Pharma Companies Find Capital

Pharmasset Inc., 303-A College Road, Princeton 08540; 609-613-4100; fax, 609-613-4150. P. Schaefer Price, CEO. Home page: www.pharmasset.com.

Pharmasset, which develops oral therapies for infectious diseases, will offer $30 million in common stock to the public, with an option to buy an addition $4 million within 30 days.

The company plans to use the money to fund clinical trials, in-licensing agreements, intellectual property, and general business purposes. The deal is pending SEC approval. A date has not been set for the offering.

Advaxis (ADXS), 675 Route 1 South, North Brunswick 08902; 732-545-1590; fax, 732-545-1591. Tom Moore, CEO. www.advaxis.com.

Advaxis, an R&D firm specializing in cancer vaccines, has raised $279,000 from the sale of its 2008 net operating tax losses research tax credits through the state Economic Development Authority. Since they generate no income, research companies are allowed to sell a portion of their losses to companies with high profits so that the latter may offset its tax burdens.

Cornerstone Pharmaceutical, 1 Duncan Drive, Cranbury 08512; 609-409-7050; fax, 609-409-6035. Bob Rodriguez, president & COO. Home page: www.cornerstonepharma.com.

Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, which develops cancer drugs and therapies, has raised nearly $6.2 million in private equity financing to advance ongoing trials for CP-613, its main drug for treating pancreatic cancer.

The company announced a phase I/II clinical trial of CPI-613 in June. According to the company, it is the first drug in a new chemical class that targets metabolic changes that may be common to many cancer types.

State Appointment

WCD Group, 7 Tree Farm Road, Suite 206, Pennington 08534; 609-730-0007; fax, 609-730-0011. Chip D’Angelo, president and CEO. www.wcdconsultants.com.

Anthony Slimowicz, managing director of WCD Capital Partners, part of the WCD Group, has been appointed to Governor Chris Christie’s Department of Environmental Protection transition team. WCD is an environmental construction management company.

According to the state, the team will review New Jersey’s environmental policies and recommend greener practices in conjunction with responsible growth.

Slimowicz is an environmental attorney and a co-founder of WCD Capital Partners, which concentrates on contaminated property redevelopment. He earned his J.D. from Quinnipiac and his bachelor’s from Seton Hall.

WCD Group is the parent organization to three companies operating in the environmental consulting, remediation and construction management, and property development areas.

Legal Matters (NEW)

Congoleum Corporation (CGM), 3500 Quakerbridge Road, Box 3127, Mercerville 08619; 609-584-3000; fax, 609-584-3685. Roger Marcus, president, CEO. www.congoleum.com.

After several years of court battles related to more than 100,000 asbestos-related personal injury claims, flooring manufacturer Congoleum has reached a $100 million settlement with nine insurance companies.

Under the terms of the agreements, the unnamed insurance companies and guaranty associations in New Jersey will pay $100 million to settle certain policies issued to Congoleum, subject to court approval and other conditions.

The issue goes back many years and has many facets. According to a statement by Troutman Sanders, a law firm that represents one of the insurance companies in this case, Congoleum reached a settlement with asbestos claimants in 2002 that was reportedly worth more than $500 million. Subsequently, and in an effort to protect its assets, Congoleum filed for bankruptcy in 2003. The company’s aim was to reach a new settlement with the asbestos claimants through a Chapter 11 plan that would “establish a trust fund to pay asbestos claims according to pre-set criteria. Congoleum was seeking to compel its insurers to fund the trust,” according to Troutman Sanders.

One year ago a federal bankruptcy judge in New Jersey threw out Congoleum’s claims, leading to the January 29 announcement of the settlement with the insurers and guarantors.

Congoleum CEO Roger Marcus said in a statement, “I am thrilled to have finally resolved our disputes with the principal insurance companies that have been opposing our reorganization efforts. Their opposition has been far and away the greatest obstacle in getting a plan confirmed.” Marcus said he expects the settlement to help Congoleum to emerge from bankruptcy in the second quarter of 2010.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), One Johnson & Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick 08903; 732-524-0400; fax, 732-214-0332. William C. Weldon, chairman & CEO. Home page: www.jnj.com.

Boston Scientific, maker of less-invasive medical devices, will pay pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson $1.725 billion to settle two suits related to patents for stents. According to Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific paid the company’s Cordis unit $1 billion on February 1, and will pay $725 million next January.

Other litigation between the companies remains, including the Cordis lawsuits against Boston Scientific’s Promus stent products. Stents are mesh-wire tubes used to hold arteries open after they are surgically cleared of blockages.

Contracts Awarded

Applied Photovoltaics LLC, 1589 Reed Road, Box 60, Pennington 08534; 609-818-0880. Jeff Szczepanski, principal. www.appliedpv.com.

Applied Photovoltaics, a solar module manufacturer in Pennington, has been awarded more than $1 million in tax credits by the White House under the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits program.

The modules manufactured by Applied Photovoltaics are used in building integrated photovoltaics, used to replace traditional building materials, such as windows and roofing.

Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard, Ewing 08618; 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Steven Abramson, president. www.universaldisplay.com.

A Pittsburgh-based technology company has contracted Universal Display of Ewing to help it develop broader uses for organic and standard light-emitting diodes (OLED) through a federal stimulus grant.

PPG Industries is slated to receive $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a low-cost glass substrate that can be used for OLED lighting devices. Universal Display will build and test OLED devices using the PPG substrate. PPG’s project is estimated to total $2.1 million.

Management Moves

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, 700 Alexander Park, Suite 300, Princeton 08540-6635; 609-987-6800; fax, 609-520-0360. Ivan J. Punchatz Esq., managing shareholder. www.buchananingersoll.com.

Joseph Carita, an attorney in the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has been elected chairman of the board of the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce.

New In Town

Ameriprise Financial, 1200 Lenox Drive, Suite 201, Lawrenceville 08648-2329; 609-512-3902; fax, 609-895-1246. Michael Siciliano, branch manager. www.ameripriseadvisors.com.

Ameriprise Financial’s Yardley branch has moved to Lawrenceville. The office is managed by Michael Siciliano, a 1994 graduate of La Salle and previously a financial advisor with H&R Block.

Name Changes

Quality Insights Renal Network Three, 109 South Main Street, Suite 21, Cranbury 08512; 609-490-0310; fax, 609-490-0835. Chris Brown, executive director. Home page: www.qirn3.org.

The Trans-Atlantic Renal Council, which performed data and quality assurance work for kidney transfers, is now part of Quality Insights Renal Network 3.

The new name stems from a merger in June, when TARC became part of the West Virginia Medical Institute. The merge coincided with the retirement of TARC executive director Joan Solanchick. QIRN3 will be headed by executive director Chris Brown, a software systems engineer who joined TARC in 2004.

Crosstown Moves

Maptext Inc., 1100 Cornwall Road, Suite 113, Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-940-7100; fax, 732-940-7101. Jaruslaw Malecki, president. www.maptext.com.

Maptext, which develops software for cartographic labeling, has moved its offices from Plainsboro Road to Monmouth Junction.

Indik and McNamara PC, 1100 Cornwall Road, Suite 203, Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-355-0500; fax, 732-355-1010. Martin K. Indik, vice president. www.prettygoodlawyers.com.

Indik & McNamara, a civil law firm, has moved from Jefferson Plaza to Princeton Corporate Park.

The firm, which specializes in commercial litigation, is headed by Martin Indik, who earned his bachelor’s and J.D. from Rutgers in 1980 and 1983. This is the same educational background as his partner, Thomas McNamara.

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