Delayed Move

New in Town

Start Ups


Crosstown Moves

Contracts Awarded



Corrections or additions?

These articles were prepared for the February 28, 2001 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

Vela Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as Janus


has received $16.3 million in second round financing from Venrock

Associates and New Enterprise Associates and is moving out of


space at Johnston Associates. The 10-person firm plans to move in

early March from 181 Cherry Valley Road to 3131 Princeton Pike. The

company works on drug development opportunities — therapeutic

agents for psychiatric, neurologic, and behavioral disorders —

from a variety of different sources.

The president and CEO, Kevin L. Keim, went to Delaware Valley College

of Science, Class of 1968, and has a master’s degree from Fairleigh

Dickinson and a PhD in neurophysiology from New York University. After

17 years at Hoffman LaRoche he moved to the Princeton area to join

the Ayerst Group, and when worked in Radnor for Wyeth-Ayerst. In 1991

he became one of four partners in International Research Corporation

in San Diego, which joined another clinical research organization

— Quintiles — and went public in 1994.

Following an unusual business model, Vela will derive most of its

revenue not from drug discovery, but rather from acquiring licenses

to drugs that were abandoned by other pharmaceuticals, typically


Phase II or Phase III testing.

"A company may have decided to drop a drug because it had other

priorities," Stefan Antonsson, vice president of corporate


gives as one reason that Vela might "in-license" a drug. Other

reasons, Antonsson says, could include a failed Phase II or Phase

III test. If Vela determines that the drug is promising, but did not

do well because of a flaw in the design of the test, it might pick

up the drug’s license. Mergers also provide opportunities for the

company. "When two companies merge, there is a complete portfolio

review," Antonsson says, "There have to be priorities


Often, he says, the result is that some drugs are removed from the

newly-joined company’s pipeline.

In addition to picking up drugs that are part way through the Federal

Drug Administration’s approval process, Vela plans to in-license drugs

that are in use in other countries, but are not approved in the United

States. It also plans to develop new uses for approved drugs. Once

Vela has obtained a license to a partially-developed drug, it will

outsource further development to a contract research organization.

The company will design the clinical trials and will oversee their


After its drugs are approved, Vela will not market them itself in

most cases. It will seek to license them to pharmaceutical companies.

Exceptions, Antonsson says, could be niche drugs — those for a

disease with a relatively small universe of patients. A drug to treat

anorexia nervosa could be an example, he says, because the number

of physicians who treat the disease is small enough for a company

like Vela, which has limited marketing resources, to reach.

Vela will look for development candidates among drugs targeting


nervous system disorders, Antonsson says. That is where the expertise

of the company’s management lies. Keim is a neurophysiologist. Steven

Leventer, a neurochemist and vice president of clinical research and

development, is a graduate of Loyola University School of Medicine

who initiated research in the creation of animal models for


disease. Sharon L. Rogers, whose training is in clinical pharmacology,

is a graduate of Ohio State University College of Medicine. While

she was at Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, she was global


leader for the Alzheimer’s therapeutic agent Aricept. She negotiated

approval for the drug in the United States.

Antonsson is a graduate of Columbia who holds an MBA in marketing

from New York University. Before joining Vela he worked in marketing

for Pharmacia, Forest Laboratories, and Richwood Pharmaceuticals,

which has been acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Robert F. Johnston, president of Johnston Associates, the venture

capital firm with offices on Cherry Valley Road that provides seed

capital for biotechnology and healthcare startups, is a founder and

serves as chairman of the board. Other founders are Mark Fisher,


of MBF Capital Corporation; Seth Lederman, director of the laboratory

of molecular immunology of the department of medicine of Columbia

University; Donald W. Landry, chief of the division of experimental

therapeutics of the department of medicine of Columbia University;

and S. Leslie Misrock, senior partner, Pennie & Edmonds. On the board

are Anthony Evnin, managing general partner of Venrock Associates,

Ernest Mario, chairman and chief executive officer of Alza


Charles Newhall of New Enterprise Associates; and Philip M. Satow,

past president of Forest Pharmaceuticals.

Vela Pharmaceuticals Inc., 3131 Princeton Pike,

Building 4, Suite 216, Lawrenceville 08648. Kevin L. Keim, CEO.

609-895-8352; fax, 609-895-8353. Until the move: 609-683-9616; fax,


Top Of Page
Delayed Move

On Monday, February 26, Eduneering — a fast-growing

online learning and testing firm — was scheduled to move from

1 Summit Square in Langhorne to Campus Drive, just off Alexander Road.

The moving vans were at the door — and were turned away. The


An unexpected delay in obtaining a certificate of occupancy. Now the

move is scheduled for Monday, March 5.

Founded by Robert P. Delamontagne at Research Park, the firm moved

to Titusville when it was bought by Hastings Healthcare Group. It

spun off when Hastings was acquired, and then moved to Langhorne.

The 40-person firm has the contract for the Food and Drug


testing and training, and it also does similar work for the petroleum,

pharmaceutical, and manufacturing industries.

EduNeering Inc., 100 Campus Drive, Suite 100,


08540. Robert P. Delamontagne, president. 609-627-5300. fax,


Home page:

Top Of Page
New in Town

Orth-Rodgers Associates, 810 Bear Tavern Road,

Mountain View Office Park Suite 307, West Trenton 08628. P. Norman

Deitch, director traffic engineering services. 609-530-0888; fax,

609-530-0868. Home page:

A private engineering consulting firm, based in center city


has opened a office at Mountain View Office Park for transportation

engineering, planning, and design. This office has an on-going


with Monmouth and Cape May County, and it is assisting a West Trenton

firm, New Jersey Logos, with site plan review services. Another office

is in Somerset.

Top Of Page
Start Ups

Ripula Inc., 666 Plainsboro Road, Suite 1161,


08536. Ramu Kalyanasundaram. 609-897-9700; fax, 609-897-9474. Home


Web-enabled software for the banking and financial industries is the

focus for this start-up, which has opened a 700 square foot office

at Princeton Meadows Office Center. It also has a technical support

center in Maryland and R&D operations in Bangalore, India.

Its web-enabled Banking Suite (rBS) is a modular system for platforms

using major databases. No longer must the client depend on hardware

or maintain client software on end-user stations. The rBS offers a

paper-free environment with scalability, 24-hour worldwide


and high security.

One of the modules receives data and image files from the central

bank, processes the checks, archives the dated image to be accessed

remotely at any time. Or it can be posted to accounting in real time.

This module can validate digital signatures and cope with old checks

and stop payment orders. Remote clients can make web-based inquiries.

Simple Solve Inc., 600 Alexander Road, Princeton

08540. Sam Serrapede, principal. 609-452-2323; fax, 609-452-2314.

Insurance companies ask homeowners to keep a record of household


but do they? Almost never. It’s too much trouble. Sam Serrapede has

a solution, a "Simple Solution," as his company is named.

By September the firm will have a $49.95 fixed asset software program

named Simplex.

Serrapede plans for insurance companies to equip their agents with

the Simplex program. Agents take their laptops on the initial visit

to the home and record all the homeowners possessions on the Simplex

program: item, original cost, replacement cost, etc. All the homeowner

must do is try answer the agent’s questions. The record of this


will reside, password protected, on the Internet. New purchase? Add

it by phoning your agent or by going to the Web and making the change


Serrapedes’ parents were Italian immigrants, and he went to City


of New York, Class of 1964. He is married to a human resources person

at KPMB; she is the director of the work/life initiative there.

Serrapedes and his partner, Antony Xavier, started their company last

year and have a three-person office at 600 Alexander Road. Most of

the software development — 8,000 person hours — is being


in Madras, India, Xavier’s home country. The firm is developing a

reporting database for Milmic, a medical malpractice insurance company

in New York City. Both men had been working for Delphi Technology

until it moved to New Brunswick.

Top Of Page

Elementis Specialties/Rheox Inc., Wyckoffs Mill

Road, Box 700, Hightstown 08520. Neil Carr, president. 609-443-2000;

fax, 609-443-2422. Home page:

A London-based firm, Elementis PLC, has acquired Rheox Inc. from NL

Industries, which once owned 300 acres here, everything up to the

turnpike. Both firms are now located on Wyckoffs Mill Road. An NL

related firm, Kronos, has moved to Dayton.

Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling, 810 Bear Tavern

Road, Mountain View Office Park, Suite 301, West Trenton 08628. Mark

J. Manta, managing partner. 609-883-6990; fax, 609-883-7730. Home


Mark Manta has left Manta & Welge, a Philadelphia firm, to join a

Pittsburgh-based firm. There are two attorneys at this office. Klett

Rooney has offices in Harrisburg, Wilmington, Newark, and the District

of Columbia — a total of 170 attorneys.

Top Of Page
Crosstown Moves

Garden State Electrical Inspection Services, 2277

Route 33, Hamilton Square 08690. Brian Hartmann, vice president.


fax, 609-631-7797.

This 30-year-old company moved on January 29 from Princeton Corporate

Plaza to Hamilton Square. With a staff of about 50 people, it does

on-site plumbing and electrical inspections for municipalities that

have no inspectors on staff or that need extra help.

Great American Mortgage Service Corp, 3687A


Way, Hamilton 08648. Robert W. Koepke, executive vice president.


fax, 609-631-9699.

Great American Mortgage Service Corp., a lender specializing in


and small commercial mortgages, has moved from 3,100 square feet in

Lawrence Commons to about 2,000 square feet in Hamilton Square.

Bob Koepke, executive vice president, says the company relocated


its lease was up and its former landlord wanted to raise the rent

to what he termed "Carnegie Center rents." Koepke says he

likes the Hamilton Square location better. "It’s the sixth largest

town in the state."

Steven L. Sacks-Wilner, Attorney at Law, 707


Road, Building 2, Suite 208, Princeton 08540. 609-452-8383.

The attorney moved from Lawrence Commons to Alexander Road.

T2 Ventures Design & Development, 4478 Route 27,

Box 446, Princeton 08540. Carlos and Raoul Momo. 609-924-4009; fax,


The Momo brothers, restaurateurs, closed a Nassau Street office and

consolidated the administrative functions in Kingston. They own


Teresa’s, Winepress, Pizza Colore, Witherspoon Bread Company, Nova

Terra, and Momo’s.

WWINS, 116 Youngs Road, Hamilton 08619. Dmitri

Stylianou, president. 609-586-5565; fax, 609-586-5124.

Dmitri Stylianou has moved his company, which does financial software

development and multimedia systems, from the Princeton Pike area to

Youngs Road.

Top Of Page
Contracts Awarded

PharmaSeq Inc., 1 Deer Park Drive, Princeton


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

and CEO. 732-355-0100; fax, 732-355-0102. Home page:

The biotech company has made a strategic partnership with Mitsui &

Company, one of the three largest corporations in Japan and sixth

worldwide in annual revenues. Mitsui has made a multi-million dollar

equity investment in the licensing opportunities for light-powered

microtransponders for particular markets. PharmaSeq offers


for diagnostics and assay for drug discovery.

Princeton Video Image Inc. (PVI) (PVII), 15


Road, Lawrenceville 08648. Dennis P. Wilkinson, president and CEO.

609-912-9400; fax, 609-912-0044.

Princeton Video Image signed a $17.5 million contract with Cablevision

Systems Corp. of New York. PVI will give Cablevision 4 million newly

issued shares of stock and nonexclusive rights to its virtual imaging

technology. Cablevision, which owns three sports teams and numerous

television stations, will be able to use EyeVision instant replays

and eventually, using a technique called iPoint, will be able to


certain households with particular advertisements on virtual


Pretiem (FAF), 195 Clarksville Road, Princeton

Junction 08550. Ezra Schneier, vice president. 609-297-3000; fax,

609-716-3062. Home page:

Pretiem Corp. — which does preemployment screening services and

background checks on job applicants — has been acquired by


Inc., formerly CIC Applicant Background Checks. Pretiem was formerly

known as MBI Services. HireCheck is a subsidiary of First American

Corporation, located in Santa Ana California.

Ezra Schnier, former president of Pretiem, is vice president of


and David Kennedy will remain in charge of day to day operations for

this 50-person office. John W. Long is president of HireCheck Inc.

Top Of Page

Silver Reporting Services, 634 Arena Drive, Suite

206, Trenton 08610. Edwin Silver, owner. 609-888-0111; fax,


"Technology increases, need for space decreases," says Edwin

Silver, owner of Silver Reporting. The 12 court reporters who work

for Silver used to come in to the office to transcribe their notes.

Now, Silver says, there is no need for them to do so. They take


notes at depositions and then type them up on their home PCs and


them in.

Needing less space for his business, Silver has moved from 2,600


feet at 3131 Princeton Pike to 750 square feet at 634 Arena Drive

in Trenton.

Top Of Page

Durinda Dobbins Putnam, 79, on February 24. She and her husband

Peter co-founded and led the Princeton Memorial Association.

Corrections or additions?

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