Contracts Awarded: Bio Nano Motor

Prostate Implant

Import Expansion

Stock News

Moves on Deer Park Drive

Foundation Moves

Start-Ups

Out of Business

Deaths

Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox & Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the October 15, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

A $70 million redevelopment of the old American Standard

toilet factory near the Hamilton train station is being planned by

a company based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Erick Kolar, president of Preferred Real Estate Investments Inc.,

will divide the 112-acre Sloan Avenue tract into two parcels and is

naming it the American Metro project. On the 65-acre parcel, using

part of the factory where toilets were made, he will build a 472,458-square-foot

office complex and subdivision. Employing union labor, Kolar plans

to start construction by the end of this year and have the first phase

— 160,765 square feet — occupied by next summer.

In giving final approval for the first phase on Thursday, October

9, the township planning board required Kolar to make traffic improvements.

The office complex could house from 1,600 to 2,000 workers. Nothing

has been decided about what will happen to the remaining 47 acres.

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Contracts Awarded: Bio Nano Motor

An ultra-tiny motor small enough to travel through a

person’s bloodstream to help repair damaged cells, organs and DNA

— that’s the not-so-impossible task set by three Rutgers engineering

departments — mechanical, biomedical, and biochemical. The three

departments received a four-year $1,050,017 grant from the National

Science Foundation’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering program to

build a prototype of the "Viral Protein Nano Motor."

The term "nano" refers to nanotechnology, or the science of

working with atom- or molecule-sized building blocks. The nano motor

will be so small that 50,000 of them could line up, width-wise, on

a human hair.

Rutgers scientists will use biological molecules derived from virus-based

proteins to build a super tiny motor that can perform a linear opening

and closing motion. It might also be able to spin, stretch, or sense

temperature or position.

The ambitious project of developing these bio-nano motors has been

compared to designing the internal combustion engine, which led to

the automobile and the airplane. "Two years ago, our ideas seemed

very ambitious, like science fiction. Now it’s becoming a reality,"

says Constantinos Mavroidis, Rutgers associate professor of mechanical

and aerospace engineering and principal investigator on the project

(www.bionano.rutgers.edu.

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Prostate Implant

Valera/Hydro Med

Valera Pharmaaceutical’s Hydron Implant technology for

palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer has just passed Phase

III clinical trials. This flexible implant provides 12 months of controlled

delivery of Histrelin and can be inserted at a physician’s office

with a local anesthetic.

In 1993 the firm, founded in 1972 as Hydro Med Sciences, had 25 people

and $2 million in revenues. Now the firm has no revenues (revenues

are hoped for in 2004) and employs 17 people. When David Tierney replaced

Robert Feinberg as president in 2000 he made some big changes, such

as the name. It represents the Latin root word for "strength"

and is meant to imply that the firm has repositioned itself for long-term

growth.

Early in 2002 Tierney led Valera to reacquire the rights to the implant

and accelerate the Phase III development. The next step is get approval

from the Food and Drug Administration. Petr Kuzma remains the chief

science officer and is an expert on hydrogel polymers.

Valera had been a division of the publicly held GP Strategies Corporation.

It is now a closely held private firm, but GP remains a majority shareholder.

Recently the company raised $20 million in two rounds led by an affiliate

of Houston investment bank Sanders Morris Harris, along with Wheatley

Partners, a Manhattan-based venture capital firm. Paladin Labs in

Canada has licensed the Canadian rights for the implant product.

Competitors to the Valera implant are the one-year titanium implant

developed by Alza Pharmaceuticals (now Johnson & Johnson) and licensed

to Bayer of Germany. It has been on the market for two years, but

as Matthew Rue, a Valera spokesperson, points out, "the market

we are entering is $1 billion and Alza’s product has under $100 million

of that." Other products, injections that work for three or four

months, include Lupron, a joint venture between Abbott and Takeda

America that has three-fourths of the market, and Zoladex, by Astra

Zeneca.

Valera Pharmaceuticals, 8 Clarke Drive, Cedar Brook

Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512. David Tierney, president. 609-409-9010;

fax, 609-409-1650. Home page: www.valerapharmaceuticals

Mercer County Community College is one of 10 community

colleges that are sharing $800,000 in state monies to upgrade the

skills of psychiatric hospital employees. MCCC’s Center for Training

and Development will use its portion of the grant, $60,000, to provide

training in math, communication and English as a Second Language to

150 employees of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Anne Klein Forensic

Hospital and the State of New Jersey’s Office of Education. Training

begins in November.

Mercer County Community College Center for Training

& Development, 1200 Old Trenton Road, Box B, Trenton 08690. Nunzio

Cernero, director. 609-586-4800; fax, 609-890-6338. Home page:

www.mccc.edu

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Import Expansion

Global Reliance Inc., 12 Roszel Road, Suite A-202,

Princeton 08540. Sanjiv Kakkar, president and COO. 609-520-9779; fax,

815-327-1411. Home page: www.efoodcommerce.com

Global Reliance, a company in the business of importing vegetables

from India, is expanding to new markets. The company’s American office,

formerly on Princeton-Hightstown Road and on Wallace Road, has purchased

an office at 12 Roszel Road to provide stability for its key workers.

"The company needs more space for targeted growth to sales of

$27 million," says Jay Sikand, director of marketing.

Global has 300 employees in India, where they freeze and can vegetables.

Shipping costs are high, but low processing costs make the products

competitive with U.S.-produced vegetables. The company’s staple is

mushrooms. There are always shortages of mushrooms in the U.S., says

Sikand, so there is a good market. But, he says, profit margins are

extremely low, which is another reason for adding products.

Global, which sells to the U.S. food market through Mitsui Foods,

one of the largest buyers, is expanding its potato offerings. Gourmet

potatoes present difficulties for U.S. farmers and manufacturers.

For one thing, says Sikand, soil conditions in the U.S. are such that

a lot of moisture gets into the potatoes. For another, picking the

small gourmet potatoes is labor intensive, and therefore, too expensive.

The company does well with the potatoes in India, where labor costs

are low, and is introducing a new product, scoop potatoes. ("Business

is Mushrooming — From Spuds to Software," U.S. 1, April 3,

2002). As Sikand describes the scooped-out, cheddar and bacon filled

potatoes, they sound suspiciously American. He goes on to say that

the company’s researchers are working on stuffing tiny, low-moisture

potatoes with these ingredients. The aim, he says, is to come up with

a filled potato that will fry in under a minute.

That sounds very American, and that turns out to be the point. "This

is the third generation we’re marketing to," says Sikand. "They

were born and brought up here." The first generation, he says,

wanted little to do with new foods. The second generation, parents

to fast-food craving children, find themselves caught in the middle,

trying to preserve their culture, while, at the same time, adapting

to their Americanized children.

Tiny stuffed potatoes are a good fit for these families, Global hopes.

In another, even more ambitious move, Global is importing exotic vegetables,

including lotus root and papri lilva, a bean, and is marketing them

on both coasts of the United States, and in Canada, Germany, and the

United Kingdom. A push into Africa is possible in the future.

These vegetables are being marketed to the largest group of Indian

emigrants, people from Gujarat, the home of Mahatma Gandhi. "Gujarat

has only 5 percent of the population of India," says Sikand, "but

80 percent of the U.S. population from India."

Residents of Gujarat are traders, he says, and have re-settled all

over the world. While he is from the north of India, and Gujarat is

to the west, Sikand is learning all about the vegetables natives from

this state crave.

Global is distributing the vegetables through Raj Bhog, one of the

largest suppliers of ethnic foods. Headquartered in Queens, New York,

the company’s name, he says, means "presentation to the king."

Global had to talk Raj Bhog into selling the vegetables. "They

were known for sweets," says Sikand. Sweets favored by Indians

tend to be quite a bit different from those that appeal to Americans,

he says.

The same is true for all kinds of snacks, and Global plans on going

after the snack market soon.

There are now just three key people in Global’s new U.S. office, but

Sikand says growth into new markets will drive employment up to about

15 people. Other companies here include Him Infotech Inc., E-Food

Commerce, and Transatlantic Marketing.

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

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Stock News

Interpool (IPX), 211 College Road East, Princeton

08540. Martin Tuchman, chairman and CEO. 609-452-8900; fax, 609-452-8211.

Home page: www.interpool.com

Martin Tuchman, the CEO of Interpool, accepted the resignation

of president and COO Raoul Witteveen on Friday, October 10. The move

was triggered by a preliminary report by Morrison & Foerster, an independent

law firm appointed by the company’s board of directors to investigate

accounting issues. Accounting issues caused Interpool to have to reconfigure

its financial statements for 2000 and 2001. Tuchman will assume Witteveen’s

duties.

Tuchman says that the report showed Witteveen authorizing transactions

that would have improperly increased earnings, but that the financial

statements did not contain any misstatement as a result of these transactions.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened its own informal

investigation. "The fundamentals of our company are sound and

very strong. Revenues and cash flows are growing and our financial

condition is solid," Tuchman said.

Cytogen Corporation (CYTO), 650 College Road East,

Suite 3100, CN 5308, Princeton 08543-5308. Michael Becker, president

and CEO. 609-750-8200; fax, 609-452-2476. Home page: www.cytogen.com

The new stock shares that Cytogen issued nearly three months ago are

now officially registered. On October 6 the SEC cleared the $10 million

in new shares for trading on the Nasdaq market. Cytogen has products

for diagnosing and treating cancer.

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Moves on Deer Park Drive

ComGenex International Inc., 1 Deer Park Drive,

Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite J, Monmouth Junction 08852. Bill

Heilman, COO. 732-438-8001; fax, 732-438-8004. Home page: www.comgenex.com

A three-person sales office of a Hungarian firm, ComGenex,

moved to within Princeton Corporate Plaza, retaining the office space

and allocating the lab space to Ras Labs LLC (see story below).

With 250 employees in Budapest, ComGenex works in the pharmaceutical

and agribusiness fields. It employs combinatorial chemistry and molecular

biology to produce new organic compounds and small organic molecules,

and it also provides laboratory services and software.

Bill Heilman, the chief operating officer, came to this office last

January after 19 years with American Cyanamid. He went to Muskingum

College in Iowa, Class of 1966, has a PhD in medicinal chemistry from

Ohio State, and an MBA from Case Western Reserve.

Comgenix has major collaborations with Merck, Aventis, and Bayer,

and it also sells to small biotech companies, including some of those

in the lab park, such as Morphochem and Nexmed.

Acco Princeton Federal Credit Union, 9 Deer Park

Drive, Box 5366, Princeton 08543-5366. Dorell Wood, office manager.

732-631-6051; fax, 732-631-6077. Home page: www.accopfcu.virtual.net

The credit union that used to be housed at American Cyanamid moved

when that campus closed last year to Princeton Corporate Plaza, where

it has an office in the same building with other refugees from the

Cyanamid campus, the employees from Fort Dodge Animal Health. The

three-person office includes Dorell Wood, Barbara Schelher, and Adele

DiDonato. Including those from other states who do their banking business

on the Internet, this credit union has 1,300 members. Membership is

open to employees of small and medium-sized businesses who have signed

on as business members. This is the credit union’s main and only office.

Princeton Biomolecular Research, 7 Deer Park Drive,

Princeton Corporate Plaza Suite F, Monmouth Junction 08852. Kenneth

Dallas PhD, director development & research. 732-355-9920; fax, 732-355-9921.

Home page: www.princetonbio.com

Olivia Scientific has changed its name to Princeton Biomolecular Research.

Kenneth Dallas, director of R&D, has also changed the name of the

website but declines to provide further information. The firm offers

proprietary technology and services in agricultural and pharmaceutical

industries. Services include research, custom synthesis, compounds,

and accurate microplates processing.

Transave Inc., 11 Deer Park Drive, Suite 117, Monmouth

Junction 08852. Claire Strupinsky, manager of corporate administration.

732-438-9434; fax, 732-438-9435. Home page: www.transaveinc.com

Transave expanded earlier this year with a move within Princeton Corporate

Plaza to just under 11,000 square feet, enough space for 20 fulltime

workers and five part-timers. It has raised $14 million in venture

capital so far. Tom Giannone of Studley represented the tenant. Transave

works on drug delivery for treatment of lung diseases.

Ras Labs LLC, 7 Deer Park Drive, Suite M-2, Monmouth

Junction 08852. Lenore Rasmussen, scientist and owner. 908-371-0855;

fax, 908-371-0625. E-mail: h-lrasmussen@worldnet.att.net

Lenore Rasmussen thinks artificial arms ought to be

able to work better than they do, and with her one-woman business

she has set that as a goal. Her business card for Ras Labs LLC reads:

"Inventions and Information, intelligent materials for the future

of prosthetics and automation." She has written one patent for

an "electro responsive" smart material, a soft substance that

responds to electric stimuli and can be used in prosthetics, and she

is working on another.

Expanding from her home office in Hillsborough, she has leased laboratory

space at Princeton Corporate Plaza. "The lab is where I go to

do on-my-feet standing-up experiments, but I do my planning and computer

work at home. I’m a night owl — that’s when I get my thinking

done."

Rasmussen’s attention is absorbed by the realization that many current

prosthetic materials are metallic, whereas a soft synthetic material

would be more like real human muscle (she describes muscles as "well-organized

liquids"), in which electrodes could be embedded. "I haven’t

been able to leave this area alone," she says, "so I decided

to take the time and the money and really focus on it."

A synthetic polymer chemist, Rasmussen is the daughter of an engineer

and an artist. She majored in biochemistry and chemistry at Virginia

Tech, has a master’s in biophysics from Purdue, and earned a PhD from

Virginia Tech. Her husband, Henrik Rasmussen, is assistant director

at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Development, and they

have two school-aged sons and a toddler boy.

Rasmussen has worked at Johnson & Johnson Corporate Biomaterials Center,

located on the premises of Ethicon in Somerville, to develop materials

for implants. To fund her research, she has taught at Raritan Valley

Community College and done patent and literature searches in engineering

and chemistry.

It’s not just the prosthetic market that beckons Rasmussen. Her material

could open up the toy market so that little soldiers and other figures

could move more convincingly. "My second generation goal is to

make a variety of materials that are strong enough to be useful, so

they respond at the battery level," she says. "In prosthetics,

leg movements are pretty good but for arms you see something like

a hook or hands that are not mobile. But if you had material that

responded like a muscle, you could blend the two."

Funding would make her work easier, she admits, but she is not quite

ready to get outside investment: "I want to see if what I think

will work will work. I will probably do some mathematical modeling,

and my next patent will be a very strong one."

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Foundation Moves

Princeton Area Community Foundation, 15 Princess

Road, Suite A, Lawrence 08648. Nancy W. Kieling, executive director.

609-219-1800; fax, 609-219-1850. Home page: www.pacf.org

The Princeton Area Community Foundation, in need of more space, has

moved from Tamarack Circle to Princess Road. It took 10 months to

find an office to fit the nonprofit’s budget and space requirements.

"If you want to know anything about commercial real estate, ask

me," quips Nancy Kieling, executive director.

The foundation, formed in 1991, promotes philanthropy, provides giving

expertise to individuals and corporations, and awards grants to area

non-profit organizations. Last year PACF raised a record $12.8 million,

and together with its donor-advisors and partners from 125 separate

funds, granted more than $1.4 million to nonprofit organizations.

Kieling says the foundation’s new offices, at 4,500 square feet, three

times the size of the old offices, are just right because they include

large reception and conference areas, are centrally located, and are

priced within what she calls a "lean" budget. Buzz Woodworth

of Keller Dodds & Woodworth represented the foundation in the negotiations,

and Michael Sargis represented the landlord, First Industrial Realty

Trust.

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Start-Ups

Medical Coding & Billing Solutions LLC , 957 Route

33, PMB 252, Hamilton 08690. 609-577-8054.

Natalie M. Coniglio and Michele A. Hollo started a company to ease

the billing and compliance load for healthcare professionals. Each

is a certified coder; Coniglio has a CPC certification and Hollo has

an RCC. With their combined 25 years of billing experience, they believe

they can reduce the risk of compliance problems and get faster reimbursement

for the provider. They can train the staff or remove the coding from

the office to a local office.

Among the coding services offered: outsourced coding on a full-time

basis, back-up coding during workload peaks and staff shortages, coding

compliance risk assessment, and staff training on the coding basics

of specific medical specialties. For billing, the firm can provide

billing operation weakness assessment, workflow analysis and reorganization,

and accounts receivable/insurance denials analysis. Coniglio and Hollo

offer a free initial consultation and analysis.

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Out of Business

The Milestone Club at Princeton, 501 Forrestal

Road, Suite 218, Princeton 08540. Russell I. Fries, director. 609-520-1155;

fax, 609-520-1313. Home page: www.milestoneclub.com

After six months the Milestone Club on Forrestal Road has closed,

but owners Russell and Ann Fries are planning to reconfigure the business,

perhaps focusing on the sports specific performance training and the

testing.

"We found that we were just not getting the people we needed to

make money," says Ann Fries. "But we are passionate about

the sports training piece, a need that has never really been met.

This was the type of expertise that was really only available in places

like Denver and Ottawa. I think we had a location problem too."

She believes the niche for the high-end testing services is with cyclists,

runners, and other serious athletes. For instance, it costs $120 to

test your aerobic threshold, which tells you how to run at your most

efficient aerobic level.

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Deaths

James Edward "Bud" Bodley Sr., 56, on October

4. He was a facility engineering manager at Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics,

a Johnson & Johnson Company, and was president of DeKai Enterprises

Inc., a sports and entertainment corporation.

Martin D. Levine , 56, on October 7. As the founder and

CEO of MarketSource Corporation in Cranbury, he had been named Ernst

& Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He was also the founder of Kindle

a Spark Foundation and former president of College Stores Research

and Education Foundation.

A memorial service for Aaron Lemonick will be held Saturday,

October 18, at 1:30 p.m. in Princeton University Chapel, followed

by a reception at Prospect House. Lemonick, who died June 24, was

a Princeton University physicist who served as dean of the graduate

school and dean of the faculty.


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