For many, building a billion-dollar firm that’s revolutionizing the health care industry — and then selling it for a profit — justify retiring to a tropical island. But not for Dr. Marc Grodman. Even after the pioneering doctor and lifelong entrepreneur led Bio Reference, Inc., a highly successful innovator in cancer diagnostics, women’s health and genomics, for 30 years and grew its revenue to $1 billion, he felt compelled to form another startup. Why? As Grodman puts it, “I left something on the table. Genomics needs to be more accessible to more people. Now at Genosity, we’re building the tools to allow that to happen.”
For Grodman, starting Genosity, the company he began a year ago with president and CTO Robert Daber, is just another chapter of a life filled with innovative achievements. Born in 1951 and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Grodman is the son of active community member and pharmacist Sidney Grodman, who ran Olshin’s Pharmacy, once the busiest pharmacy on the East Coast. Today the corner where Olshin’s still stands is called Sidney Grodman Place.
Like his father, Marc Grodman spent most of his life in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood and has always sought to make the world a better place. During college at the University of Pennsylvania, he took time off to write and review arbitration cases for the Newark Board of Education after a prolonged teachers strike. He also helped create a new medical/ambulance program for his beloved hometown. After graduating from Penn, he attended Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he later returned as an assistant professor of clinical medicine and made attending rounds for over three decades.
Automated genomics lab where action happens
As CEO of Genosity, today Grodman is dedicated to improving the accessibility of genomics: the study of genes, their interrelationships and their combined influence on the growth and development of an organism. By understanding an organism’s entire DNA content, scientists can map and edit genomes to better understand and treat disease. Genosity wants to unlock the power of precision medicine in improving patient care by providing a technology platform to advance genomics and facilitate collaborative research. It has a CLIA-certified lab that offers genomic services for clinical research and consulting services to assist clients — generally pharmaceutical researchers, academic health centers and small diagnostic labs — with the design, development, setup and validation of new tests and the regulatory challenges that can come with them.
Genosity has a great team of individuals with diverse skill sets, many of whom have worked with Grodman or Daber in the past. Raves Grodman, “It’s amazing how much our team has accomplished within the past year.” He continues, “As a startup, in the beginning, you need people who don’t need much hand-holding and can wear multiple hats. We have around 30-40 people currently working with us in either full-time or contractual capacity.”
But with the company in growth mode, new hires are on the horizon. Since Genosity’s business model spans lab testing, software offering and consultation services, it’s hard to find people who understand the company’s specific niche. To address the challenge, Grodman and his team are planning to visit universities in the area to hire fresh graduates and train them on Genosity’s processes.
KBS has been a good landlord and partner for us. They’ve worked with us to transform this space into a modern office building and an automated lab space. We’re very happy they opened a brand new gym in our building and that our employees have access to it. That definitely adds a benefit for our potential new hires.
Fortunately, Genosity can lean on the great reputation of its founders as well as its office building and location to attract top talent. Rather than settling for a typical industrial-feel R&D building, the company selected KBS’s Woodbridge Corporate Plaza in Iselin, New Jersey, for its headquarters. The flexible, steel-framed building with reinforced concrete slab foundations offers customized workspace and excellent curb appeal — a great mix of purpose and aesthetics that lets Genosity provide a highly attractive work environment and impressive destination for clients. Dr. Grodman’s wife, Pam, who had been president of Calvin Klein’s Women’s Wear when they met 35 years ago, envisioned a state-of-the-art, glass-enclosed automated laboratory, designed the space and brought it to life.
As Grodman points out, “Iselin is centrally located in New Jersey, which makes it the perfect location to offer services locally to pharma and biotech companies based in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Being based in Woodbridge Corporate Plaza means we’re on major highway Route 1, five minutes away from Metropark Train Station and 25 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport. The close proximity to transit makes it very easy to travel to and from the office for our employees and business partners.”
Additionally, Grodman appreciates KBS’s help in creating what Genosity needs to do business. He says, “KBS has been a good landlord and partner for us. They’ve worked with us to transform this space into a modern office building and an automated lab space. We’re very happy they opened a brand new gym in our building and that our employees have access to it. That definitely adds a benefit for our potential new hires.”
Stephen Close, senior vice president of KBS and asset manager for the property, shares the enthusiasm. “Genosity was a welcome addition to Woodbridge Corporate Plaza in 2017. Since then, they’ve been a great tenant and recently doubled in size,” says Close. “We look forward to their continued success and a great working relationship with Dr. Grodman and his team.”
Driven by Grodman’s entrepreneurial spirit, Genosity is well on its way to bringing more important innovations in science and medicine. With its mission, people and an amazing balance between office and research/technology space at Woodbridge Corporate Plaza, Genosity continues the Grodman legacy of working to make things better.