Senesco Technologies Inc. (SNT), 303 George Street, Suite 420, New Brunswick 08901; 732-296-8400; fax, 732-296-9292. Leslie Browne, president and CEO. www.senesco.com
Senesco, a New Brunswick-based biotech firm that develops gene technology to extend the shelf-life of produce, has named Leslie Browne its new president and CEO. Browne, the former head of Pharmacopeia, succeeds Jack van Hulst, who took over as interim president and CEO last year.
Van Hulst will remain on the company’s board of directors.
The Scotland-born Browne, a 30-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, left Pharmacopeia shortly before it was acquired by Ligand in 2008. He become president and CEO of Phrixus Pharmaceuticals in Michigan until late last month.
Browne grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of an ambulance driver, and was an only child. In a 2005 article in U.S. 1 he said that his parents imbued him with the “Scottish mentality” — work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, get the job done, and get a good education.
“Although my parents were not university educated, they always encouraged and pushed me,” he said. But when he was 14 years old, his grandfather demanded to know, “When is this boy going to get a job?”
Browne majored in chemistry at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, graduating in 1972. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, he was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard with the Nobel laureate Professor R. B. Woodward. At Ciba-Geigy in Basle, Switzerland, he helped discover Diovan, an early angiotensi II antagonist. He also managed cardiovascular research and discovered Fadrozole, the first marketed non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor for the treatment of estrogen-dependent breast cancer.
At Berlex Biosciences he rebuilt the drug discovery operation and did pharma-biotech deals. As COO at Iconix Pharmaceuticals Inc., a chemogenomics company in Mountain View, California, Browne launched Iconix’s first product, DrugMatrix.
Allstate New Jersey, 2681 Main Street, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-895-8450. Adriana Esposito, licensed sales producer.
AllState New Jersey has moved from Forrestal Village to Main Street in Lawrenceville. The firm provides insurance services to private and commercial clients.
Rubin, Ehrlich & Buckley, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads Corporate Center, Suite 310, Lawrenceville 08648-; 609-637-9500; fax, 609-637-0001. Kenneth D. Rubin, president. www.lawreb.com
The law firm of Rubin, Erlich and Buckley has moved from Alexander Road to Lawrenceville.
The firm was founded by Philadelphia-based attorney Kenneth Rubin (as Rubin & Wohl) in 1990. Now with a staff of 20, the firm handles lender representation, land use, real estate, and environmental law.
Rubin himself represents clients involved in conduit lending (using real estate as collateral on a loan), commercial mortgage financing, and transactions involving environmentally sensitive property.
In the early 1990s Rubin served as the attorney to the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and in 2001 was appointed by Governor Christie Whitman to help evaluate the integration of the state banking and insurance departments. He now serves on the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission of Upper Makefield Township in Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in 1982 and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1985.
Care Capital LLC, 47 Hulfish Street, Suite 310, Princeton 08540; 609-683-8300; fax, 609-683-5787. Jan Leschly, chairman/CEO. www.carecapital.com
Care Capital, an investment and financial firm located at 47 Hulfish Street, recently invested $2.7 million in NormOxys, a Massachusetts-based biotech that develops drugs to normalize oxygen levels in deprived tissues. The infusion was part of a $17.5 million investment with Switzerland-based Index Ventures to finance NormOxys’ first set of tests in people with chronic heart failure and cancer.
Edison Venture Fund, 1009 Lenox Drive, Building 4, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-896-1900; fax, 609-896-0066. John H. Martinson, managing partner. www.edisonventure.com
Edison Venture Fund, a capital investment firm based in Lawrenceville, has invested $7.5 million in RewardsNOW, a New Hampshire-based financial technology business. The investment, according to Edison, will be used to expand sales, marketing, and development, as well as provide liquidity for early shareholders.
Edison is the sole investor in the business, which implements and manages turnkey direct marketing for credit cards, debit cards, loans, deposits, and online banking.
This is the 21st investment Edison has made in New England-based tech companies.
Tobira Therapeutics Inc., 198 Route 9 North, Suite 200, Manalapan 07726; 732-863-5980; fax, 732-863-5987. James Sapirstein, CEO. www.tobiratherapeutics.com
Barely a year after moving into Carnegie Center, Tobira Therapeutics has moved to Manalapan.
James Sapistein, CEO of the infectious disease R&D firm, said Tobira moved because of high rents in Princeton. As an R&D, Tobira relies on infusions of capital from investors. “Carnegie became a bit too expensive for us as we burn through our cash,” he said.
The move comes two months after Tobira raised $4 million in its second wave of financing. It was founded in 2006 with a $31 million infusion that carried the firm into this year. But as cash ran low, Sapirstein hoped to land another $30 this year. The $4 million investment in March was expected to carry the company through June.
Tobira develops drugs exclusively to combat AIDS and was a U.S. 1 cover subject on February 27. Sapirstein has been the firm’s only CEO, appointed after more than 20 years as a pharma executive and sales manager.
Born in Argentina, Sapirstein emigrated to New York as a child, when his father moved the family and started his career in the restaurant business. Sapirstein himself moved to New Jersey in 1979 and earned a bachelor’s in pharmacy from Rutgers in 1984. In 1996 he earned an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson.
Sapirstein began his career in AIDS when the disease first became an epidemic in the early 1980s. He started at Eli Lilly before moving to Roche Laboratories in Nutley. In 1996 he became the director of international marketing for infectious disease medicines at BMS. This was where he met his wife, Lauren, who sold HIV medicines for the company.
John Lewis, 89, on March 19. A longtime faculty member at Princeton University, where he once served as dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, he also advised presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter on international economic affairs.
Jacob Stults, 32, on May 8. He was a teacher at Stuart Country Day School.
Milton Marion, 84, on May 22. He was a physician at Helene Fuld in Trenton for 50 years and had a private practice in Pennington.