Corrections or additions?
These articles by Barbara Fox were prepared for the July 21, 2004
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
The University Medical Center at Princeton, formerly Princeton
Hospital, which has been talking publicly about finding a new home for
more than a year, has tallied up the costs of moving – and of staying
"What is accurate to state," says CEO Barry Rabner, "is that to remain
state of the art, we have to expand." In its recently unveiled
"2004-2007 Strategic Plan," the medical center puts the cost of
building a new facility at up to $230 million, which, coincidentally,
is approximately the cost of its annual operating expenses. The cost
of expanding on-site is estimated at $190 million, and that does not
include any land-acquisition costs.
A series of public hearings to present details about both options are
to be held beginning in September, says Rabner. But it appears that
the medical center is tilting strongly toward a move. The report
points out that renovating would most likely take longer than moving
because it would have to be done in a way that would accommodate
continuing operations. Further, renovation cost more per square foot
than would new construction. The report also states that only 30
percent of hospital functions would be carried out in new facilities
should the medical center stay put. The medical center currently sits
on seven acres in the heart of Princeton, but a new site would need to
be 50 acres.
Still, Rabner is unwilling to completely dismiss the option of
remaining in place. "One can conceive of alternatives (to moving)," he
says. No, the hospital’s footprint could not easily be enlarged, but,
he says, "We could go up, or do other things."
Beyond lack of space, Princeton medical center has to contend with a
location on narrow, heavily-used Witherspoon Street. "Patient access
is an issue," says Rabner. Few of the hospital’s patients walk in. In
fact, says the CEO, only 16 percent live in either Princeton Borough
or Princeton Township.
Also an issue is residents’ reactions to any expansion of the
Witherspoon Street complex. In the past, hospital neighbors have been
outraged by building plans, including the conversion of several small
houses to medical offices. Is this a factor in a decision to stay or
go? Diplomatically, Rabner says, "We think of our neighbors all of the
time. We think about any impact we may have on them."
Sites being mentioned for a possible relocation of the medical center
include Carnegie Center, the Wyeth property on Quakerbridge Road, and
Forrestal Center. Published reports indicate that Princeton
University, which owns a great deal of land in and around the Route 1
Corridor from Princeton to South Brunswick, could be interested in
purchasing the medical center’s main building and its nearby Merwick
rehabilitation and nursing home facility. Should that option pan out,
there is speculation that a land swap would not be out of the
While there is uncertainty about the future location of Princeton
hospital, the fate of the healthcare system’s nursing home facility,
Merwick, which is located on Bayard Lane, appears to be sealed. "We
acquired the facility in 1957," says Rabner. "We need to build a
replacement for the nursing home." It appears unlikely that a new
building will be erected on the current site, but Rabner says that no
final decision has been made.
The medical center, facing competition from a number of hospitals in
central New Jersey, also sees many of its potential patients journey
to New York City and to Philadelphia for care. It’s a tough market,
where healthcare choices abound. At least in part for that reason,
Princeton HealthCare had been losing money through 2002.
That situation has been turned around, says Rabner, who took over as
CEO in 2002. He reports that revenue now exceeds expenses by at least
a small margin. Aggressive cost containment along with new outpatient
facilities, including a new fitness center in Montgomery, have been
factors in the turnaround. On the marketing front, the medical center
got a new name a little more than a year ago, as did its parent, which
became Princeton HealthCare System.
It’s not enough for the long haul, however. If there is to be a viable
medical center between Hamilton and New Brunswick, it must have all of
the latest technology and a plethora of specialty programs housed in
modern, inviting surroundings that inspire confidence. A landlocked
building that was already 35 years old when Einstein died there in
1955, will not do.
-Kathleen McGinn Spring
Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540. Barry S. Rabner,
president and CEO. 609-497-4000; fax, 609-497-4991.
Miami-based Kos Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:KOSP) has leased 90,000 square
feet of headquarters and laboratory space at 1 Cedar Brook Drive in
Cranbury. The company, with annual revenue of nearly $320 million, is
engaged in developing, commercializing, manufacturing, and marketing
proprietary prescription products for the treatment of chronic
diseases. Its principal product development strategy is to reformulate
existing pharmaceutical products with large market potential to
improve safety, efficacy, or patient compliance.
Kos currently markets Niaspana and Advicora for the treatment of
cholesterol disorders and Azmacorta for the treatment of asthma.
Adrian Adams, president of the company, says that "Kos is currently
the fastest growing specialty pharmaceutical company in the U.S." It
already has a facility in Edison, and Adams said "…we believe that
Cranbury is not only a convenient location with respect to our Edison
facility, but it also is in the epicenter of the resource-rich
environment of pharmaceutical talent."
The new facility, which reportedly will house 222 employees, is
expected to facilitate growth plans for Kos, which was founded in 1988
and went public in 1997. Some personnel from Florida will be
transferred to Cranbury as the company aims to maintain a 50-50
operations split between New Jersey and Florida. Customization work on
the two-story building, owned by Cedar Brook Corporate Center, is
expected to be complete by "mid-year 2004." It will house both R & D
and administrative personnel.
Remember the nervousness surrounding the introduction of bar codes,
those now-ubiquitous collections of black lines and spaces of varying
thicknesses? There was concern that, minus glued-on price tags,
supermarkets could run cans of tomatoes and boxes of cereal through a
laser reader and charge the shopper any price at all. Even if the
merchant was honest, who knew whether the system would be reliable?
Consumers, of course, became comfortable with the speeded-up check out
system in no time. So common had the system become by 1992 that some
say it cost George Bush the first a second term in office. A story got
around that he expressed amazement when encountering a scanner during
a factory tour in Florida. In the intervening years there has been
some question as to whether he was just being polite. But no matter,
pictures of a well-born president marveling over a supermarket scanner
with a "What hath God wrought" expression on his face tagged him as
being hopelessly out of touch with the common man – whose bar-coded
canned tomatoes and Corn Flakes had been run through scanners for
Bar codes are about to change again, but it seems unlikely that the
changes will raise any fears in consumers, and appears impossible that
they could affect the outcome of an election. The change does not even
stand to alter operations at the headquarters of the Uniform Code
Council (UCC), the standards body for U.S. bar codes, which is located
"On January 1, 2005, we go to 14 digits," says Jack Grasso, senior
director of public relations, for the UCC, a not-for-profit
organization. The "we" he refers to is a newly formalized global
Formed in 1977, UCC’s European counterpart, EAN International, has
used 13 digits from the start. The two organizations have strong ties,
and in fact share a CEO, Miguel Lopera, who divides his time between
Brussels and Lawrenceville. With rampant globalization, it makes a
great deal of sense that bar codes on the same product be uniform the
world over, points out Grasso. Toward that end, he says, both the
12-digit and the 13-digit format are being scrapped, and replaced with
Later in 2005, UCC and EAN will be folded into one organization,
called GS1. Headquarters for GS1 will be in Brussels, but, says
Grasso, there will be no downsizing at the Lawrenceville facility,
where 200 people now work. "Our local offices will continue to be
here," he says, "and we will continue to add people. This is a step
forward in terms of expansion."
Growth at UCC, which is largely funded by the thousands of
manufacturers, merchants, and vendors that make up its membership
rolls, is being fueled by technology, says Grasso. The next big thing,
he says is EPC, or electronic product code. In the future, probably
within the decade, products of all kinds will carry an electronic tag
that will be read by a radio frequency reader. The RFID technology, he
says, allows for "greater visibility." In other words, merchants will
know exactly what the product in front of them is, and exactly where
it has been. For example, it will be possible to ensure that a bottle
of prescription medicine really is Zolfot of Prozac, and not a
counterfeit, and to know with certainty exactly when it was
RFID technology will be able to provide extensive information not only
on single bottles of Prozac, but on a whole pallet full of the drug.
The electronic tags are passive, so it will not be possible to track
wayward shipments through RFID, but it will be possible to determine
the contents of a pallet from a short distance, with no need to run it
through a scanner.
Lawrenceville 08648. Miguel Lopera, CEO. 609-620-0200; fax,
08540. Gregory Hamm, vice president. 609-524-1000; fax, 609-524-1050.
GPC Biotech AG has obtained a patent for its lead cell cycle
inhibitor, RGB-286199. It claims the composition of matter of a family
of cell cycle inhibitors for pharmaceutical compositions (the compound
as a medicinal product), as well as methods of treating certain
diseases, including cancer. The genomics-driven drug discovery company
is based in Germany.
"This patent strengthens our position in this family of small molecule
compounds that may be important in the area of cell cycle control and
anti-cancer drug development," says Sebastian Meier-Ewert, chief
scientific officer. "Our cell goal is to complete pre-clinical
development work on this compound in the first half of 2005."
08540. William Fallon, CEO. 609-683-5833; fax, 609-683-5834.
Cytovance Biologics Inc. has landed a $16.8 million financing deal to
construct a 30,000-foot biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in
Cytovance aims to meet the underserved need for clinical and early
commercial stage therapeutic proteins and antibodies, says Spencer J.
Reynolds, vice president of strategic and marketing. In other words,
not enough companies are making these therapeutics in small
Cytovance has its origins in Novazyme, which was founded by John
Crowley and William Fallon. When Novazyme was bought by Genzyme,
Crowley, Fallon, and other former Novazyme executives founded
The chief reason why the facility is being built in Oklahoma is
because funding came from that state. "We were able to leverage our
relationships in Oklahoma to access funding and high quality
laboratory and office space," says Reynolds. "We are establishing a
low cost base for our manufacturing company."
"Our decision to locate our manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City is
affirmed by the successful closing of this creative financing
vehicle," said Cytovance’s Fallon. A fund established by Rural
Enterprises of Oklahoma (a federally accredited Community Development
Institution) has made a loan that is supported by federal and state
tax credits. The package had funds for facility construction, process
equipment and operating capital.
Later this year Cytovance will begin cell banking, process
development, and analytical development services. It will begin gull
manufacturing from cell banking to vial at the start of 2006.
Plaza, Suite F, Monmouth Junction 08852. Wlodek Mandecki, president.
732-355-0100; fax, 732-355-0102. www.pharmaseq.com
PharmaSeq has received its fifth SBIR grant from the National Cancer
Institute. The Phase I grant is for developing a multiplex cell assay
on PharmaSeq’s electronic microchips, called microtransponders.
PharmaSeq hopes to grow cells on microtransponders in the presence of
a chemical compound and, depending on the compound, cell growth may be
inhibited or arrested. PharmaSeq will measure potency of the drug
using the fluorescence intensity from the microtransponder.
"Our technology can accelerate drug discovery programs in research and
pharmaceutical industry laboratories and reduce costs," says Wlodek
Mandecki, president of PharmaSeq.
08536. Herbert Freeman, president. 609-716-7552; fax, 609-716-7553.
In connection with a $750 million contract from the Department of
Homeland Security, the engineering firm of Michael Baker has
subcontracted with Maptext to provide automated text placement
solutions. As the manager for the Multi-Hazard Flood Map Modernization
program, Baker will use MapText’s software solutions to place names on
By winning this important contract, MapText proved again that its
label placement technology can generate enormous cost savings and
productivity gain, while providing uncompromising cartographic
quality", says Herbert Freeman, president of MapText Inc.
Cedar Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512. Carl Spana PhD,
president & CEO. 609-495-2200; fax, 609-495-2201. www.palatin.com
Palatin Technologies has products for sexual dysfunction and
appendicitis detection, and recently it made major advances in both
areas. Good news came from an early clinical trial that used Palatin’s
drug, PT-141, simultaneously with Viagra, manufactured by Pfizer.
Patients with erectile dysfunction found they had better erections
when they used Viagra with PT-141 than when they used Viagra alone.
The only significant side effect was that their skin was flushed.
PT-141 has a novel central nervous system mechanism of action, whereas
Viagra is a peripheral agent that is a PDE-5 inhibitor. "The
co-administration of a PDE-5 inhibitor and PT-141 may offer an
opportunity to reclaim a significant portion of the patient population
who, although motivated to seek treatment, remains untreated," says
Carl Spana, CEO of Palatin.
Approval has also come from the Food and Drug Administration approval
to begin selling NeutroSpec, a product for detecting appendicitis.
Formerly known as LeuTech, NeutroSpec will be sold through
Mallinckrodt Imaging, a unit of Tyco Healthcare that is based in St.
Louis. When injected into the blood stream, it binds to
infection-fighting cells that can be traced, radioactively, with a
gamma camera in less than an hour after injection. Previous methods of
diagnostic imaging for appendicitis take from 12 to 24 hours.
Corrections or additions?
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