Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 26, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Biotechs in the News: Comings & Goings at the NJEDA Tech Campus
Last fall two big biotech deals were making news. With
one gulp, a Swiss-based firm, GeneProt, devoured 60,000 square feet,
leasing virtually all the newest corporate space at the New Jersey
Economic Development Authority’s technology campus on Route 1 South
in North Brunswick. Simultaneously ValiGen took 77,000 square feet
at the former Lucent campus in Hopewell.
Maybe the stars were in the wrong place. ValiGen’s funders pulled
out just weeks after it moved in and the company closed down. (Instead
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, formerly Coelacanth, is moving to the Lucent
space from Princeton-Hightstown Road.) And now GeneProt has canceled
orders for more than $20 million in equipment and halted work on its
lab fitout. At best it is treading water and postponing its deal with
Though GeneProt’s phones in North Brunswick answer with taped messages,
it did not return calls. Sources say the firm is still paying rent,
has one big contract and is seeking more, and is still a viable company.
But GeneProt’s problems illustrate just how hard it is to attract
and keep biotech companies.
Founded by several graduates of Northwestern University’s Kellogg
School of Business, GeneProt hopes to discover new drugs and biomarkers
based on the proteins found in the body. It plans to profile the proteins
in healthy and diseased fluids or tissues by studying how organisms
develop, how cell types and tissues mature, and how diseases progress
as they vary over time. Among the companies that are trying to commercialize
proteins, GeneProt labels itself unusual because it works on an industrial-sized
scale, and because it intends to deliver potential therapeutic agents
within six months.
In Geneva, Switzerland, GeneProt operates what it calls the "world’s
largest proteomic discovery center," 51 advanced mass spectrometers
that run 20 hours a day, and it had planned to build an identical
facility here. Nevertheless, though GeneProt had initially raised
$122 million, it needed more clients before it could afford to get
its production lines rolling in the United States because its "burn
rate" (expenses) will be very high. "We don’t want to be running
[in New Jersey] without a big customer," CEO Cedric Loiret-Bernal
had said in a February interview with ProteoMonitor, the trade journal
that reported on the equipment cancellations.
Just six months before, Loiret-Bernal was so confident
that he was even talking about building an additional four-story 40,000
square foot office as a corporate headquarters. This was to be in
addition to the 60,000 square feet of lab space at the Technology
Center plus four small incubator modules (totaling 3,200 square feet)
at the adjacent Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies.
This giant lease qualified GeneProt for more than $6 million ($100
per square foot) in construction allowances and more than $3 million
over 10 years under the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP).
More than 150 people were to be employed by GeneProt in North Brunswick.
Now Bertrand Damour, Geneprot’s chief financial officer, and Marc
Funk, its general counsel, are running the firm as a two-person committee.
Other than to say that CEO Loiret-Bernal left the company in late
April, GeneProt has not issued any statement about holding back on
its plans for New Jersey. The trade magazine said it had been contacted
by equipment suppliers, unhappy because the orders for more than $20
million worth equipment had been canceled.
Additional cancellations hit Zymark, a Massachusetts-based firm that
is supplying automation equipment. But Zymark is still delivering
equipment to GeneProt’s facility in Switzerland. "We actually
know one of the founders, Denis Hochstrasser, fairly well and feel
very positive about their future," says Zymark’s Mark Roskeys.
"The deal is not completely gone."
"We have extended the agreement out a year and expect that GeneProt
will be at the Tech Center, just not as soon as originally planned,"
says Glenn Phillips, spokesperson for the EDA.
III, North Brunswick 08902. Keith Rose, chief scientific officer.
732-246-8950; fax, 732-246-8948. Home page: www.geneprot.com
Three incubator tenants — Access Bio, Aeropharm
Technology Inc., and Ortec International — have been added to
the roster at the NJEDA Commercialization Center.
They join such major tenants as Cambrex Corporation, a global supplier
of products and services to the life sciences industry; Celgro Corporation,
a wholly owned subsidiary of Warren-based Celgene Corporation that
does gene engineering for better herbicides; Chubb Computer Services,
the training and consulting division of the Fortune 100 firm; and
Merial Limited, a veterinary pharmaceutical firm that is a joint venture
of Merck and Rhone Merieux.
A lease is pending for one unit and six units are occupied. Potentially
11 800-square-foot units are available.
Access Bio Inc.
Yung Choi hopes to develop new in-vitro diagnostic tests
based on protein chip technology — the new platform of DNA diagnostics.
"This is totally new in the in-vitro diagnostic field, and we
are seeking technology that can give a big benefit for the patient,"
says Choi. "The current technology uses expensive instruments
and requires highly trained persons. We are developing simple tests
using a small instrument and simple procedures that an emergency room
nurse can do. It will give better results with good outcome at less
cost in convenient way."
He founded his five-person company last September and — after
finding the space on the Internet — has moved into one of the
800-square-foot incubator spaces offered by the NJ Economic Development
Authority at the Technology Center in North Brunswick. Choi hopes
to go public on Nasdaq in three years and have $15 million in sales
in four years. Currently he has angel funding but is seeking venture
capital from both the United States and Korea and is also writing
The son of a Presbyterian pastor, Choi studied in Seoul at the Advanced
Institute of Science and Technology, and then worked as a project
manager at Samsung’s R&D center. Moving to the United States, he worked
in New Jersey before establishing his own company in September, 2001.
He and his wife, a web designer, and her mother live in Montgomery
township and have three school age sons.
The diagnostic procedure involves a drop of blood, saliva, urine,
or serum on what looks like a small plastic card, five centimeters
square. It is inserted into a small instrument, which gives the results
in one minute. The equipment costs $3,000. "Test results will
be converted to a digital signal off the chip," says Choi, "enabling
the quantitative test results to be transmitted between the point
of test and medical experts through the use of wireless or on-line
"The big companies keep focusing on the $500,000 instruments and
but we are seeking to carve out a different market," says Choi,
"testing in the physicians’ office and at home, and the Third
World." Currently under development are tests for such infectious
diseases as the hepatitis C virus, complete diabetes tests, and an
alcohol test for drunk drivers.
"Our main effort is developing a product, not just going around
and getting money," he says. But the company does have a CFO,
Abraham Kim, who attends the same East Brunswick church as the Choi
family. The vice president is Jaen Jung.
Early revenue might come from the blood alcohol screening tests and
from fertility (pregnancy and ovulation) tests. Tests that could provide
a higher profit margin might be diagnostics for diabetes, cardiovascular
disease, and neonatal care.
Choi recently returned from Bio2002 (the biotech convention in Toronto)
and compared notes with other companies in other states. "I found
state governments that provide similar programs as the EDA, with property
much cheaper," he says, citing North Carolina incubators that
go for $11 or $12 per square foot, versus New Jersey’s $30. But he
is not thinking of moving. Not because there are more good Korean
restaurants in Edison than in Raleigh, but because "New Jersey
has a better economic environment."
Center of New Jersey, North Brunswick 08902. Yung Choi, CEO. 732-246-7400;
Ortec International Moves from New York
Ortec International, a publicly traded biotech, now
has four 800-foot modules in the Commercialization Center. It had
also announced last February that it would take a total of 56,000
square feet at the center. Under this agreement, the EDA would contribute
more than $4.5 million in building improvements, and the company would
also receive a New Jersey Business Employment Incentive Grant, estimated
to be worth $1.5 million over the period of the 10-year lease. The
move, which would more than double the firm’s space, is supposed to
be finished by 2003.
Founding scientist Mark Eisenberg MD started out in 1971 to find a
treatment for his baby son’s disease, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
Touching the skin of someone with EB causes the skin to peel and blister.
Costa Papastephanou is president, Ron Lipstein is CFO, secretary and
treasurer, and William Schaeffer is COO.
The company was founded in 1991 to commercialize the development of
a two-layered tissue engineering dressing that has human derived dermal
and epidermal skin cells supported within a porous collagen matrix.
The matrix has keratinocytes to promote epidermal growth and fibroblasts
for dermal growth. This active dressing stimulates the repair, replacement,
and regeneration of the human skin — and stimulates wound closure.
It is going through the approval process now and but can be used for
EB patients under a humanitarian exception to the approval process.
To finance these clinical trials, the company raised $2.3 million
last month by issuing debentures and common stock, and it plans to
raise $10 million more in private placement.
Steven Katz, Ortec’s chairman and CEO, said in February that having
the New Jersey facility operational in 2003 "parallels the expected
approval time line of our product for venous and diabetic ulcers and
provides us with sufficient manufacturing capacity for the anticipated
demand from those markets."
York 10032. Steven Katz, chairman, CEO. 212-740-6999; fax, 212-740-2570.
Home page: www.ortecinternational.com
Aeropharm Technology, an Edison-based developer and
manufacturer of inhalation drug delivery systems, is leasing one of
the 800-foot modules in the Commercialization Center for Innovative
Technologies. Founded in 1993, it currently has more than 39,000 square
feet of laboratory and manufacturing space in Edison. It is a subsidiary
of a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical firm in Miami, Kos
Known for being able to solve difficult aerosol problems, Aeropharm
has patented devices that allow for excellent lung penetration of
inhaled drugs. At its Edison site, its unusual Universal Formulation
Tank can handle many different types of drugs and batch sizes, and
can make up to 20 million units annually.
Center of New Jersey, North Brunswick 08902. Frederick A. Sexton,
general manager. 732-236-3940. Home page: www.kospharm.com
Gene chip analysis is in the news right now. Gene chips
(strands of DNA printed onto glass slides) help scientists design
better therapies for curing diseases like cancer. In a recent cover
story on how gene chips can help find a cure for cancer, U.S. News
& World Report quoted a Harvard Medical School professor as saying
gene chip analysis is "the molecular microscope of modern cancer
Richard Morris, CEO of PharmaSeq on Deer Park Drive, says his company
is working with a technology even more exciting. "The next big
area is looking at proteins as well as DNA," says Morris. Gene
chips have the technical limitation of being able to work only with
DNA, whereas PharmaSeq’s technology can work with proteins and other
molecules. "We think we have one of the follow-on technologies
that make research cheaper, faster, and more sensitive. We don’t have
to make the chip. We can put probes for the genes in a solution."
PharmaSeq’s capacity to do individual tests quickly and cheaply makes
it a good candidate for what Morris sees as one of the most important
new developments in medicine, the ability to match a therapy regime
with a genetic profile. It is being called the science of "theranostics."
Based at Princeton Corporate Plaza, PharmaSeq was founded in 1996
by Wlodeck Mandecki, the holder of multiple patents — three have
been announced so far this year — and Morris was hired as CEO
in February. The firm has significant investment from a Japanese conglomerate,
Mitsui & Company, and it recently announced $3 million in funding
from Dionex Corp. (DNEX), a California-based firm that makes chromatography
and extraction systems for chemical analysis.
Morris had been vice president at Dionex but points out that the investment
was not made on basis of personal contact but on the technology: the
world’s smallest microtransponder. Although PharmaSeq’s microtransponder
is square, it is so tiny that it looks like a fleck of black dust
floating around in a solution. With its silicon chip it transmits
a radio frequency signal that identifies molecules.
"Instead of putting a thousand probes on a chip we put one probe
on one microtransponder," Morris explains. Each can take 100 million
copies of the exact same DNA sequence. If gene chips are like bingo
cards, the microtransponders work like the EZ Pass on the turnpike.
"Think of it as taking a chip and breaking it into many little
pieces, each one with a serial number," says Morris. "Instead
of telling what is what by the coordinates on the chip, we have the
serial number of each DNA sequence stored on a microtransponder and
it is transmitted by radio frequency. We know exactly what it is."
"What is unique about our microtransponder," says Morris,
"is that the antenna is self contained on it, whereas most devices
have an external antenna. Ours has a power source. The beauty of our
system is that all the other procedures are the same as any molecular
biology laboratory. We inject them through the flow reader and they
flow through the tube at high speed. The reader reads both the serial
number and the binding event."
A graduate of Cornell, Class of 1970, Morris grew up on Long Island
where his father was a mechanical engineer in the wire and cable industry.
He has a doctor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California.
He and his wife, a native of Melbourne, Australia, who raises and
trains polo ponies, live in Ringoes, and they have two adult children.
He had executive marketing positions at capital equipment companies
(Dionex Corp and Molecular Dynamics in California), at a consumables
firm (Sigma Aldrich, the largest producer and marketer for chemicals
and biochemicals), and software (his most recent job was at CambridgeSoft
Corp. in the Boston area). "All of those pieces came together
for this job," says Morris, "and it was close to my house.
Plaza, Suite F, Monmouth Junction 08852. Richard Morris, CEO, Wlodek
Mandecki, president. 732-355-0100; fax, 732-355-0102. Home page:
Thirteen years ago the idea of curing diseases with
monoclonal antibodies was so new that a company pioneering in this
field, Medarex, hosted a conference to help introduce it to the scientific
community. Then Medarex acquired the rights to a special mouse that
could produce human genes. Now through Medarex and its Danish spin-off,
GenMab, dozens of therapies are being tested to cure everything from
psoriasis to cancer.
GenMab aggressively focuses on creating and developing human antibodies
for the treatment of life threatening and debilitating diseases. Vaccinate
one of GenMab’s mice with a diseased cell, and the mouse can create
antibodies to fight that disease. Let one of those antibodies multiply,
and it will produce quarts and gallons of disease-fighting antibodies
to cure human patients. Monoclonal antibodies bind selectively with
a villain cell without affecting healthy neighboring cells and with
minimal side effects.
"Our technology is proven," says Lisa Drakeman, CEO of GenMab.
"We know we can make human antibodies. There will be lots of exciting
technologies in our lifetime, but making antibodies has become very
important. It has a big future and the market is growing all the time.
Antibodies will continue to have important uses regardless of other
therapies that other people invent."
In the three years since it was founded the firm has signed a total
of 10 partnerships. Just announced: a $20 million equity investment
from Roche to expand its collaboration with GenMab. Roche will
receive access to Genmab’s special mouse and Genmab will get royalty
payments on successful products. The lead product, HuMax CD4, is in
Phase III clinical trials to treat rheumatoid arthritis and was awarded
fast track status by the FDA in February.
Several months ago Drakeman moved her company to the entire 20,000
square foot second floor of 457 North Harrison Street. She has 12
employees here now and is hiring up to four dozen more — project
managers and regulatory affairs experts — to manage clinical trials
in the United States. Though GenMab is based in Copenhagen and has
more than 75 people there, also has 60 people in Utrecht.
GenMab has its roots in Medarex, which was founded by Lisa Drakeman’s
husband, Don, at Dartmouth in 1987. He opened it at 20 Nassau Street
in 1989 and took it public. Medarex bought a genetically perfected
mouse in 1997 and has been piling up licensing contracts ever since.
It has a laboratory in Annandale and its corporate headquarters is
at Princeton Gateway, 707 State Road (U.S. 1 November 17, 1999).
As vice president of business development at Medarex, Lisa Drakeman
helped to set up GenMab and was asked by the investors to stay on
as CEO. Since then she has been leading a trans-oceanic life, spending
an approximately equal amount of time on both sides of the Atlantic.
Explaining the difference between the two companies, she says that
GenMab is a product development company. "Our goal is to develop
a large number of products. We have clinical development and preclinical
development teams that I consider to be the best in the industry.
Of our 155 employees, only 22 are doing general administrative tasks,"
she says. "That’s what makes us stand out."
"Medarex has a different kind of business — they out license
the technology. They are also working on products but we are more
advanced than they are. We have a broader pipeline (products at every
stage of clinical trials) than they do."
Medarex owns one-third of GenMab, and the Drakemans are careful to
avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. "People need to
know that any conflicts of interest are handled by a committee of
the board of Medarex and GenMab," she says. "It is done in
a way in which Don and I don’t get involved. The point is, that there
is a procedure in place."
That doesn’t mean that husband and wife don’t talk shop during the
time they manage to be together. "This is such a demanding field,"
she said in a November, 1999, interview, "that it helps for both
of us to be in it. We understand the pressures on each other, and
this is something we share instead of being divided by it."
Lisa Drakeman grew up in Warren, Pennsylvania, where her father was
a forest ranger and her mother founded a jewelry store. She met her
husband when both were college freshmen — she at Mount Holyoke,
he at Dartmouth, and both earned their PhDs in religious history at
Princeton University in the 1980s. She began working full-time at
Medarex when the second of their two daughters began grade school.
As vice president at Medarex she was appointed by Governor Whitman
as a commissioner of Prosperity New Jersey.
"Our first product is due to be launched in 2004, and we hope
to reach market with the next in 2005," she says. "Three years
from now we hope to be a profitable company."
08540. Lisa Drakeman, CEO. 609-430-2481; fax, 609-430-2482. Www.genmab.com
Sidney Pestka is doing research that has the potential
for treating a wide variety of ills that range from cancer to the
common cold. His focus: interferons, a family of proteins that are
virus fighters. With little public attention until recently, Pestka
has built PBL Biomedical Laboratories, the world’s largest supplier
of interferons for research.
Now housed in 3,500 square feet of incubator space at 100 Jersey Avenue,
the 12-year-old company will be expanding to 20,000 square feet in
Piscataway in August. Sydney Pestka is board chairman and chief scientific
officer. His son, Robert, is president and CEO, and his wife, Joan,
is head of human resources at the 21 employee firm.
Earlier this month Pestka was one of five people to receive the prestigious
National Medal of Technology from President George Bush. Another award,
this one from Fleet Bank for entrepreneurs, garnered a $10,000 check
for Pestka and an additional $10,000 for his choice of charity, Make
a Wish Foundation.
If you think you don’t know what interferons are, think again. They
are the flu-fighting soldiers of your body. When you are attacked
by a virus, and you get a headache, fever, muscle aches, and chills,
interferons are at work and the "symptoms" are interferons’
side effects. Interferons also work just as ferociously to treat hepatitis
B and C, multiple sclerosis, and some cancers, but, in the doses required,
the side effects are quite severe. Still, sometimes using interferons
is the best available treatment option.
"I believe that interferons have the potential to treat cancer
like no other pharmaceutical agent I know," says Pestka. "But
they have been disappointing as anti-cancer agents — not because
they aren’t powerful enough, but because they are too powerful. We
simply need to figure out how to harness their potential.
"How? The only way I know — by challenging conventional wisdom
all the way through the discovery and development process."
Forty-five years after interferons were identified in England, Pestka
has new "ultra" interferons, which he says are "more active
than those that are marketed by companies throughout the world. We
are also looking for interferons with minimum side effects so that
higher doses can be used."
Currently interferons are used to treat metastatic malignant melanoma,
a rapidly spreading skin disease, but dosage is limited by the side
effects. Pestka’s new paradigm for cancer treatment would minimize
side effects by putting interferons in the tumor and keeping them
from spreading elsewhere. "To develop a slow release for any protein
for this use is a very difficult goal," he says.
Income from the sales of interferons is poured back
into his own research. Pestka and a 12-person research team at his
UMDNJ lab have developed a way to attach monoclonal antibodies to
radioisotopes. His Jersey Avenue-based company has a substantial Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer
Institute to work on the proof of principle for this therapy. "Other
methods for using isotypes with antibodies damage the antibody, and
ours does not," he says.
Pestka’s father, who emigrated from Poland, was first a steelworker
and then a tavern owner. Pestka remembers him as "ingenious, he
could do just about everything," and he carries on this trait
of being able to think outside the box. He lived first in Brooklyn
and then in Trenton, where he graduated from Trenton High. A chemistry
major at Princeton University, Class of 1957, he went to the University
of Pennsylvania medical school and then did research at the National
Institutes of Health and the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology.
He was the first to purify many of the human interferon alpha and
interferon beta species in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He took a position at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical School
and was department chair when the university asked him to start a
company. "They wanted to show the state that they could help develop
jobs from intellectual property. I had no intention of starting a
company. I had come here as an academic and wanted to spend time on
research." PBL started in his home and then moved to the incubator
at 100 Jersey Avenue.
Could harnessing interferons really prevent the common cold caused
by rhinoviruses? That amounts to 50 percent of cold sneezes. Yes,
these colds could be prevented by using interferons, but the symptoms
aren’t apparent for 12 to 24 hours, so the patient would have to be
extremely sensitive to the initial signs. "If we had investors
interested in moving in that direction, we could investigate that,"
says Pestka. "But it would not be simple. For now I am focusing
most of my energy on therapies to treat cancer."
— Barbara Figge Fox
Building D, New Brunswick 08901. Robert Pestka, president and CEO.
732-828-8881; fax, 732-828-3736. Home page: www.pblbio.com
As one mass spectrometry company, GeneProt, is pulling
back on its expansion plans (see page 14), another one is being established,
Carta Proteomics at Princeton Corporate Plaza on Deer Park Drive.
Funded in part by venture capitalist Bob Johnston, of Johnston Associates
on Cherry Valley Road, its current platform technology is to use mass
spectrometry to delineate the protein structure. It studies the way
small molecules interact with proteins, which are the main target
in drug discovery.
"Our mission is to be the foremost protein structure company in
the business," says David Houck, vice president, "and we are
also a drug discovery company. We aim to help find new protein targets
and also delineate how proteins act or interact with potential drugs
or other small molecules."
In contrast to GeneProt, which is using — in parallel — many
many spectrometers to look for new proteins and associate them with
a disease, Carta will not do massive parallel spectrometry. Instead,
it will take proteins that have been identified as potentially important,
classify their structure, and determine how they interact with proteins,
DNA, and small molecules — all to search for potential drugs.
A native of Michigan, where his father was an engineer, Houck stayed
in his home state to go to Alma College in Michigan, Class of 1978,
and then earned his PhD from Ohio State. The first startup that he
worked in was Paradigm Genetics, where he was the 20th employee, and
it went up to 200 in a year and half. He was recruited from Massachusetts-based
Phytera to be the first employee here.
"I can’t overemphasize the fact that we cannot be compared to
GeneProt," says Houck. "We don’t provide the same information.
We are a protein structure company. They are a protein identification
and protein/protein interaction identification company. They are target
discovery, we are target characterization."
Monmouth Junction 08852. David Houck, vice president. 732-438-6500;
fax, 732-438-1919. Home page: www.cartaproteomics.com
08540. Robert J. Broeze PhD, president. 609-919-3300; fax, 609-452-7211.
Home page: www.laureatepharma.com
The new name for this contract manufacturing services company, formerly
known as Purdue Biopharma and then Bard Biopharma, is Laureate Pharma
LP. It focuses on biopharmaceutical products and sustained release
formulations. The corporate headquarters and biopharmaceutical products
division is on College Road East, and its extended-release technologies
division is in Totowa.
Bard BioPharma (no relation to C.R. Bard) was established in 1999
by Purdue Pharma to produce its biopharmaceutical clinical trial materials.
Just about that time Purdue Pharma had signed a contract with Cytogen
to produce its materials. But late last year, Purdue Pharma decided
to spin the business off as a contract manufacturing venture, along
with another division at its Totowa site.
"Initially, the company kept the name of Bard BioPharma, but we
wanted a new, unencumbered name …and voila, now we are Laureate
Pharma," says Robert P. Morgan, senior director of facilities
CN 5308, Princeton 08543-5308. H. Joseph Reiser, president and CEO.
609-750-8200; fax, 609-750-8124. Home page: www.cytogen.com
Cytogen and Ontario-based Draximage are working together on a next-generation
form of brachytherapy, BrachySeed Pd-103. It is a therapy for prostate
cancer that involves implanting small radioactive pellets into the
prostate. The North American market for this therapy, the company
estimates, is $220 million to $250 million.
Cytogen markets and develops products for targeted delivery of diagnostic
and therapeutic substances directly to sites of disease. The 21-year-old
firm has 48 employees in Princeton.
East Windsor 08520. William P. Moffitt, president and CEO. 609-443-9300;
fax, 609-443-9310. Home page: www.i-stat.com
Lorin Randall has replaces Roger Mason as the chief financial officer
and treasurer. Randall had been CFO at CFM Technologies, a maker of
semiconductor equipment in Exton, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1984, i-Stat
makes diagnostic blood analysis equipment such as handheld blood analyzers.
It has 150 employees here.
08691. Joseph Mo, chairman, CEO, and president. 609-208-9688; fax,
609-208-1868. Home page: www.nexmed.com
NexMed’s topical cream treatment, FemProx, got a good report in a
four-week at-home study of pre-menopausal women who have been diagnosed
with sexual arousal disorder. Patients who attempted intercourse at
least three times during the four weeks had a 77 percent response
rate and a 50 percent arousal rate. NexMed develops topical creams
for sexual dysfunction for men and women
NexMed has reported heavy losses — $16.2 million on revenues of
$68,089 for 2001 — but has a 32,000-square-foot building going
up on Twin Rivers Drive.
5350, Princeton 08543. Joseph A. Mollica, CEO. 609-452-3600; fax,
John Hanlon is the new CFO at Pharmacopeia, a company that has technology
such as patented chemical screening libraries to accelerate drug discovery.
Hanlon had been president and CFO of Digital Courier Technologies,
a Salt Lake City-based electronic payment services firm.
Princeton 08543. Dale R. Pfost Ph.D, chairman, president and CEO.
609-750-2200; fax, 609-750-6402. Www.orchid.com
Orchid BioSciences offers a new service to those trying to link genes
with a particular disease. Orchid has a genome scan mapping service
to identify specific locations on the genome that are associated with
particular traits. It also announced it will collaborate with Merck
on a retrospective study of 2,000 asthma patients.
The seven-year-old company offers production services and technologies
of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scoring and genetic diversity
Suite 420, New Brunswick 08901. Bruce C. Galton, president and CEO.
732-296-8400; fax, 732-296-9292. Www.senesco.com
Senesco has conditional approval to move its shares from the OTC Bulletin
Board, where they have been trading since January, 1999, to the American
Stock Exchange. The agrobiotechnology firm developing gene technology
to extend the shelf-life of produce by regulating the onset of cell
death (U.S. 1, January 19, 2000). In May it filed a new patent application
related to the possible use of the firm’s technology in cancer. Research
activity is at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
Junction 08852. Claire Strupinsky, manager of corporate administration.
732-438-9434; fax, 732-438-9435. Www.transaveinc.com
A company that develops methods of drug delivery for lung disease
took the Best Early Stage Company prize at the NJTC’s venture fair
in May. "We went to see who we could meet — and then we got
the prize," says Claire Strupinsky.
CEO Frank Pilkiewicz believes that his firm’s inhalation technology
— Sustained release Lipid Inhalation Targeting — will be easier
and less costly to use, as well as offering higher drug levels in
the lung (U.S. 1, April 11, 2001). Founded in 1997, the 13-person
company has 3,000 square feet at Princeton Corporate Plaza.
609-499-7571; fax. 609-499-75761 Deer Park Drive, Suite E-1, Monmouth
Junction 08852. Kenneth Dallas, director development & research. 732-355-9920;
fax, 732-355-9921. Www.oliviascientific.com
Olivia Scientific has its headquarters on Wall Street and a laboratory
at Princeton Corporate Plaza. It offers proprietary technology and
services in agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. Services include
research, custom synthesis, compounds, and accurate microplates processing.
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