Laureate Pharma plans a $9 million build-out of its biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility at 201 College Road East, and it also plans to expand its 85-person workforce by about 15 percent. Formerly owned by Purdue Pharma and now a partner company of Safeguard Scientifics, based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, the firm works on biopharmaceutical products on College Road.

Laureate Pharma is a full service biopharmaceutical development and protein production company that provides monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins.

This year “has been a very strong year for Laureate Pharma. We are rapidly growing and continuing to expand,” says CEO Robert Broeze. He is hiring. “We are always looking for those with bioreactor experience, protein purification, and other types of GMP related experience to support our business.”

Current clients include Cytogen, Immunogen, Seattle Genetics, and other small to midsize biotechs. “We help them get their products from development into the clinic and hopefully into the marketplace,” says Broeze. “We do bioprocessing for protein-based therapeutics, with a strong focus on monoclonal antibodies, and we also work with other types of protein products, such as recombinant protein products (produced by genetically engineered cells).

“Our clients clone the genes for a protein and express it in a cell line which they give to us. We grow the cell line, we develop the manufacturing process for them, and we do the manufacturing based on that process,” says Broeze.

The College Road facility used to be occupied by Cytogen, which is now located at 650 College Road. In 1999 Purdue Pharma, a mid-size pharmaceutical company, paid $4 million for the Cytogen’s manufacturing operation, and established Bard Biopharma as a contract manufacturer for both Cytogen and Purdue products.

Broeze, then vice president of biologics research at Purdue Biopharma, came from a similar position at Cytogen, and he hired most of the 20 to 30 Cytogen employees. A dozen of them remain.

“In 2002 we made a decision to do contract manufacturing for other companies,” says Broeze. The management team at Bard Biopharma also decided to choose a distinct and different name, and it launched a contest within the company to find one. The winning name, which connotes “a level of distinction,” came from a board member.

In 2004 Purdue sold the business and the assets for $29.5 million to Safeguard Scientifics, which has shifted its focus to life sciences firms. Laureate, now a wholly owned partner of Safeguard, sold its Totowa facility, which produced sustained release formulations, the following year.

Despite all these changes, Broeze has been working at this location for 16 years. He grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he was the son of a mechanical engineer and a school librarian. He went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Class of 1974, also earning his PhD in biology there. He did a post-doc at Yale, worked at a biotech in Boston, and joined Cytogen in 1990.

Roughly half of the 57,000 square-foot building is used for manufacturing, and the rest for a mix of development laboratories, office space, and warehouse space, says Broeze. “About one-third of our employees are focused on the technical aspects of process development and manufacturing, one third on quality (assurance, control, and validation), and less than a third on administrative support and maintenance.”

The plant, isolated from the main manufacturing area, will have two separate production suites with bioprocess purification systems, analytical testing systems, and associated equipment. It has stainless steel stirred tank bioreactors (a tank with an impeller that stirs the suspension of cells to stimulate cell growth) and disposable single use bioreactors (which grow cells in bag that sits on a rocker, rocking back and forth to facilitate cell growth). These same technologies are used in Laureate’s large-scale, GMP (good manufacturing practice) biomanufacturing facility.

Burlington-based CE&IC is responsible for the engineering and design of the new pilot production plant, which is expected to be operational in mid-2007. Laureate had $7.7 million in revenues last year.

Laureate Pharma LLP (SFE), 201 College Road East, Princeton 08540; 609-919-3300; fax, 609-452-7211. Robert J. Broeze PhD, president. Home page: www.laureatepharma.com

FMC Downsizes

FMC Corp. (FMC), Route 1 and Plainsboro Road, Box 8, Princeton 08543-0008; 609-951-3000; fax, 609-951-3809. Bob Kasubinski, manager plant engineering. Home page: www.fmc.com

In April FMC eliminated 70 positions at its Route 1 North campus. These jobs were in the insecticide division. On June 27 FMC announced that it will sell that division to Bayer CropScience’s products for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Philadelphia, FMC has occupied the 155-acre site for 50 years, but the Princeton Healthcare System plans to build there. About 215 workers remain at the site in other chemical and agricultural chemical areas. Sooner or later they will have to move to another location.

No longer will FMC develop its insecticides from scratch. FMC will sell its early-stage lead compounds, molecules that FMC has discovered, part its pipeline and its chemical library. FMC will license some of its products and have access to some of Bayer’s products.

Expansion

Nashua Corporation, 21C Commerce Drive, Cranbury 08512; 609-395-4016; 609-395-7650. Gus Sardinas, plant manager. Home page: www.nashua.com

If you ask a child to describe a piece of paper, it is likely to be a rectangle whose size ranges from 8 1/2 by 11 up to an easel-sized sheet of a typical tempera painting. But the paper used in architectural and engineering firms as well as the in store signage doesn’t come in sheets at all, but in rolls. The paper in these venues is described in the business as “large format” paper.

Nashua Corporation’s Dietzgen Division, a converter of wide format media for digitally produced documents and graphics, just opened a 45,000-square-foot warehouse in Cranbury to take advantage of the expanding demand in this marketplace. It had had a small warehouse in Dayton.

At the warehouse, slitting machines will take large rolls of paper and convert them to smaller rolls. There’s also plenty of storage space. Nashua Corporation’s facility in Jefferson Center, Tennessee, used to perform this function, but it was too far from the company’s customers in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions. “An important part of this business,” says John Patenaude, chief financial officer, “is that in situations where customers have little or no room for inventory, they need quick turnaround to get supplies. By being closer, we can provide better service.”

The Cranbury facility currently has 12 people, who were just hired and are being trained. “We are hoping to grow the business,” says Patenaude, “so that eventually we can run three shifts, with roughly eight people per shift.”

Nashua Corporation, which had $295 million in sales last year and has roughly 890 employees, has two other warehouses involved in converting paper for large format users — the one in Tennessee and another in Vernon, California.

Nashua Corporation also manufactures labels and thermal and specialty papers. Its large label operation creates warehousing labels and supermarket labels printed by scales. Radio-frequency identification labels are produced in Tennessee and in Omaha, Nebraska, and St. Augustine, Florida. The company also converts rolls for point-of-sale applications, like ATM receipts, in California and Tennessee.

The opening coincides with a product launch — new products in Nashua’s Magellan color line. “The Magellan products offer us an opportunity to enter into the growing markets for indoor and outdoor signage, point of purchase displays, trade show graphics, retail signage, and displays,” said CEO Tom Brooker in a press release.

About the newly opened warehouse in Cranbury, Patenaude says, “We’ve gotten closer in proximity to customers in the Middle Atlantic and New England states and can provide better on-time delivery.”

Bartolomei Pucciarelli LLC, 2564 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-883-9000; fax, 609-883-9008. James Bartolomei, partner. Home page: www.bp-cpas.com

Bartolomei Pucciarelli LLC has bought the CPA practice of Sharon Lamont at Golden Crest Corporate Center. Lamont, the past president of the NJ Society of Certified Public Accountants, set up her practice five years ago but is now chief financial officer of Roma Bank.

This is BP’s second acquisition in two years. The Public Accounting Report newsletter ranks BP among the nation’s fastest growing accounting firms and the leading provider of management consulting services among other companies of its size. BP is also one of six New Jersey affiliates of RAN ONE, a global network of independent accountants specializing in small and mid-sized businesses.

Pietrinferno & Pietrinferno, CPAs and Consultants, 22 Jefferson Plaza, Princeton 08540-9542; 609-924-1131; fax, 609-924-1125. A.J. Pietrinferno III CPA MBA, partner. Home page: www.princetonCPA.com

Pietrinferno & Pietrinferno recently expanded its offices from 209 Wall Street to a location more convenient to Route 1 and Route 27, Jefferson Plaza.

Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company, 4110 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 12, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-799-4444; fax, 609-799-4447. Steven Lambusta, exclusive agent. Home page:

Steven Lambusta has moved his office of Allstate from 177 Franklin Corner Road to 4110 Quakerbridge. Because the company now has a financial consultant, it needed a better location that was more visible to customers. In March, 2005, Steven Lambusta purchased the office from his father-in-law, Martin Fimiani. The office has five employees.

Princeton Asset Advisory Group LLC, 10 Rutgers Place, Trenton 08618; 609-430-0001; fax, 609-430-0006. Stewart Smith.

Stewart Smith moved his firm from 344 Nassau Street to a Trenton address both for a larger office space and better conference room facilities. Smith is a registered investment advisor, who uses proprietary software he has developed to invest a minimum of $250,000 for institutions and individuals.

Still a one-person office, Smith expects to add a couple of associates in the next year. The improved conference space is for institutional investors doing due diligence on his firm.

Smith graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in materials engineering in 1979 and worked for General Electric in sales, marketing, and product development. Because he was doing well on his personal investing, some people asked him to invest for them, so he decided to learn how to do that. Six years ago he started his firm, which specializes in large and small capital equities. Smith does all of his own research.

New in Town

1st Place Wireless, 370 Route 130 South, Burlington Coat Factory Shopping Center, East Windsor 08520; 609-448-9393; fax, 609-448-1556. Alexander Demsky, owner.

1st Place Wireless, a wireless cell phone retailer specializing in t-Mobile, Sprint, Nextel, and Boost Mobile, just opened in East Windsor. The owner, Alexander Densky, is a long-time resident of the Windsors.

Ernst & Young Finalists

Three CEOs from the Princeton area — Geert Cauwenbergh of Barrier Therapeutics, Dan Reynolds of the Brokers Group, and Paul Winn of Princeton Softech — were among 29 finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year prize. None from Princeton made the final cut. The finalists were selected from 177 companies on the basis of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Cauwenbergh is a pharmaceutical veteran from Janssen Pharmaceutica who has also been a vice president of Johnson & Johnson. Based on College Road, Barrier develops and markets dermatological description drugs, some of which are in-licensed from Janssen and other J&J affiliates.

Reynolds founded the Brokers Group in 2001 at Montgomery Commons, and it has grown 80 percent annually and has opened offices in Philadelphia and New York. Two divisions — Technology Brokers and Clinical Brokers — place senior level professionals in IT and clinical trials companies, respectively.

Winn came to Princeton Softech, a 190-person database archiving and testing firm at University Square, in 2004. A graduate of Utah State, he had been CEO of PowerQuest, a private software technology company focused on the storage management market that was acquired by Symantec. He had also been CEO of a public document imaging firm, Genicom, and a vice president and general manager at IBM.

Leaving Town

Zemlock Tax Advisory Group, Marlboro. 732-970-0062. Jordan L. Zemlock LUTCF, vice president.

After one year on Emmons Drive, Zemlock Tax Advisory Group has moved to Marlboro. The new business address was not available.

Management Move

NeoStrata Company Inc., 307 College Road East, Princeton 08540; 609-520-0715; fax, 609-520-0849. Richard H. Wildnauer, president. Home page: www.NeoStrata.com

Mark D. Steele has been appointed as the first CEO of the 18-year-old, 58-person NeoStrata; Richard Wildnauer remains as president. The company licenses its patents on alpha-hydroxy acid formulations and has its own line of skin care products.

Steele majored in marketing and biology at the University of Connecticut, Class of 1981, and has an MBA from Syracuse. He has worked for Pfizer and Warner-Lambert and had founded a consulting firm, Pharma Technology Group.

Deaths

John T. O’Neil Jr., 67, on April 5 in Florida. A mathematician and computer scientist, he worked at the David Sarnoff Research Center and also founded several companies. A memorial service will be at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Miller Chapel on Sunday, July 16, at 1:30 p.m.

Susan J. Byrne, 50, on June 27. A photographer, she was the daughter of former New Jersey Governor Brendan T. Byrne.

John T. Backes, 69, on June 28. He founded Backes Graphic Productions at Research Park in 1967. His former firm, later known as JNC Design Group, recently closed at the 308 Wall Street location. The phone reported by directory assistance has been disconnected, and the website is inaccessible.

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