While bad news is the bread and butter (circulation and subscription base) of daily newspapers, we weeklies are freed from ambulance chasing by the very nature of our longer publishing clock. We have more time to look at stories, and we find that we tend to get excited about those that are positive. The growth of an entrepreneur’s dream into a solid business is a story we enjoy telling, along with in-depth behind-the-scenes portraits of people who are making a difference in our communities — and beyond.

This week, however, we deviate from our pattern to present a state-of-our-state report that is a bit dark. Michele Alperin, a frequent U.S. 1 contributor went to hear James Hughes address Princeton’s 55 Plus group last week. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, and arguably the most prolific economic trend guru in the state, sees trouble. Trouble now, with a Class A office vacancy rate at 21 percent and the disappearance of thousands of high-paying jobs in technology, telecommunications, and the pharmaceutical industry, and more trouble in the future. He is issuing a wake-up call, and Alperin provides all of the details, starting on page 37.

In a companion story, senior editor Barbara Fox speaks with Rita Gunther McGrath, a Columbia University economist and author, whose most recent book is “Marketbusters.” McGrath keeps a close eye on the Princeton-area economy and is seeing signs of consolidation in a number of key industries.

All is not negative, though. Fox and McGrath together go through the findings in U.S. 1’s annual directory — due to come out next Wednesday, April 19 — and, upon analyzing its exhaustive data, categorized by industry, McGrath says that she is heartened to see that so many small and mid-sized businesses are growing so well.

Meanwhile, as U.S. 1 reported last week, Novo Nordisk, the world’s leading producer of insulin and one of the healthy large pharmaceuticals in the area, is doing well, having just opened a new facility on Route 1. This week the company reports that Levemir, its new long-acting basal insulin analog that doesn’t cause weight gain, is available for diabetes patients in the United States.

An important breakthrough treatment in a disease threatening to become a full-blown epidemic, Levemir is designed for use in once or twice-daily injections for treatment of adults and children with type 1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes.

In addition to being long-acting, Levemir is an advance because it curbs the weight gain and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that are common side effects of insulin therapy and can be barriers to patients obtaining glycemic control.

In every clinical trial of the drug, patients treated with Levemir consistently gained less weight than patients treated with another basal insulin. Novo Nordisk contends that the drug offers patients up to 24 hours of effective blood glucose control. Many current insulin therapies require multiple injections each day to maintain an acceptable level of blood glucose. For the 20 million Americans with diabetes, that is good news indeed.

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