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Biotech giant opens 'Lab of the Future' in Marlborough

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Quest Diagnostics promised to improve the way health care is delivered in the United States during the unveiling of its new Marlborough facility and its “Lab of the Future” Thursday.

“Our 45,000 employees are providing clinical laboratory tests for nearly half a million patients everyday,” Quest Diagnostics President and CEO Steve Rusckowski told a crowd at the new facility Thursday. “As a leader, our goal is simple… to really push the bounds of what is possible, to deliver a new and better way of doing things to improve healthcare, so we designed this Marlborough facility to do just that – create a new, better way of delivering diagnostic insight that will help make this a healthier world.”

The company, based in New Jersey, is opening the $80 million, LEED-certified facility at 200 Forest St. in a building it will share with GE Healthcare Life Sciences. The new facility will house cutting edge laboratory space for research and development, academic medicine and the processing of lab specimens from locations across New England.

While there is work currently being done in the Marlborough space, the facility, which is situated on the Marlborough Hills mixed-use campus, won’t be fully operational until next year. When the site is fully up and running, it will employ 1,350 people, according to company officials.

Rusckowski said the lab space is innovative in more ways that one. The company announced a partnership Thursday with Siemens and Inpeco to create an automation system for its lab space that will automate and refine the processing of lab specimens.

He said the company has made several recent acquisitions of entities doing advanced work, including Athena Diagnostics in Worcester, acquired in 2011, which he said does some of the company’s most advanced neurological genetic-based testing.

“When it comes to laboratory testing, it is cutting edge,” Rusckowski said of the work that will be done in Marlborough. “Within these walls, Quest will perform the most advanced testing anywhere in the world.”

The company also acquired UMass Memorial’s clinical and anatomic pathology outreach business in 2013, which Rusckowski said has linked academics and industry.

“Through this unique collaboration, we are bringing together some of the regions best minds to figure out better ways of providing quality healthcare at a lower cost,” he said.

Local, state and federal officials on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday said they welcomed Quest Diagnostics to the city.

“This is such an exciting day for the city in Marlborough,” said Mayor Arthur Vigeant, who said the influx of employees will have a ripple effect on the local economy.

“The byproduct of that to businesses in our city – small businesses in our city – is just phenomenal,” he said.”

State Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, said the building Quest is moving into, once home to Digital Equipment Corp. plays an important role in the history of Marlborough’s economy, as well as the history of her own family. Gregoire said her parents met when they worked together in the building and said she was happy to see it filled once again.

This article by Kendall Hatch originally appeared here.