Corrections or additions?
These articles by Barbara Fox were prepared for the December 15,
2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Five years after PowerZyme spun out from the Sarnoff Corporation, it
has doubled its funding with a $7.4 million Series D round, announced
on December 13, led by Battelle Ventures LP. The nine-person firm is
developing the first high-performance enzyme-catalyzed portable power
source, which it hopes will be a "drop-in" replacement for lithium
batteries. CEO Don Scuilli says he plans to add seven people in 2005
and to double the firm’s space at Princeton Corporate Plaza.
Created as a $150 million independent venture fund last year, Carnegie
Center-based Battelle Ventures has made only two other investments,
both in Silicon Valley firms. Kef Kasdin, a general partner at
Battelle Ventures, has been working with PowerZyme and has joined its
"Every living thing has an enzyme-driven `power plant’ in each cell,
and PowerZyme is developing its power source by adapting the
principles perfected in nature for more than 2 billion years," says
Kasdin. "PowerZyme’s power source uses completely new and more
efficient cell chemistries than current portable power sources."
PowerZyme has the first enzyme-catalyzed power source. Instead of
using a passive process that counts on diffusion to move protons
across a cell’s membrane, PowerZyme’s technology dynamically pumps
protons across the membrane. Its self-regulating control is based on
PowerZyme targets the $5 billion annual market for replaceable lithium
batteries in such consumer products as cameras and camcorders, PDAs,
notebooks and laptop computers, cell phones and smart phones with
Wi-Fi capabilities, and such entertainment devices as music and game
players. Other potential applications are for bar-code scanners or
military field communications.
"While we are still early stage and operating in a competitive field
of companies trying to improve on the lithium battery, PowerZyme
presents a unique approach to achieving longer-lasting, lighter-weight
portable power that will help to close the widening power gap in an
increasingly mobile society," says Scuilli.
"The size and chemistry of what is currently in the market is limited
to what power it can produce and how long it can last," says Scuilli.
"Most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) want smaller, lighter
devices, easy to transport, but to produce more functionality they
need a bigger battery."
"Our ultimate goal is either to replace or be part of those portable
devices as a power source," says Scuilli. "We don’t use heavy metals
or toxic materials, so the impact on the environment could be very
positive. All of the components in our power source are recyclable or
are disposed of easily."
So far the company has secured one broad, inclusive patent, and has 16
patents surrounding that, says Scuilli. The patent attorneys are
Lerner David et al in Westfield, and the corporate attorney is Ella
DiTrizo at Dechert LP on Lenox Drive. The company is running two
prototype power sources, one for a digital camera and the other for a
Game Boy, and soon it will do pre-production automated manufacturing
of some component parts. But, says Scuilli, "it is too early to say
when we will go into the manufacturing phase."
On January 15 the firm will expand from 1,500 to 3,700 square feet on
Deer Park Drive. It is hiring electrical and mechanical engineers.
Battelle Ventures was joined in the round by two other new PowerZyme
investors – Calvert Funds and Zon Capital Partners. PowerZyme has now
raised a total of $15 million, and of PowerZyme’s earlier investors
chipped in for this round, including Commons Capital, Micro-Generation
Technology Fund (managed by Arete Corp.), RockPort Capital Partners,
and SAM Private Equity.
Headed by Mort Collins, Battelle Ventures had pledged to funnel 20
percent of its funds to companies that are not connected to the
National Laboratories managed or co-managed by the Battelle Memorial
Institute. Before Battelle’s investment, PowerZyme was in this
not-connected category, but now BMI is working with PowerZyme to speed
development of its power source.
PowerZyme is the fund’s first energy investment. Other target areas
include homeland security, life sciences, information technology, and
materials. In July Battelle Ventures funded SafeView, an idea from the
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to make 3-D holographic
technology for a nonintrusive security screening system; and in
September it funded Genospectra, a provider of dynamic cellular
analysis tools (www.battelleventures.com).
Rose Ritts, the COO, had worked with this technology as director of
biotechnology systems at the Sarnoff Corporation. She was a biomedical
and electrical engineer from Duke who has her PhD in electrical
engineering from Stamford, where she also went to the Executive
Scuilli, CEO, has been with PowerZyme since the spinoff. "I was at a
venture fair at Sarnoff, and I was the one that saw the technology
introduced," he says. "I solicited the angel investors that put in the
first $2.5 million."
Scuilli grew up on Pittsburgh’s West Side, where his father was a
construction laborer and his mother a waitress. He had a football
scholarship to Geneva College, in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and he majored
in business administration with a concentration in economics. He has
done postgraduate work at Case Western Reserve and Northwestern’s
Scuilli, who is married and has five children, started his career in
banking, then went to Wall Street, where he most recently was
president of William E. Pollock & Co. an old-line government bond
dealer, which he helped revitalize and grow. When he sold that company
he left the workforce to pursue his youthful dream, to be a football
coach, volunteering for five seasons at Upsala College.
Then he devoted full time to making investments. In 1986 he took a $1
million stake in Plus One, a health services firm that has grown more
than 400 percent. In addition to PowerZyme, he also invested in
another Sarnoff spinoff, Summit-based Secure Products, a
ceramic-phosphor and optoelectronics developer that targets the
security and authentication needs of large national governments and
secure document printers. He also helped incubate Electrox, a
developer of electronic manufacturing systems that has semiconductor
"This is my first time as CEO of a technology company," says Scuilli.
"It feels great. I’m enjoying it, I’m learning a lot."
202, Monmouth Junction 08852. Rose Ritts, chief operating officer.
732-438-9300; fax, 732-438-9350. Home page: www.powerzyme.com
Bristol-Myers Squibb employees were notified last week that their
company has signed a contract with Accenture to provide services in
the areas of information technology, financial, and human resources.
Meetings were held with employees in the potentially affected areas
before a company-wide E-mail was sent about the contract.
"The decision to work with a third-party company to deliver these
services is consistent with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s strategy to focus
on 10 disease areas where there are unmet medical needs and where we
can make a difference in people’s lives," says Steffanie Archbald,
spokesperson. "To support this focus, we have been redeploying
resources and looking carefully at our cost structure to ensure that
we continue to effectively invest behind our business and growth
drivers, as well as behind our R&D pipeline."
B-MS has 8,600 workers in central New Jersey, 1,700 of them on
Scudders Mill Road and 600 at Nassau Park, home of the financial
shared services and global strategic sourcing departments. Services to
be outsourced include financial transaction processing, application
development and support, and HR operations and payroll.
The agreement with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), signed on
December 8, follows Accenture’s major contract with Educational
Testing Service, which will outsource its supply chain including the
printing, publishing, warehousing, distribution, tracking and shipping
of tests and test materials globally. That two-year contract totaled
No dollar figure has been given on the B-MS contract, which is termed
"multi-year" and "global." Based in Bermuda, Accenture has more than
100,000 people in 48 countries, and this month it added an office in
southern China and 1,000 jobs in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria
191, New Brunswick 08903-0191. 732-519-2000. www.bms.com
Another young company in Princeton, Princeton Power Systems, is
working on new energy technology, but instead of trying to replace
lithium batteries, it works with these batteries on an industrial
level. Founded in 2001 by graduates of Princeton University, Princeton
Power Systems has a cost-effective way of fending off power
interruptions. Its software can control an uninterruptible power
supply device, like a giant voltage regulator that protects against
brief power flickers as well as uneven current (U.S. 1, November 28,
Earlier this fall the 13-person firm landed a $250,000 Springboard
Fund grant from New Jersey, and now it has an impressive contract with
Science Applications International Corporation, the largest
employee-owned research and engineering company in the United States
(www.saic.com). It is developing a high-voltage, dynamic power source
for the United States Air Force’s Active Denial System. Using PPS’s
patented AC-link Technology, this power source will employ a lithium
ion battery bank to supply dynamic direct current power to the energy
"To mount the system on a Humvee, the size and weight of the power
supply are critical," says Darren Hammell, CEO of Princeton Power
Systems. "AC-link enables the SAIC team to incorporate a small,
lightweight, high-frequency internal transformer that will provide the
required voltage conditioning and ensure the smallest possible
footprint. In addition, AC-link’s inherent efficiencies place less
strain on the cooling system and offer flexible design options."
Forrestal Campus, Suite 211, Princeton 08540. Darren Hammell, CEO.
609-258-5994; fax, 609-258-7329. Home page: www.princetonpower.com
Just about the time that Darryl W. Copeland Jr. opened the
headquarters of Provident Senior Living Trust at 600 College Road, the
company filed an Initial Public Offering. It aims to raise up to $439
million in stock by offering 29 million shares.
When it goes public Provident will be a real estate investment trust
(REIT) that buys senior living center properties and leases them back.
Among its properties are Brookdale Living Communities (BLCI) and
Alterra Healthcare Corp. (ATHCQ), including Alterra Clare Bridge of
Hamilton on Whitehorse Mercerville Road. Its shares are held by
Farallon Capital Management, Hunter Global Investors, Franklin
Advisors, Friedman Billings Ramsey, and others. In its move to 600
College Road, Provident was represented by Tim Norris of Callaway
Commercial, and Jim Kinzig represented the landlord, the Aegis Group.
Copeland was not available for an interview during the "quiet period"
of the IPO, but he had been featured in this newspaper when he started
a dotcom geared for seniors (U.S. 1, August 16, 2000). Until last
April, he had been managing director of an affiliate of Fortress
Investment Group, an alternative investment and asset management firm
with more than $6.5 billion under management.
A biomedical engineer at Duke, Class of ’81, Copeland grew up in
Cherry Hill and is the son of an engineer. He has a master’s in
computer science from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an MBA
from Wharton. He worked at RCA in Moorestown and on Wall Street for
eight years, including a stint as an investment banker with Donaldson
Lufkin & Jenrette. Then he took a job as CFO of one of his clients,
Brookdale Living Communities, a publicly traded senior housing company
In 2000 Copeland moved from Chicago to Cranbury, where he and his
wife, Karen, have two school-aged children. From March, 2000, to June,
2001, he had a dotcom company, DWC Web, on Emmons Drive. He was
anticipating the "silver tsunami," the tidal wave of Internet savvy
seniors that is predicted to engulf the web. "When I was at Brookdale
I saw how computers were becoming a big activity in the senior
communities," he said then. "But the major portals were designed,
developed, and geared to a much younger crowd."
Copeland’s web portal was easy to navigate, had big print, and had
highly visible click-through buttons. His five-person firm’s marketing
plan involved donating computers to residential communities. But even
though the company acquired a loyal subscriber base, it failed to get
the continued investment that it needed, and it closed its website,
www.next50.com, on August 3, 2001.
Apparently simultaneously Copeland was a managing director at
Fortress, because he had arranged the $21 million mortgage for
Brookdale’s 217-unit independent living facility, the Hallmark, in
Battery Park. It opened early in 2001 and, after the area recovered
from the World Trade Center disaster, attained a good leasing record.
In early 2004, Provident seeded its real estate portfolio with 21
senior living properties from Brookdale and Alterra. Its shares are
estimated to price at about $15.
Suite 3400, Princeton 08540. Darryl Copeland, president. 609-720-0825;
On Monday, December 13, NeoStrata consolidated its 50-person firm at
College Road. Until then, it had two spaces: a headquarters at 4
Research Way and a laboratory on College Road. Now it occupies 33,800
feet, which represents an addition of 3,000 square feet. The phone and
fax does not change. The 50-person company focuses on therapeutic skin
care and patented alpha-hydroxy acid formulations. Also here are
TriStrata, PolyStrata Pharmaceuticals, and Tri-Strata Technology.
Founded in 1988, NeoStrata Company Inc. is the company that everyone
hoped would go public, because it seemed to have a sure-fire
technology – the ingredient for Fountain of Youth face creams. It
remained private, thanks to a strong patent position, and major
cosmetic firms such as Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden have to pay
royalties to use the formulation. NeoStrata has its own brands,
Alpha hydroxy acid wipes out the fine lines and wrinkles caused by
overexposure to the sun or by aging. Occurring in citrus fruits and
sugar cane, tomato juice, apples and wine, as well as in milk, they
can help the skin shed its outer layer, the stratum corneum, where
wrinkles show themselves.
NeoStrata’s founders, dermatologist Eugene Van Scott and
dermatopharmacologist Ruey Yu, met at Temple University in 1968. Their
first joint publication, in 1974, reported the effectiveness of alpha
hydroxy acids to treat ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition.
This collaboration resulted in an effective treatment for a relatively
intractable, unsightly skin condition, but it also led to an
understanding of how alpha hydroxy acids affect skin, in general. The
pair also discovered a number of organic acids whose previous names
did not reveal their common structural features.
The firm was founded as Polystrata in Connecticut in 1988. TriStrata
Technologies, a subsidiary of NeoStrata located in Delaware, holds the
intellectual property, issuing licenses and collecting royalties.
NeoStrata, the operating company, develops technologies and quality
assurance, takes care of marketing and sales, and coordinates
08540. Richard H. Wildnauer, president. 609-520-0715; fax,
After three years, a merger, and a defection, the law firm of Hale and
Dorr has closed its doors at 650 College Road. Hale and Dorr had been
known as Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr since the merger took
place last spring.
The defection happened in June, when David J. Sorin took six
colleagues to join the business and finance practice of Morgan, Lewis
& Bockius at the Carnegie Center (U.S. 1, June 30, 2004). In 2001
Sorin had founded this office of Hale and Dorr, bringing 32 attorneys
and their staff with him from the Princeton office of Buchanan
Ingersoll, which he also founded.
This office did corporate finance law, including venture capital
financing, mergers and acquisitions, and tax matters, and it had 23
attorneys in spring, 2004.
A trade publication, Legal Week, reported that, when compared to
Columbia, Stanford, and Oxford, the Princeton office had failed to
bring in the expected number of university spin-off deals.
Now Milt Charbonneau and Brian McMamimon of Colliers Houston & Co.
represent the Boston-based firm in its efforts to sublease 26,800
The Pritzker family, owners of Hyatt Corp. hotel chain and the Hyatt
Regency at the Carnegie Center, plans to buy the 143-hotel AmeriSuites
chain. The deal is reportedly worth $600 million, though that figure
was not disclosed by the buyer or the seller, the Blackstone Group.
Hyatt is based in Chicago and AmeriSuites is based in Fairfield,
Connecticut. The purchase would include AmeriSuites at Carnegie Center
Two companies that make auto headlights, one from Japan and one from
Taiwan, have leased up the latest building at CenterPoint at 8A
Industrial Park, built by Matrix Development Group.
The New Jersey branch of Genera Corp. has already moved from 1242
South River Road to 152,000 square feet on 5 Fitzgerald Avenue. It is
being joined by Sabry Lee Inc., which is taking 77,000 square feet.
Sabry Lee Inc. imports and distributes aftermarket automobile
accessories manufactured in Taiwan by Eagle Eyes Traffic Ind. Co.,
Ltd. It makes plastic head, tail lights, and plastic corner lights,
and it also carries side view mirrors, fan assemblies, and AC
condensers. Scott Belfer of CBRE represented Sabry Lee, which is
expanding from the West Coast.
With a headquarters in La Palma, California, Genera Corporation is the
North American distribution arm of TYC, a Japanese maker of auto
replacement lamps. In this country it has 710,000 square feet of
warehouse space in five distribution centers. Phone and fax have not
Designed by Venezia & Associates of New Brunswick, the one-story
Fitzgerald Avenue building is made of pre-cast structural concrete. It
has 36-foot clear ceilings and is equipped with Early Suppression Fast
Response sprinkler systems, multiple loading docks, and flexible
08331. 609-409-8168; fax, 609-409-8190. Home page: www.genera.com.
Robbinsville 08691. 609-918-2400; fax, 609-448-2714. Home page:
Sharbell Development Corporation has signed its first tenant, a
cardiology practice, for Washington Town Center’s West Lake Office
Building. The developers are being represented by NAI Fennelly.
Comprehensive Cardiology Consultants PA will be moving from 179
Klockner Road to 8,200 square feet in the state’s first
neo-traditional town center.
Located off Route 33, Washington Town Center has residential, retail,
and office/medical space in a small town planned community. Phase I of
the office building has nearly 39,000 square feet. "This commercial
corridor is no longer the ugly duckling to Princeton," says Tom Troy,
senior vice president of Sharbell.
Among Sharbell’s developments are Foxmoor in Washington Township,
Brentwood Estates and Gentry in Plainsboro, Summerfield in South
Brunswick, Windsor Park Estates in West Windsor, and Sharps Farm in
Paul E. Bevensee, 69, on December 6. He was founder and president of
the Princeton Windsor News Service.
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