WINSTON-SALEM – A company from California and Tengion, a Winston-Salem firm, are the first tenants in a new “wet lab” at the Piedmont Triad Research Park.

The Wet Lab LaunchPad was officially opened by the PTRP on Monday.

Wet labs are facilities where chemicals, drugs and biological matter are tested. The labs require special water, ventilation and other services and infrastructure.

Carolina Liquid Technologies, which maintains its headquarters in California, will use the PTRP facility for diagnostic testing of chemistry analyzers. The first tests will focus on a new assay used in assessment of syphilis tests utilizing automated chemistry analyzers.

Tengion is focused on regenerative medicine and the development of replacement organs and tissues that are created from a patient’s own cells. Its Neo-Bladder is in Phase II clinical trials.

More than 30 private and public partners were involved in the building of the wet lab. The project also is supported by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

"The Wet Lab Launchpad will provide early stage start-ups needed space at affordable rates,” said Doug Edgeton, president of PTRP. “This will allow those companies to participate in the many benefits of being in an urban setting and in a defined development such as the PTRP. We are excited about the opportunity this setting represents for those companies and our greater community."

Wake Forest University Health Sciences and the City of Winston-Salem have provided funding support for the project. More than 20 other firms have provided funds or services.