out the path for treatment.

"We go and test somebody's DNA to decide how to go and dose their medications, because ultimately in the end, it matters what your metabolism is, instead of what the size and weight of somebody actually is," he said.

Renaissance Rx plans to move its administration headquarters from the BioInnovation Center incubator on Canal Street to 301 St. Charles Avenue in a few months, while plans are in the works to build a new lab somewhere near the future LSU and VA Hospitals.

New Orleans CityBusiness Editor Greg LaRose said Renaissance Rx seems to have already tapped into what is ultimately the much larger plan for the bio-medical corridor.

"[The expansion] really stands out as an example of what I think economic developers would like to see happen more frequently here in New Orleans," LaRose said. "Companies that aren't just hiring five or ten people, but like this one - hiring hundreds of people and bringing them to New Orleans and then establishing New Orleans as this epicenter for this type of development."

Jolly believes the technology his company is using will soon be a standard in medicine nationwide. It's a reason he sees huge potential as the massive complex comes online.

"When you go and have such a big development that is going to have so many hospitals collaborating to bring patients and scientific research here, it's really a perfect melting pot for what it is that we're doing," Jolly said.

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