Everybody agrees that nanotechnology is the wave of the future, and

that New Jersey’s future may depend on investment in it.

Earlier this month the NJCST gave $500,000 for NJ NANO @ RU, a

nanotechnology facility at the Institute for Advanced Materials and

Devices located at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Rutgers

already has more than $5 million in equipment, and it will buy new

equipment, including the most powerful microscope in New Jersey.

"New Jersey has always been on the forefront of scientific

advancement, and this investment will help expand the state’s current

leadership position to include the promising field of nanotechnology,"

said Donald L. Drakeman, commission chairman and CEO of Medarex, in a

press release issued after NJCST’s May 19 meeting.

"Nanotechnology is not an industry, it is a tool, like accounting,"

says Michele Bitritto, formerly business director at New Jersey

Commission on Science on Technology and now on the leadership team for

New Jersey Institute of Technology’s High Tech Incubator.

"The short-term, profitable applications of nano are in everyday

industries such as cosmetic sunscreens," says Bitritto, who just

released an incisive, detailed, and somewhat alarming report for NJCST

about New Jersey’s current and future prospects for nanotechnology

jobs.

The nanotech facility at Rutgers will be used by various industries

including petrochemical companies, the pharmaceutical industry, the

biotechnology sector, the microelectronic industry and energy

enterprises. "Small business, corporations, and other universities

will be able to use the equipment, but its focus is for research, not

for making devices," says Bitritto.

With Lucent being sold to Alcatel, another state investment in

nanotechnology could be in jeopardy. Four years ago the state invested

a significant amount in a deal with Lucent so that university

researchers might be able to use the fabled Bell Labs laboratories.

But now no one can predict whether that access will be available, says

Bitritto. She hopes that the resources remain available under Alcatel

ownership, and that they will extend to small businesses.

`The original state investment in Lucent was only for universities,"

says Bitritto. "But access to the Lucent laboratories probably has

more value to small businesses that need a place to make their

prototype devices."

At the same meeting NJCST awarded just over $1.3 million to four New

Jersey companies that are partnering with research universities; both

the companies and the universities must provide matching funds and, if

the technology goes to market, they must pay one percent royalty to

the state. Of the 29 proposals for the Entrepreneurial Partnering

Fund, four were selected, and three are from the Princeton area.

Princeton University is partnering with Signum Biosciences of Deer

Park Drive for a $500,000 grant, trying to solve the problem of

Alzheimer’s disease by using agents from natural products (U.S. 1,

August 25, 2004). Princeton University is also working with Princeton

Power Systems, at the Forrestal Campus, on a $330,958 grant for a

grid-tied inverter used in solar power (U.S. 1, November 28, 2001).

ProFACT Proteomics (at the Technology Center of New Jersey on Route 1

South in North Brunswick) will get $182,000 to work with UMDNJ-RWJMS

to build an infrastructure focused on cancer drugs and diagnostics

(www.profactproteomics.com).

Both Signum and ProFACT Proteomics also successfully applied for

postdoctoral graduates under an NSCST program that totals $695,000

this year. For Signum Biosciences, the state will pay $75,000 for a

first-year post-doc fellowship and $85,000 for a second year

fellowship. ProFACT Proteomics gets a first year fellow.

Two other companies at the Technology Center of New Jersey received

first year fellowships: Chromocell Corporation and Orthocon Inc. (U.S.

1, October 26, 2005). The first year fellowship recipients include

Pradeep Bhatta, just graduated with a PhD from Princeton University,

who will help Princeton Satellite Systems, based on Witherspoon

Street, to expand its line of aircraft design software tools to

include underwater vehicles (www.psatellite.com, U.S. 1, November 28,

2001). Anamika Patel will have a second year at Energy Photovoltaics

on Bakers Basin Road, helping to develop thin film modules to make

solar energy more economical (www.epv.net).

While Rutgers landed the $500,000 nano center, Princeton University

will get a similar sum from its participation in a multimillion-dollar

engineering research center, funded by the National Science

Foundation, called MIRTHE (Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and

the Environment). "It is expected to revolutionize sensor technology,

yielding devices that have a unique ability to detect minute amounts

of chemicals found in the atmosphere, emitted from factories or

exhaled in human breath," according to a press release. Princeton

joins five other universities who will share nearly $3 million this

year, and the funding could top $40 million over the next 10 years.

— Barbara Fox

Pharma Expansion

Celator Pharmaceuticals, 303 B College Road East, Princeton 08540;

609-243-0123; fax, 609-243-0202. Andrew Janoff PhD, CEO and chairman.

Home page: www.celatorpharma.com

The headquarters of Celator Pharmaceuticals, a privately held

biopharmaceutical company focusing on cancer therapies, moved from

1,800 square feet at 1 Airport Place to 13,000 square feet at College

Road East; at the same time, the company’s research facility in

Vancouver moved from 5,000 to 14,000 square feet. According to CEO

Andrew Janoff, growth in several key areas was fueled by the $40

million round of financing completed last year.

Janoff reports significant progress "on all fronts." Celator has

completed a Phase 1 study for its lead product, CPX-1, which will be

developed for colorectal cancer, and Celator will be announcing

results in June. Phase 2 studies are expected to open later this year.

The center of Celator’s strategy is its CombiPlex technology platform,

for which a patent application is currently pending in the United

States and Europe. The technology represents a new direction in

developing drug cocktails to fight different cancers. Up until now,

the standard for cocktails has been to include each component at its

maximum tolerated dose.

Celator holds, however, that chemotherapeutic agents can act

synergistically at certain ideal ratios among the component drugs, and

its technology has shown significant success in identifying the

optimal drug ratios and then locking them in drug carriers so that the

ratios can be maintained in patients.

Confident that this approach could represent a significant advance in

patient care for many forms of cancer, Janoff expects Celator’s staff

in Princeton to grow this year from 17 to 22. The company has an

additional 29 people in Vancouver.

"The funding represented conclusions by investors that we have a

technology that is likely to change the standard of care in treating

cancer," says Janoff, adding that early stage trials are showing some

promise for this ratiometric approach. "If we’re right," he continues,

"we have an unlimited pipeline." Initially, the company is targeting

new combination therapies involving chemotherapy agents already

approved and widely used to treat cancer. This approach positions

Celator to pursue promising product opportunities with reduced

clinical risk.

Among the investors in the $40,000 funding round were Domain

Associates, venture capitalist at Palmer Square, and the Garden State

Life Sciences Venture Fund, a fund managed by Quaker Bioventures in

which the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is the sole

limited partner. This round of funding was touted as one of the

largest venture capital investments in biotechnology in the North

America for the year (U.S. 1, May 18, 2005).

Celator began in 2000 as a spinoff of the British Columbia Cancer

Agency with a laboratory in Vancouver and moved to Princeton in 2003.

Janoff has been CEO since 2002.

Janoff had been vice president of research and development at Elan

Corporation and, prior to that, vice president and a scientific

founder of the Liposome Company. He majored in biology at American

University, Class of 1971, and has an M.S. and Ph.D. in biophysics

from Michigan State University.

– Michele Alperin

Out of Business

Bylin-Babick Associates LLC, 133 Franklin Corner Road, Lawrenceville.

Bylin-Babick Associates has closed, according to information sent by

the company. It did consulting for the gift industries.

Ellentuck & Springer. James R. Springer, president. www.DRTV.com

After 30 years in business, Ellentuck & Springer has closed, according

to James R. Springer, who sold the company to EMS Direct in Houston,

Texas. The company had eight employees in the 1990s and did direct

response advertising.

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