An Albuquerque research institute and a North Carolina-based medical laboratory company have entered into a new partnership that will bring about 100 new jobs to the Duke City.
Mako Medical Laboratories, a Raleigh, N.C.-based company with an estimated 200 employees in the eastern U.S., on Monday announced a plan to expand with a new location at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in southeast Albuquerque. It will create jobs for laboratory technicians, administrative staff, sales and marketing professionals. The pay range will run from about $40,000 to “six figures,” said Joshua Arant, Mako’s chief operating officer and co-founder.
Hiring should begin in about a month.
Mako provides medical testing for doctors and other professionals and specializes in areas like urine toxicology and genetic testing. The Lovelace institute has a 70-year history in Albuquerque with a particular expertise in lung disease research but has actively tried to diversify its revenue stream, Robert Rubin, president and CEO, said during a news conference Monday. He said the partnership adds a “new dimension” to the institute’s growth.
“We are a 50-50 partner with Mako and we will represent the (research and development) division of the company. We will be creating new technology, developing new tests as the technology is necessary to provide and meet the needs of medicine, which changes constantly,” he said, noting that the challenge is finding ways to detect the constant flow of new drugs, especially those on what he called the “informal marketplace.”
Arant said Mako will focus on commercializing what the lab yields.
“We were looking for that right partner, and they fit that mold because they had just a (research and development) facility and we’re more in the clinical diagnostic space. In our industry, the R&D costs the most money, (so) for us it was the perfect fit,” Arant told the Journal in an interview.
Six months in the making, the partnership has already yielded 100 new tests, Arant said.
Mako will receive $150,000 in state Local Economic Development Act funding, which flows through local governments and is generally used to help with land acquisition, building improvements or other bricks-and-mortar work sought by private companies. The state also will help Mako apply for job-training funds.
Arant said the Lovelace partnership provided the primary impetus for expansion into Albuquerque but that the state’s incentives also made it an attractive option.
“Mako is a fabulous company, and this is the first time they’ve moved out to the West. They chose New Mexico to branch out and create 100 high-paying jobs, and it’s because of the environment we’ve created,” Gov. Susana Martinez told reporters Monday.