It’s unusual for a pharmaceutical company to release a press statement applauding the approval of a competing drug, but that’s just what Palatin Technologies did on August 18 when the FDA approved North Carolina-based Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ female sexual dysfunction pill, Flibanserin.

“The approval of flibanserin (under development by Sprout Pharmaceuticals) today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration marks a long-awaited milestone in healthcare for women. The FDA’s approval of flibanserin validates that there is an important need for women living with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD, to have an approved treatment option. Palatin applauds the FDA’s positive determination, which supports FDA’s previous statements that HSDD is an unmet medical need requiring a safe treatment option for women with HSDD,” the company said in a statement.

Palatin, based on Cedarbrook Drive in Cranbury, is running a large phase 3 clinical trial of Bremelanotide, an injectable treatment for female sexual dysfunction taken on an as-needed basis (U.S. 1, July 15). The two drugs treat the same disorder, and both have different advantages and downsides. Flibanserin must be taken daily to maintain effectiveness and comes with a long list of warnings, including possible interactions with alcohol, other drugs that affect the brain, and rare cases of low blood pressure.

Both drugs differ significantly from Viagra. Both Flibanserin, marketed as Addyi, and Bremelanotide work by directly affecting the brain, unlike Viagra, which affects erectile blood vessels.

Following the FDA approval, Sprout was bought by Canadian drugmaker Valeant for $1 billion. Valeant has a U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, which is doubling in size to 620,000 square feet.

As of press time, Palatin’s stock was trading at 91 cents, down from $1 in late July.

Palatin Technologies Inc. (PTN), 4B Cedar Brook Drive, Cedar Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512; 609-495-2200; fax, 609-495-2201. Carl Spana, president & CEO.

Pols Charged Up

For Electric Cars

Legislation sponsored by senators Shirley Turner and Linda Greenstein that would require the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at no fewer than four rest areas on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway was approved last week by the full Senate.

“For too long New Jersey has lagged behind in the transition to make alternative fuels more accessible, making us more reliant on unclean energy,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “This is why it is imperative that we continue to establish innovative and creative strategies that will ensure a clean and healthy environment for our residents. Providing easy access to alternative fuels for electric vehicles is the first step in the process. This measure does just that by creating needed alternative fuel infrastructure on highways and freeways.”

The measure, S-2782, would require the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to spread out the stations between the northern, central and southern regions of the state. The bill would also require the South Jersey Transportation Authority to install electric vehicle charging stations at two rest areas on the Atlantic City Expressway.

“Alternative fuel vehicles are the new forms of transportation for residents looking to save energy and money,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Yet, for those looking to make the switch, they might find it difficult to do so because of the limited refueling stations on the road. This bill would help to solve this issue by requiring the Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority to install recharging stations on freeways and highways. Ultimately, with these stations in place, we can help improve our state’s roads and highways and jumpstart our alternative fuel industry.”

The bill was approved with a vote of 25-3.

Israeli Biopharm May Move to Route 1

The Israeli biopharmaceutical company Macrocure is considering moving its headquarters to the Technology Center of North Brunswick on Route 1 in order to reap $3.2 million in tax credits from the Economic Development Authority.

The company currently has 24 employees and would double in size if it moved to the center, officials at the EDA said.

Ferrara Co. Will Stay

Art Ferrara, founder and CEO of the Ferrara Company, said his ad agency will stay at its College Road East location despite being bought by the larger Atlanta-based firm PureRed earlier in August.

Ferrara said he will remain in charge of the office, which, with its 80 employees, will continue to be called the Ferrara Company. PureRed has about 350 employees.

“We went through a process, probably over several years, to identify growth strategies for the Ferrara Company that would allow us to expand our breadth and depth of service and expand client propositions,” Ferrara said. While Ferrara says he considered buying another company, he ultimately decided to be purchased instead. Palazzo Investment Bankers advised Ferrara on the deal.

Ferrara said the merger was a good fit since Ferrara focuses on consumer goods clients — including Church & Dwight — while PureRed focuses on retail channels.

“As the market shifts, we’re looking to develop expertise in omni-channel marketing,” Ferrara said. “We’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead around this new partnership.”

Ferrara & Company, 301-C College Road East, Princeton 08540; 609-924-4932; fax, 609-924-0702. Art Ferrara, owner.

Route 1 Companies On Inc.’ 5000 List

Inc. Magazine has released its list of top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., based on reported percentage growth in revenue between 2011 and 2014. To qualify, companies have to be privately held, for-profit, and independent, not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies. The companies must have already been in business by 2011 generating at least $100,000.

The Inc. 5000 is an expansion of the Inc. 500, which the magazine has ranked since 1982. The magazine also ranks fastest-growing companies by industry, metro area, revenue, and number of employees.

There were 17 Route 1 Corridor companies on the list, led by beverage maker Bai Brands, which was number 127 overall, followed in a distant second by IT consulting company Technomax at 819.

Number 127: Bai Brands, 1800 East State Street, Hamilton 08609; 609-586-0500; fax, 609-586-0900. Ben Weiss, CEO.

Bai Brands makes “antioxidant infusion” fruit juice drinks using coffeefruit. Ben Weiss founded the company in his basement in 2009 and it has since grown to nationwide distribution. The company had $47.9 million in revenues in 2014.

819: Technomax, 196 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Building 1A, Suite 12, West Windsor 08550; 609-456-0186; Sai Varanasi, CEO.

TechnoMax, an IT consulting company, founded in 2006, opened an office on Princeton-Hightstown Road in 2014. It has revenues of $6.3 million and 74 employees.

869: First Soft Solutions, 100 Overlook Center, Second Floor, Princeton 08540; 855-688-4377; fax, 866-569-6621.

First Soft Solutions, an IT consulting company headquartered in East Brunswick, had revenues of $3.4 million. It is headquartered on Tower Center Boulevard in East Brunswick, and has an office in Chennai, India.

1749: Internet Creations, 2000 Waterview Drive, Suite 100, Hamilton 08691; 609-570-7200; fax, 609-570-7207. Jade Lee, controller.

Web consulting company Internet Creations, a 25-person firm that helps businesses use Salesforce services, had revenues of $3.4 million. It moved from its old Horizon Center headquarters to the Genesis Biotechnology campus in Hamilton in 2013 to expand its staff. Founded in 1996, the company has 23 employees.

2199: Kinetix Trading Solutions, 500 College Road East, Suite 101B, Princeton 08540; 609-951-9800; fax, 609-228-1286. Amit Karande, owner.

Kinetix Trading, a company that creates custom trading software, had $9.3 million in revenue. The 45-person company, founded in 2010, moved from 1 Independence Way to new suites at 500 College Road East in 2014, more than doubling its office space. It has added 22 jobs in the past three years.

2327: The Avoca Group, 179 Nassau Street, Suite 3A, Princeton 08542; 609-252-9020; fax, 609-252-9022. Patricia Leuchten, founder and principal.

The research and consulting firm, founded in 1999, had revenues of $3.7 million and 10 employees. The company specializes in providing services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

“Avoca has been a catalyst for industry collaboration, and we are making a difference through our work,” said Avoca CEO Patricia Leuchten.

2592: Lorven Technologies Inc., 101 Morgan Lane, Suite 209, Plainsboro 08536; 609-918-9607; fax, 609-918-9608. Bala Shan, CEO.

Lorven Technologies, an IT consulting firm founded in 2001, has 24 employees and revenues of $7.3 million. It moved its headquarters from Princeton-Hightstown Road in 2008. It also has an offshore development center in Chennai, India.

2670: Billtrust, 100 American Metro Boulevard, Suite 150, Hamilton 08619; 609-235-1010; fax, 609-235-1011. Flint Lane, president.

Billtrust, founded in 2001, is a provider of billing services. The company posted $77.5 million in revenue, and in April secured a $25 million funding round from Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital Ventures, and others.

“Billtrust’s continued success at achieving nationally ranked year-over-year revenue gains has been driven by our top-of-the-line team and our innovative solutions which continue to ease pressure on back-offices and make payment cycle management painless for all companies,” said Flint Lane, CEO. “We’re proud to be named to this prestigious list for the ninth time in a row and to be recognized alongside so many impressive companies across the U.S.”

3172: Atyeti, 125 Village Boulevard, Suite 290, Princeton 08540; 732-850-6968; Shashi Ramesh.

Atyeti, an IT consulting company founded in 2007, had 18 employees and $7.7 million in revenues. It added 13 jobs over the last three years. The company moved from Nassau Street to a larger Village Boulevard office in 2014. Atyeti has offices in India, Colombia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

3240: Advisors Mortgage Group, 1300 Kuser Road, Hamilton 08619; 609-838-1752;

Advisors Mortgage Group, founded in 1999, is headquartered in Ocean, with offices in 14 states. The company had revenues of $20.3 million and 232 employees.

3323: Compunnel Software Group, 103 Morgan Lane, Suite 102, Plainsboro 08536; 609-606-9010; fax, 609-750-0981,

Compunnel Software Group, an IT consulting company, had revenues of $89.4 million. The company, founded in 1994 by CEO Andy Gaur, offers application development, cloud computing services, staffing, quality assurance, e-learning, and other services.

3360: Maser Consulting PA, 1000 Waterview Drive, Suite 201, Hamilton 08691; 609-587-8200; fax, 609-587-8260. Julia Algeo, branch manager.

Maser Consulting, headquartered in Red Bank, has an office in American Metro Center. The engineering firm had revenues of $74 million.

3405: New Day Underwriting Managers, 2465 Kuser Road, Suite 202, Hamilton 08690; 609-298-3516; fax, 609-298-6254. Jeffrey S. Lejfer, CEO.

New Day Underwriting Managers, an insurance firm that specializes in construction, was founded in 2005 and has 19 employees. New Day had revenue of $10 million in 2014.

3456: Optima Global Solutions Inc., 3131 Princeton Pike, Building 3, Suite 207, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-586-8811; fax, 609-586-8825. Mahesh Yadav, CEO.

Optima Global System Solutions, which moved from Quakerbridge Road in 2013, had revenues of $7.3 million. The company, founded in 2001, has increased revenue despite shedding nine jobs over the last three years, and now employs 17.

3743: Orion Systems Integrators Inc., 3759 Route 1 South, Suite 102, Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-422-9922; fax, 732-422-6445. Sunil Mehta, CEO.

Orion Systems Integrators, which was founded in 1994 and opened its Route 1 headquarters in 2006, is an IT consulting company with revenues of $81.9 million. It has offices in the U.S., India, Canada, Germany, and Chile.

3746: Hanu Software, 5 Independence Way, Suite 300, Princeton 08540; 800-520-1816; Anil Singh, president.

Hanu Software, founded in 2002 by Anil Singh, has 200 employees and $3.7 million in revenue. Hanu has a development office in India as well as sales offices in Boston, Seattle, and California.

4815: ndVOR Solutions, 168 Franklin Corner Road, Building 2, Suite 230, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-896-0907; fax, 609-482-4942. Jaikishen Koranchath, president.

ndVOR Solutions, an IT consulting company, was founded in 2009 and has revenues of $3 million. It has 50 employees between its offices on Franklin Corner Road and Bangalore, India.

Management Moves

Creative Marketing Alliance Inc. (CMA), 191 Clarksville Road, Box 727, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-297-2235; fax, 609-799-7032. Jeffrey E. Barnhart, president and CEO.

Greta Cuyler, former editor of Princeton Patch, a local news website by AOL, has joined Creative Marketing Alliance as a public relations account executive.

Cuyler was previously a reporter at daily newspapers, including the Reading Eagle and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Before she began her newsroom experience, she spent 10 years working for several banks, including BankBoston and FleetBoston Financial. She earned her MBA from the Simmons School of Management in Boston.

Advaxis Inc. (ADXS), 305 College Road East, Princeton, 08540; 609-452-9813; fax, 609-452-9818. Daniel J. O’Connor, CEO.

Advaxis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, has appointed Tom Ridge to its board of directors. Ridge was the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and was governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 through 2001.

“Tom’s extensive experience and leadership in both the private and public sector, plus his background in strategic business development and executive guidance, will be an invaluable asset to the Board as we continue to grow and expand development of our Lm Technology cancer immunotherapy platform,” said Daniel J. O’Connor, CEO of Advaxis.

Ridge is currently CEO of security consulting firm Ridge Global. He has a degree from Harvard and a law degree from Penn State.

New in Town

Freyr Global Regulatory Solutions and Services, 150 College Road West, Suite 102, Princeton 08540; 908-483-7958; Srinivas Ranabothu, executive VP.

Freyr Global Regulatory Solutions and Services has opened an operations center on College Road West. The company provides regulatory compliance consulting services to pharmaceutical firms, and has its headquarters in Carnegie Center, with offices in India and Great Britain as well.

Crosstown Moves

JEI Learning Center, 33 Prince­ton-Hightstown Road, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-897-1072; fax, 609-897-1073. Christine Kim, assistant director.

JEI Learning Center, a provider of after-school enrichment programs, has moved from 55 to 33 Princeton-Hightstown Road, the Ellsworth Center.

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