Seven years after Orchid Biosciences was founded at the Sarnoff Corporation, the technology in which Orchid pioneered — microfluidics for drug assays — has proliferated. Nanostream, a four-year-old company from California has opened a sales office at Princeton Corporate Plaza to offer its potential pharmaceutical clients a chance to eyeball their high throughput microfluidic analytical systems product before they try them.

Nanostream has plenty of company. Also at that office center on Deer Park Drive are two other nano-technology companies, Nano-Ditech and Nanonex, and two other microfluidics companies, Pharmaseq and Gyros AB. Doug Boyd, the regional sales manager for Nanostream, used to work at Gyros. Meanwhile, Orchid has survived some downsizings and maintains its offices and laboratory at 4390 Route 1 North.

Based in Pasadena, the 50-person Nanostream was founded by serial entrepreneur Stephen D. O’Connor in 1999. It is the fourth technology company O’Connor has founded in Southern California, and he sold one of them, Clinical Micro Sensors, to Motorola for $300 million. Nanostream has raised $33 million from institutional and private investors that include AEA Investors, Lilly BioVentures, Flagship Ventures (OneLiberty, AGTC, NewcoGen), Shamrock Capital, and Techno Venture Management.

Nanostream has a research tool, a proprietary, modular technology for making products. "Our Veloce System is a high throughput microfluidic analytical system geared for scientists at pharmaceutical companies who would benefit from greater and faster sample analysis capacity," says Boyd. Nanostream’s microfluidic designers select the core tools and then integrate them for particular products that address needs in drug discovery and development. The first product began shipping in June.

The son of educators, Boyd grew up in the Buffalo area and majored in chemistry at Hobart College, Class of 1980. At Hewlett Packard, he had worked with the technology now used at Nanostream, and he has also worked for Agilent Technlogy. But his most recent job was at a company that is now his neighbor, Gyros US Inc., a Sweden-based biotech tool supply company with gyrolab workstations for sample preparation (using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization, MALDI technology) and protein quantification (using a laser-induced fluorescence tool). At Gyros he was responsible for the North American launch of mass spectometry MALDI sample preparation products. Boyd has a one-person office now but will add more employees next year when the Nanostream instruments are installed.

"We chose the New Jersey location because of its close proximity to our target customers in the pharmaceutical industry and New Jersey’s centralized location on the east coast," says Boyd.

Nanostream, 1 Deer Park Drive, Suite H-7, Monmouth Junction 08852. Doug Boyd, regional sales manager. 732-274-0067. Home page: www.nanostream.com

New in Town

Sensing Strategies Inc., 114 Titus Mill Road, Pennington 08534. Richard Preston, president. 609-818-9801; Home page: www.sensingstrategies.com

Sensing Strategies has moved into 114 Titus Mill Road. The company develops defense-related remote sensing projects for the Department of Defense as well as for the commercial sector. The company’s principals, Richard Preston and Robert Crow, have 26 years of experience in electro-optics and the applied sciences, according to the company website.

Preston holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University. He has developed a variety of computer models for radiation propagation, mission planning, data exploitation, and sensor exploitation. He has also developed portable collection systems for field use by GIs, including an infrared missile tracker and several novel collections systems.

Crow earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1994.

Edgestone Consulting, 5 Independence Way, Suite 300, Princeton 08540. Julie Corbo. 609-514-5190; fax, 609-514-5191. Home page: www.edgestone.net

Julie Corbo has opened an office that provides IT staffing and business consulting services to large and mid sized companies. The firm has been certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) through Women Presidents’ Educational Organization.

Corbo’s 18 years of experience in the international banking, healthcare, and information technology industries includes jobs as director of human resources and directory of treasury for companies with annual sales of $50 to 100 million.

Peter J. Dwyer, the COO, has more than 27 years in the IT services industry, both with the federal government and with corporations. He has been chief financial officer, director of mergers and acquisitions, and operations manager for companies with annual sales of $200 million.

Expansions

The JK Group Inc., 104 Morgan Lane, Suite 508, Box 7174, Princeton 08543-7174. Roy Kaplan, president. 609-799-7830; fax, 609-799-8019. Home page: www.easymatch.com

The JK Group made its move from 666 Plainsboro Road to the 42,700 square-foot building it now owns at 104 Morgan Lane, a long-awaited move (U.S. 1, September 25, 2002). With 110 employees the company moved from 16,000 square feet to 32,000 feet of the 42,700 square-foot building. Furnishings were provided by Office Furniture by Barringers, and Winn Thompson is in charge of leasing the remaining 10,000 square feet.

The JK Group does the back office work for corporate philanthropy programs, particularly those that provide matching funds for employee contributions.

Start-Ups

In four years JanMarie Zwiren has moved from one big company to another, from Johnson & Johnson to Nelson Health Group, HealthTech Solutions, and finally to Publicis eHealth Solutions, part of the fourth largest communications company in the world (U.S. 1, August 6).

Now she is off on her own with her own independent company, Better Branding LLC, subleasing space from Richard Woodbridge’s law firm on Nassau Street. Why? She says she didn’t want to be limited to electronic branding for pharmaceutical firms. "Publicis EHealth solutions is still intact, but, based on my previous experience, I wanted to focus on the offline world as well as the online world and the synergy between the two."

It’s not the first time Zwiren has founded her own agency. She did that in 1982 and sold it to N.W. Ayer in 1989. Zwiren and her two sisters (one now a coach, the other a judge) grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where their father had an automobile dealership. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and has an MBA from Wharton.

"I love retail — the driver of all things," she says. Retail, in the pharmaceutical field, is the physician, and her latest work has been in the health arena, but she also has a strong background in consumer products. Her first job was at SmithKline Beecham in the consumer package group, followed by stints in marketing, advertising, and product development at Helene Curtis. In the early 1990s she was executive vice president and managing partner at DDB Worldwide/Chicago. In 1997 she joined Johnson & Johnson and managed $1 billion growth in its consumer and personal care division (U.S. 1, August 6).

Zwiren says she is in contract negotiations with a worldwide leader in public relations that wants to know the next paradigm of growth, "to see the world through new lenses, understand how to communicate, and who to communicate to." She also hopes to work with clients in the Princeton area that are growing exponentially, as well as with big corporations located here.

Every company, says Zwiren, has some kind of customer relationship management, good or bad. Ways to do improve the CRM program might be to contract with a public relations firm to measure the company’s trust factor or find out what people think about your Internet site. Other ways: to work on realigning the website to the desired message, to find out whether the company is communicating properly to relationships it already has, and helping the company to work in the "white spaces" to expand growth.

"At the end of the day you are creating a CRM database — how the impact of the total communications program is affecting customer relations. I can offer ways to capture data to make the relations deeper and stronger."

Better Branding LLC, 112 Nassau Street, Second Floor, Princeton 08540. Jan Zwiren, president. 609-688-8901; fax, 609-688-8889.

Name Changes

On December 1 Geneva Pharmaceuticals changed its name to Sandoz Inc. The purpose of the change was to unite all of the generics operations at the parent company, Novartis.

The headquarters of Sandoz is in Vienna, Austria. Established in Basel, Switzerland in 1886, Sandoz was an international, branded pharmaceutical firm until it merged with Ciba Geigy in 1996 to form Novartis. Sandoz now employs 11,500 people worldwide and had $1.8 billion in sales last year. It develops, manufactures, and markets generic pharmaceuticals as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnological active ingredients.

Princeton area offices of Sandoz are at the Carnegie Center and on Route 130. "We’re delighted to become Sandoz, a name with tremendous history and a solid reputation in the industry," says John Sedor, CEO of Sandoz Inc.

Sandoz Inc. (ADR), 506 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540. John Sedor, CEO. 609-627-8500; fax, 609-627-8682. Www.sandoz.com

Sandoz, 2400 Route 130, Dayton 08810. 732-274-2400; fax, 732-274-8989.

Closing Down

Elan Pharmaceutical (ELAN), 1 Research Way, Princeton Forrestal Center, Princeton 08540-6619. Home page: www.elan.com

As of December 1, Elan Pharmaceutical no longer has any presence in Princeton, confirms a spokesperson. Its 50,000-square foot Research Way laboratory formerly belonged to the Liposome Company, which was founded in Princeton in 1981.

At one point the firm had 310 employees here. In 1996 the major product, Abelcet, had received FDA approval, and in 2000 the company had its first profitable year. After it was sold to Elan, based in Ireland, Abelcet was sold to Enzon for $360 million, and operations were phased out

Deaths

Patricia Chancellor Pell, 68, on December 1. She had been assistant studio director at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. A memorial service will be Saturday, December 13, at 5 p.m., at Trinity Church on Mercer Street.

D. Kay Cusack on December 1. She was a teacher and principal at Katzenbach School for the Deaf.

Patricia I. Yetsko-Belick, 61, on December 1. She was the co-owner of Marquis Limo.

Anthony D. Bondi, 47, on December 1. He was manager of Al’s Airport Inn, in Ewing.

George A. Umrath, 49, on December 4. He was a retired merchandising representative for East Coast Credit Company on Quakerbridge Road.

Benjamin F. Whitmire, 78, on December 5. He had been director of the Trenton City Museum.

George J. Adriance, 81, on December 5. He had worked at Tucker Anthony & R.L. Day on Nassau Street.

Mason C. Blaich, 82, on December 7. He had been a research chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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