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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the February 19, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Geert Cauwenbergh, the CEO of Barrier Therapeutics,
chose to specialize in dermatology when he realized how one’s appearance
could have vital implications that were more than skin deep. It was
when his 53-year-old mother was dying from cancer. "Visitors were
coming, and she asked for a mirror and makeup," says Cauwenbergh.
"I said `Mom, those people come to see you for the last time.
They are not interested in whether you look beautiful.’
"`You don’t get it,’ said my mother. `I want to look presentable.’
In that moment I realized that looking healthy — even though you
may be feeling completely rotten inside — is extremely important
to people. Looking healthy is not necessarily the primary instinct
for survival, but people want to be prepared to look decent even when
they are 48 hours from death."
Cauwenbergh, 48, is the son of an agriculture minister who went to
the University of Leuven in Belgium for his undergraduate, master’s,
and PhD degrees. Fluent in four languages, he worked in Belgium for
15 years at Janssen Pharmaceutica, and he says his spiritual father
and mentor is Paul Janssen. "I see him every time I go back to
Belgium." At J&M he was vice president of product development
in the consumer division and vice president of $&D for the Skillman-based
skin research center. Most recently he was vice president of technology
transfer and external developments for J&J Consumer and Personal Care
Janssen is now an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson, and Cauwenbergh’s
new, privately-held company is developing and marketing products based
on intellectual property in-licensed from Janssen and other J&J affiliates.
"Our philosophy is to focus on dermatological prescription drugs
that have a distinct advantage to what is on the market," he says.
Currently housed at Regus in 100 Princeton Overlook, Barrier Therapeutics
has 14 people now and plans to expand its headquarters in Princeton.
It also has a subsidiary in Geel, Belgium. Last year it raised $46
million in venture financing, led by TL Ventures and JP Morgan.
Anne M. VanLent is Barrier’s executive vice president and chief financial
officer. Most recently Sarnoff’s executive vice president in charge
of portfolio management, she has also been CFO for the Liposome Company
(which she helped take public and is now part of Elan Pharmaceuticals).
Marcel Borgers, the chief scientific officer, is the former vice president
of life sciences for the Janssen Research Foundation. Chuck Nomides,
the chief operating officer, was R&D director of Ortho Neutrogena
prescription drug development, part of Johnson & Johnson Consumer
Three of Barrier’s products in Phase III trials are for treating fungal
infections, diaper dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Six earlier-stage
clinical products are in the areas of psoriasis, acne, skin inflammation,
fungal infections, allergies, and wound healing. It has additional
compounds in pre-clinical development and is working with several
classes of molecules,
The company expects to be marketing in some European countries by
the end of this year and to be selling in the United States by next
year. "Our ideal strategy is to create our own sales organization,
initially through contract sales, and then through partners,"
itraconazole for nail fungus, will offer a new once-daily oral dose.
against steroid-based prescription treatments. Now in Phase III clinical
trials, it is miconazole-based and has a zinc oxide and petrolatum
a disease that affects between three to five percent of adolescents
and adults in the United States. It combines the antifungal agent
ketoconazole with the fast-acting, mid-potency steroid desonide.
by stimulating granulation tissue, which allows the skin to replace
its epithelial cells faster, resulting in faster wound closure.
atmosphere. "He has a fabulous sense of humor which he promotes
in all of us," says Van Lent.
"When the right person comes along with the right qualifications
and right level of ownership, we are happy to accommodate that person,
so that family and personal life fit into the way we work," says
Cauwenbergh. "The only way to have dedicated employees is to make
sure that personal life and family life are supported."
— Barbara Fox
Second Floor, Princeton 08540. Geert Cauwenbergh. 609-375-2282; fax,
609-375-2282. Home page: www.barriertherapeutics.com
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. is launching two generics.
"Our product for acne and a broad-spectrum antibiotic are both
significant products," says Chuck Caprariello, vice president
of business development. "We could be second in the market for
the generic version of accutane, an acme medication, and we will be
fourth in the market for augmentin, a broad spectrum antibiotic used
for middle ear infections."
A division of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., this College Road generic
pharmaceutical company makes, sells, and markets prescription and
over the counter pharmaceutical products (U.S. 1, May 13, 1998). It
owns a generic over-the-counter manufacturing company, Ohm Laboratories,
on Livingston Avenue in North Brunswick, but its headquarters in New
Delhi, India, has some of the manufacturing and R&D operations,
For instance, the active ingredient for the acme medication is being
produced in New Delhi, put in soft gelatin capsules, and shipped in
bulk blisters to a contract packager in Philadelphia. Isotretinoin,
the generic form, is for non-responsive cases of nodular acne, where
there is a deep rooted area with a hard crusted acne around the pimple.
Ranbaxy’s competitor, a division of Mylan Laboratories in Morgantown,
West Virginia, was first to market with this generic.
The company’s new U.S. sales and marketing division, based in Jacksonville,
Florida, will begin selling the acne medication late in January or
early in February.
"There is a $1.6 billion market for the branded sales of the antibiotic,
and we are hoping to capture a significant share," says Caprariello.
This generic product is amoxicillin plus potassium clavulanate, and
it is one of the most widely used antibiotics for middle ear infections,
bronchitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory infections.
"We are growing," says Caprariello, "We are also looking
for space close to Route 1."
East, Princeton 08540. Dipak Chattaraj, managing director. 609-720-9200;
fax, 609-720-1155. Www.ranbaxy.com
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