Targeted Drug Development

Combinatorial Chemistry

Drug Delivery

Corrections or additions?

These listings were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 8,

1999. All rights reserved.

Biotech’s Vibrant Merry Go-Round: Part II

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Targeted Drug Development

Aesgen Inc. 2 Research Way, Princeton 08540;


fax, 609-419-1092. Founded 1995. Paul McGarty, president. Staff size:

7. Square feet: 2,000.

Aesgen identifies, develops, and markets pharmaceutical products


generated by research conducted by the Mayo Clinic (U.S. 1, January

14, 1998).

Allelix Neuroscience (AXB), 7 Cedar Brook Drive,

Cranbury 08152; 609-860-6640; fax, 609-860-7996. Founded 1993. William

O’Connor, vice president finance. Staff size: 25. Square feet:


Allelix works on neuroscience therapeutics, hoping to mitigate pain

caused by disorders of the brain and begin to treat such disorders

as depression and anxiety. With Janssen Pharmaceutica Allelix is also

working on treating schizophrenia and how to reduce neuropathic pain

that occurs when nerves are injured by cancer tumors, viral


or surgery Another area of research: Trying to reduce abnormal


that cause muscle spasms in those suffering from spinal cord injury,

multiple sclerosis, stroke, or cerebral palsy.

Funded by Healthcare Ventures and formerly known as Trophix


this lab is a division of Allelix Biopharmaceuticals in Toronto (U.S.

1, May 12, 1999).

Biomira U.S.A. (BIOM), 1002 Eastpark Boulevard,

Cranbury 08512; 609-655-5300; fax, 609-655-1755. Founded 1988. Mircea

C. Popescu, vice president, R&D. Staff size: 27. Square feet:


Biomira does research and development of protein-based liposomal


for cancer vaccines. For its parent company, it supervises the


of such products as a vaccine for small cell lung cancer. Well-known

scientist Larry Kwak is supervising the Phase I trials at the National

Cancer Institute for its patient-specific therapeutic cancer vaccine.

Biomira is also devising a clinical trial strategy for its liposomal

form of a cytokine, Interleukin 2. Owned by an Alberta-based firm,

it was formerly known as OncoTherapeutics Inc.

Cytogen Corporation: CYTO. 600 College Road East,

CN 5308, Princeton 08543-5308; 609-987-8200; fax, 609-452-2975.


1981. H. Joseph Reiser, CEO. Staff size: 48. Square feet: 31,000.

Cytogen makes and sells two imaging agents, ProstaScint for prostate

cancer patients and OncoScint for colorectal or ovarian cancer.


(licensed to Berlex) relieves cancer bone pain. Public since 1986,

the firm has more than 70,000 shares outstanding.

EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2005 Eastpark


Cranbury, Box 7007, Princeton 08543-7007; 609-409-6080; fax,


Founded 1995. Jonathan W. Nyce, CEO. Staff size: 8. Square feet:


Epigenesis aims to be the leader in molecular therapeutics for


diseases. It does gene discovery, validates candidate targets for

drug discovery programs, and discovers and develops therapeutics for

medically important respiratory diseases. For target validation


uses desAdenosine RASON (respirable antisense oligonucelotides). It

has a proprietary model of human asthma and a library of novel genes

for the respiratory tract and central nervous system (U.S. 1, March

17, 1999).

Interferon Sciences OTC Bulletin Board: IFSC. 783

Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick 08901-3605; 732-249-3250; fax,


Founded 1980. Lawrence M. Gordon, CEO. Staff size: 40. Square feet:


Interferon studies, makes, and sells products based on highly


natural source, multispecies alpha interferon. Approved by the FDA

to treat certain types of genital warts, it is being studied for


treatment of HIV and hepatitis C.

Interferons are glycoproteins that contribute to the body’s natural

defenses against foreign substances. They bind to specified receptors

on cell surfaces. Though discovered in 1957, only in the last 15 years

could alpha interferons — derived from human white blood cells

— be manufactured cost effectively, and now the market for their

products is more than $1.5 billion worldwide. In contrast to more

widely available interferons, this company produces the only


available natural-source, multispecies alpha interferon in the United


It has three platform technologies: informatics, small molecule


chemistry, and high throughput screening. Also, its Molecular


software develops and commercializes molecular modeling simulations

and informatics software services. More than five million individual

small molecules — good for drugs administered by mouth rather

than by injection — have been synthesized.

The encoding technology (Encoded Combinatorial Libraries on Polymeric

Support, or ECLiPS) was invented in the early 1990s at Columbia and

Cold Spring Harbor. With other offices in San Diego, Cambridge, and

Tokyo, the firm has 550 employees. Inteferon Sciences has drug


collaborations with seven companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb,

Berlex, and Pharmacia & Upjohn. The firm went public in 1995 and is

covered by BT Alex. Brown, Cowen & Co., Evern Securities, Janney


Scott, Legg Mason, Lehman Brothers, and Punk Ziegel & Co.

The Liposome Company Inc. Stock symbol: LIPO. 1

Research Way, Princeton Forrestal Center, Princeton 08540-6619.


fax, 609-452-1890. Founded 1981. Charles A. Baker, CEO.

Liposome Company develops liposome- and lipid-based pharmaceuticals

to treat, prevent, and diagnose of inadequately treated,


diseases such as cancer. Lipids are the fatty substances that comprise

the membranes of all living cells, and the lipids themselves are


biologically active.

The firm has the leading lipid-based formulation of amphotericin B

in the United States and one marketed product, Abelcet, to treat


fungal infections. It also has such products in the pipeline as


TLC Ell-12, and bromotaxane for treatment of various cancers, and

is developing vehicles for the delivery of gene therapy.

Medarex Stock symbol: MEDX. 707 State Road,


Gateway, Suite 206, Princeton 08540; 609-430-2880; fax, 609-430-2850.

Founded 1987. Donald L. Drakeman, president.

Medarex develops and makes therapeutic products, especially bispecific

antibodies, Medarex and its partners are using the patented


technology to create fully human antibodies as novel therapies for

life-threatening and debilitating diseases (U.S. 1, November 17).

Medarex has seven of its own products in clinical trials, including

one in Phase III and five in Phase II. Four analysts cover the stock,

those from BT Alex Brown, Cruttenden Roth, Hambrecht & Quist, and

Miller Tabak Hirsch. More than 30 companies make a market in Medarex

stock; about 31.5 million shares are outstanding, and the average

daily trading volume is 125,000.

NexMed Inc. Stock symbol: NEXM. 350 Corporate


Robbinsville 08691; 609-208-9688; fax, 609-208-1868. Founded 1987.

Joseph Mo, CEO. Staff size: 6. Square feet: 6,000.

NexMed develops topical creams for sexual dysfunction for men and

women (U.S. 1, September 15, 1999). Last week it announced that its

Femprox cream, for treating female sexual arousal disorder,


a positive effect on increasing blood flow to the clitoris and labia

in 18 subjects.

Palatin Technologies ( PLTN), 214 Carnegie Center,

Suite 100, Princeton 08540; 609-520-1911; fax, 609-452-0880. Edward

Quilty, CEO. Staff size: 8.

Palatin develops and commercializes products and technologies for

diagnostic imaging, cancer therapy, and ethical development. It uses

proprietary monoclonal antibody radiolabeling and enabling peptide

platform technologies. One of its products, LeuTech, has finished

Phase 3 clinical trials and Palatin and its strategic marketing


(Mallinckrodt in St. Louis) are seeking marketing clearance from the

FDA. LeuTech can be used to confirm a case of appendicitis. Injected

intravenously, its monoclonal antibody binds to white blood cells,

accumulates at the site of the infection, and gives a bright clear

image on a gamma camera. LeuTech is also being used to detect


If Palatin’s recently announced merger with Molecular Biosystems is

approved, the combined firms will keep the Palatin name and stay in

Princeton. It will then have one FDA approved product on the market

(Optison, for ultrasound imaging of the heart wall and cavity) and

products in the pipeline for a liver-selective imaging agent and a

drug for sexual dysfunction.

Small Molecule Therapeutics Inc. 11 Deer Park


Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite 116, Monmouth Junction 08852;


fax, 732-274-0086. Founded 1997. Prabha Fernandes, CEO. Staff size:

34. Square feet: 12,000.

A drug development company (U.S. 1, November 19, 1997).

Top Of Page
Combinatorial Chemistry

Coelacanth Corporation, 279 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, East Windsor 08520; 609-448-8200; fax, 609-448-8299. Founded

1997. Barry Wolitzky, vice president of discovery. Staff size: 50.

Coelacanth (pronounced see-la-kanth), came to the facility built by

PA Technologies last November and is moving from being a combinatorial

chemistry firm to doing drug development (U.S. 1, November 18, 1998).

It researches and develops "combinatorial libraries," or


bases of modular and chemical reactions that can help develop and

market new drugs. With a variety of high performance chemistry


it also does drug discovery in partnership with its clients —

major pharmaceutical companies and biotechs in the United States,

Europe, and Japan.

ComGenex International Inc. 11 Deer Park Drive,

Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite 210, Princeton 08540; 732-438-8001;

fax, 732-438-8004. Founded 1994. Staff size: 3. Square feet: 1,000.

ComGenex does combinatorial chemistry for pharmaceutical and


It produces new organic compounds and small organic molecules, and

it provides laboratory services. The U.S. headquarters is in San


Incara Research Laboratories. Stock symbol: INCR.

8 Cedar Brook Drive, Cedar Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512;

609-655-6900; fax, 609-655-6930. Founded 1992. Barbara Schilberg,

executive vice president. Staff size: 17. Square feet: 33,000.

Just announced: this antibacterial drug discovery lab is going to

be sold for more than $10 million in cash and some future milestone

payments. The buyer, though undisclosed, could very well be Merck.

Last August Merck made a milestone payment of $1.5 million, with


going to Princeton University, and $1 million to Incara, for research

on an antibiotic of last resort — a look alike to the powerful

vancomycin, perhaps able to combat increasingly resistant


or "superbugs." In various models Merck was able to synthesize

the firm’s specified compounds of new antibiotics and to prove that

they don’t damage the host.

Founded by Princeton University’s Daniel Kahne as Transcell


and more recently known as Intercardia Research Laboratories,


in this lab quit working on random combinatorial libraries in favor

of more targeted research on three other anti-infective programs (U.S.

1, August 11).

"We believe the purchaser of the antibacterial division has the

resources and complementary skills to fulfill the programs


says Clayton I. Duncan, president and CEO of Research Triangle-based

Incara Pharmaceuticals Corporation. "We have decided to focus

our resources on our three later stage programs."

Pharmacopeia Inc. (PCOP), 3000 Eastpark


Princeton 08543-5350; 609-452-3600; fax, 609-452-3672. Founded 1993.

Joseph A. Mollica, CEO. Staff size: 200. Square feet: 70,000.

Pharmacopeia offers patented chemical screening libraries for early

drug testing and development. Pharmacopeia is a leader in the field

of drug discovery using small molecule combinatorial chemistry,


and synthesizing large, diverse collections of compounds for



Current drug discovery collaborations are with Akzo Nobel/NV Organon,

Bayer Corporation, Berlex Laboratories, Daiichi Pharmaceutical


Novartis, Schering-Plough, Zeneca, and a research partnership with

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Tyger Scientific Inc. 11 Deer Park Drive, Princeton

Corporate Plaza, Suite 114, Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-329-8999;

fax, 732-329-8988. Founded 1995. Adam Yuan, president. Staff size:

7. Square feet: 2,300.

This firm does custom synthesis and contract research for chemicals

and biochemicals.

Top Of Page
Drug Delivery

DelRx LLC 29 East Railroad Avenue, Jamesburg


Miles A. Libbey III, president. 732-656-0300; fax, 732-656-1344.



DelRx hopes to make life easier for diabetics with a mouth spray for

delivering insulin. Bill Williams, formerly of Rhone Poulenc Rorer,

is working at the University of Texas on this spray that would coat

the mucus membrane on the inside of the patient’s mouth. The firm

needs capital to get through Phase I clinical trials. Founded by Miles

A. Libbey III, Randall McCoy, and Sally and Bill Williams, DelRx is

a sister company to MQS Inc, which helps develop products for major

pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Delsys Pharmaceutical, 5 Vaughn Drive, Princeton

08540; 609-720-0033; fax, 609-520-6692. Founded 1997. Martyn


CEO. Staff size: 51.

Delsys develops automated drug manufacturing and drug delivery systems

through electrostatic dry powder deposition — the same technology

used in xerography and laser printers.

Privately held, it was founded at Sarnoff in 1995. With an initial

$6 million from Healthcare Ventures it spun off to be independent

and moved to College Road and at Princeton Corporate Plaza (U.S. 1,

September 17, 1997). It has collaborations with SmithKline Beacham,

GlaxoWellcome, Warner Lambert, Elan Corporation, and Johnson &


and recently had private placement funding of $14.5 million.

Hy-Gene Inc. 36 South Broad Street, Trenton 08650;

609-291-8683; fax, 609-291-1997. Founded 1987. John J. Wille,


Hy-Gene is a tissue engineering and biomedical products firm working

on skin protection and steroid antiinflammatories. Under a Phase I

small business innovation grant (SBIR) from the federal agriculture

department, Hy-Gene is doing feasibility studies on Derm-Care, a


non-separable oil-in-water emulsion technology for skin and wound

care. It is being examined for use in skin protection, skin


and as part of a drug delivery system for over-the-counter steroid

anti-inflammatories. An autologous cloned skin product, Autoderm,

was developed to treat non-healing wounds and has successfully


a prospective randomized clinical trial.

MicroDose Technologies Inc. 4262 Route 1 North,

Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-329-2401; fax, 732-329-8502. Founded

1995. Anand V. Gumaste, CEO. Staff size: 12. Square feet: 6,000.

Formerly Advanced Medical Systems, MicroDose develops pulmonary, oral,

and transdermal drug delivery systems. On November 30 the privately

held company announced a joint venture with Quadrant Healthcare, a

public drug delivery company based in the United Kingdom, to develop

and exploit the pulmonary delivery of peptides and proteins. MicroDose

has patented "the next generation in inhaler technology,"

the totally electronic dry powder inhaler (DPI) and an electrostatic

deposition system (MEDS) to fill the unit doses for the DPI.

Polytherapeutics 100 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick

08901; 732-448-1515; fax, 908-218-0452. Kishore Shah, president. Staff

size: 10.

Polytherapeutics develops medical devices and drug delivery systems

and vaginal pharmaceutical products. Privately owned, PTI has a


office at 568 Cabot Hill Road in Bridgewater and a research lab on

Jersey Avenue. The R&D mission is to work on high value-added, patent

protected technologies and products in the field of polymer-based

medical devices and controlled release drug delivery systems. Three

U.S. patents and two pending international patent applications protect

its two platform technologies.

One is a drug delivery system for providing drugs over an extended

period of time at mucosal sites of the body, such as the vagina and

the eye. PTI is developing a long-acting microbicidal product for

intravaginal administration for preventing sexually transmitted


such as AIDs.

Therics Inc. 115 Campus Drive, University Square,

Princeton 08540; 609-514-7200; fax, 609-514-7219. Founded 1993. Jim

Wavle, CEO. Staff size: 42.

Therics makes medical products using TheriForm, a fabrication process

with three-dimensional printing. Therics has an exclusive license

for a process patented by MIT for dry powder deposition to develop

it for all medical applications. "The technology is useful to

make dosage forms with unique characteristics and can also be in


engineering," says Jim Kindschi, vice president of strategic


"In contrast to Delsys, which uses electrostatic depositing, we

create three dimensional image on a computer screen and convert that

to a three dimensional construct."

A maker of plastic film (for diaper liners), Tredegar had owned


of Therics and recently bought the rest, so Therics is a wholly-owned

subsidiary of the Richmond, Virginia-based firm.

Veritas Medical Technologies Inc. 116 Village


Princeton 08540; 609-466-8712; fax, 609-520-1702. Founded 1996. James

Pachence, president. Staff size: 5.

Veritas Medical does research and development of pharmaceutical


for sustained drug release.

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