Medical test kit maker RPS looks to add jobs

Florida's Rapid Pathogen Screening is looking to increase its payroll from 25 to nearly 200 in the next three years. The growth comes as the company plans to roll out instant analyses for a variety of diseases and even for exposure to nerve agents, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The company hopes to add 164 workers with an average salary of $72,100, including scientists and business managers. And to encourage RPS to stay in the region, Sarasota County commissioners will consider committing a $164,000 local match as part of $820,000 in tax refunds. "The company prefers to expand in Sarasota County but there are other areas that are attractive," said Jeff Seward, Sarasota County's chief financial planning officer. He cited San Jose, CA; Boston and the Research Triangle in North Carolina as such areas.

According to its website, RPS's proprietary technology enables it to develop, manufacture and market rapid, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostic detection tests for infectious diseases and agents, inflammatory conditions, genetic markers and select chemical warfare and bio-terrorism agents. Its RPS Adeno Detector represents the first CLIA-waived, in-office device that allows physicians to determine the underlying source of infectious conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

Back in April, RPS announced a partnership with Korea's Celltrion, which became interested in the company after evaluating the technology platform found in the Adeno Detector. As the Herald Tribune notes, Celltrion is looking to develop drugs to treat seasonal influenza and rheumatoid arthritis. The partnership has been key to RPS's rapid growth.

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