Ranbaxy Expands

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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.

Dermatology Barriers

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

Products Worldwide.

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,"

he says.

Sporamelt, an enhanced version of the oral antifungal

itraconazole for nail fungus, will offer a new once-daily oral dose.

Zimycan, developed for infant diaper rash, will compete

against steroid-based prescription treatments. Now in Phase III clinical

trials, it is miconazole-based and has a zinc oxide and petrolatum


Seboride is a new topical gel for seborrheic dermatitis,

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.

Ketanserin is a topical agent that can treat chronic wound

by stimulating granulation tissue, which allows the skin to replace

its epithelial cells faster, resulting in faster wound closure.

In his new company Cauwenbergh aims for a flexible and fun work

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

Barrier Therapeutics Inc., 100 Overlook Center,

Second Floor, Princeton 08540. Geert Cauwenbergh. 609-375-2282; fax,

609-375-2282. Home page: www.barriertherapeutics.com

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Ranbaxy Expands

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."

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., 600 College Road

East, Princeton 08540. Dipak Chattaraj, managing director. 609-720-9200;

fax, 609-720-1155. Www.ranbaxy.com

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