Edited by Scott Morgan

LG Has a Spinoff

LG Electronics, a digital products manufacturer based in Englewood Cliffs, has spun its Iris technology division into its own separate company.

Iris ID Systems Inc., which will be located at the same address as LG in Cranbury, will focus on iris identity authentication and digital recognition technologies. The LG Iris department developed the most widely deployed iris recognition platform in the world.

The new company will be headed by president and CEO Charles Koo, who ran the division, and has assumed all rights to the technologies it will develop. The formation of the separate company, “makes sense given LG’s current business priorities and the state of the identity authentication business today,” said Michael Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America, in a statement last week.

Iris ID will taking over all business activities and all rights from the division. The original LG Iris team will remain intact in the new business entity.

Koo, who holds a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s and master’s in physics and electronic engineering from Sogang University in Korea, is a techno-entrepreneur who has started several companies here and in Asia. He co-founded Nanodisplay Inc., an HDTV company that was acquired by CSan Jose-based Skyscan Imaging, and founded Halfdome Systems, a pre-IPO company that developed software and hardware, prior to that.

Koo said that the spinoff makes sense because the Iris division was an integral part of LG Electronics but was in danger of getting lost inside the bigger company. The new company will be a collaborator with LG.

Iris ID Systems, 7 Clarke Drive, Cranbury 08512; 609-819-4747; fax, 609-819-4736. Charles Koo, CEO. www.irisid.com.

LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc., 7 Clarke Drive, Cranbury 08512; 609-819-4747; fax, 609-819-4736. David Johnston, vice president, marketing. www.lgiris.com.

Strategic Alliance

Covance Inc. (CVD), 206 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6681; 609-452-8550; fax, 609-452-9375. Joe Herring, CEO. Home page: www.covance.com.

The pharmaceutical developer will open a series of new locations in Asia to accommodate growing demand for clinical development services clinical development there.

The company announced on December 11 that it will open clinical development offices in Seoul, Mumbai, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

New in Town

Princeton Self Storage, 35 Airpark Road, Princeton 08540; 609-279-2199. Carrie DeNito, property manager. Home page: www.princetonselfstorage.com.

Princeton Self Storage, a 500-unit facility, has opened next to Princeton Airport.

Money Matters

Ophthotech, 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 106, Princeton 08540; 609-945-6050; fax, 609-452-7435. Valerie Conner, executive assistant. Home page: www.ophthotech.com.

The developer of drugs for both wet and dry age-related macular degeneration announced on December 16 that it has closed a $30 million Series B financing round, bringing its total funding to $100 million.

The financing round was led by Clarus Ventures, which will be represented on Ophthotech’s board of directors by Clarus’ managing director, Nicholas Galakatos. Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund a Phase 2 trial.

Other investors include SV Life Sciences, Novo A/S, and HBM BioVentures.

Investment Made

Edison Venture Fund, 1009 Lenox Drive, Building 4, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-896-1900; fax, 609-896-0066. John H. Martinson, managing partner. Home page: www.edisonventure.com.

Edison Venture Fund announced a $6.4 million investment in ClearPoint Learning Systems of Hoboken, to expand sales, marketing, development, and staffing. Edison also purchased stock from the founders.

ClearPoint develops web-based learning solutions for the healthcare and life sciences sectors.

Grant Awarded

Princeton Power Systems Inc., 201 Washington Road, Building 2, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-258-5994; fax, 609-258-7329. Marshall Cohen, CEO. Home page: www.princetonpower.com.

Princeton Power Systems, a manufacturer of advanced power conversion technologies, was one of two companies last week to receive money from the state Board of Public Utilities’ new Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund.

Princeton Power will receive $3.3 million to advance its second-generation grid-tied inverter. According to the BPU, Princeton Power was chosen in part because the company expects to create 91 new jobs in the next two years.

Contracts Awarded

Voxware Inc. (VOXW), 300 American Metro Boulevard, Suite 155, Hamilton 08619; 609-514-4100; fax, 609-514-4101. Scott Yetter, president. www.voxware.com.

The supplier of software for voice-driven warehousing has received a five-year contract from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service for its Voxware 3 voice software.The software operates on Intermec CN3 voice-enabled wearable computers.

The contract was not for a specific amount. According to marketing vice president Stephen Gerard, AAFES is buying the solution one site at a time.

Leasing Out

NexMed (USA) Inc. (NEXM), 89 Twin Rivers Drive, East Windsor 08520; 609-371-8123; fax, 609-426-9116. Bassam Demaj, CEO. Home page: www.nexmed.com.

Less than a month after its acquisition of a San Diego-based contract research organization, NexMed announced that it will lease its East Windsor facility and move its headquarters from here to California by February.

NexMed, a developer of transdermal and topical drugs, announced on November 23 that it would acquire Bio-Quant for $21.1 million by year’s end.

The deal closed two weeks later and was immediately followed by the news that the company was leaving New Jersey.

The lease agreement, which commences on February 1, contains an option to buy the property later.

Leaving Town

Aerotek, 101 Grovers Mill Road, Lawrenceville. Home page: www.aerotek.com.

Baltimore-based employment agency Aerotek has moved its Princeton office to Piscataway.

The office here opened in 2005 and was a prolific pipeline for temporary employment for Bristol-Myers Squibb, recruiting 40-50 candidates a month then.

The agency continued supplying to B-MS through last year, but as the job market has shriveled, so had Aerotek’s placements here.

The Princeton office can now be reached through Aerotek’s Piscataway location at 371 Hoes Lane, 732-447-1633.

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