New Pharma For Cranbury

UCC Goes Global, but Stays in Lawrence

Contracts Awarded

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 HealthCare System: University Medical Center at

Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540. Barry S. Rabner,

president and CEO. 609-497-4000; fax, 609-497-4991.

Top Of Page
New Pharma For Cranbury

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.

Top Of Page
UCC Goes Global, but Stays in Lawrence

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

in Lawrenceville.

"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

standards organization.

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

14 digits.

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.

Uniform Code Council Inc., 1009 Lenox Drive, Suite 202,

Lawrenceville 08648. Miguel Lopera, CEO. 609-620-0200; fax,

609-620-1200. E-mail:

Top Of Page
Contracts Awarded

GPC Biotech Inc. (GPC), 101 College Road East, Princeton

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."

Cytovance Biologics Inc., 353 Nassau Street,Princeton

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

Oklahoma City.

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.

PharmaSeq Inc., 1 Deer Park Drive, Princeton Corporate

Plaza, Suite F, Monmouth Junction 08852. Wlodek Mandecki, president.

732-355-0100; fax, 732-355-0102.

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.

Maptext, 666 Plainsboro Road, Suite 1025, Plainsboro

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

the maps.

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.

Palatin Technologies Inc. (PTN), 4C Cedar Brook Drive,

Cedar Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512. Carl Spana PhD,

president & CEO. 609-495-2200; fax, 609-495-2201.

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.

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