MASON, Ohio - When Gabrielle Moore began looking for a new job last year, she heard that AssureRx was hiring in Mason. As she explored the possibilities of moving to the startup firm, she became very excited about her future.
“When it becomes a household name, I want to be part of it,” she said Wednesday. “I want to be able to say I was there in the beginning.”
Moore has been on the job four months in customer service and sales support and said she loves her work.
“Some of the feedback we get from customers – it makes me go home and feel proud of the job I’ve done,” she added.
AssureRx is in a growth mode. It just moved in to new offices and laboratories at the Mason Community Center with the help of loans and grants from Jobs Ohio.
Chief Operating Officer Donald Wright said the company has the “help wanted” sign out right now.
“At the end of 2010 we had eight employees and we have 55 now,” he said. “We originally projected to have about 100 employees by the end of 2014, but we think we’ll have that many by the end of the year.”
Wright said AssureRx is a personalized medicine company that uses DNA testing to help doctors in behavioral sciences find the right medication for a patient.
Drugs such as Prozac, Lexapro and Luvox are used to treat severe depression and people who are bi-polar or schizophrenic.
“Seventy percent of people who start on the drugs fail,” Wright said. “We, with a simple cheek swab, will help the physician decide which medication will work best.”
The technology behind AssureRx was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Mayor Clinic. Its success can be shown in the 800 percent growth in the number of lab tests performed in the past year.
That’s the kind of firm that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is trying to promote to help grow the state’s economy.
It is high-tech, has good-paying jobs and can help keep young people in Southwestern Ohio working and living in the region.
Growth at firms like AssureRx helped Ohio add 45,000 new jobs in 2011, according to the governor.
He told the JobsOhio Board of Directors meeting at the National Underground Freedom Center Wednesday that will allow a change in economic development strategy.
The $8 billion deficit has been eliminated, the business climate has improved and while the new jobs can’t yet be compared to the 400,000 lost the previous four years, Kasich said it’s a start.
“We are now entering the phase where I feel we can really begin to get on offense,” he said. “We can move off repair and move into reaching out and finding new and exciting opportunities.”
Gov. Kasich walked into the meeting having just learned that MarkWest will invest $500,000 in the state for processing and fractionation of shale to find natural gas in Eastern Ohio.
“It won’t be a ton of jobs,” he said. “They’re going to be high-paying jobs that will require a lot of education. It’s an advanced business.”
Kasich added, “As I’ve been saying, if we’re not careful in Ohio, we could wind up in the 21st Century."
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