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Thess articles were prepared for the June 27, 2001 edition of U.S.
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Life in the Fast Lane
Popping nitroglycerine pills helps keep lots of people
with heart problems alive, and so does taking aspirin daily. But
is an emergency drug that dilates the blood vessels quickly, and daily
doses of aspirin can trigger stomach ulcers. NiCox, the French
company that has just opened an office at the Carnegie Center, thinks
it might have the perfect combination of nitric oxide and aspirin.
This potential drug could prevent re-stenosis (blood vessels getting
blocked again after an angioplasty) and also inhibit the development
of gastric ulcers.
Nitric oxide is produced by all mammals and a deficit of nitric oxide
has been demonstrated in certain diseases, particularly cardiovascular
ones. Nitric oxide should not be confused with nitrous oxide, known
as laughing gas and used in anesthesia, which has two molecules of
nitrogen and two of oxygen.
Known as NO, nitric oxide consists of one molecule of nitrogen and
one of oxygen. NO is a very simple, very small molecule, but it is
versatile. Exactly how it works is still unclear, but its important
biochemical and physical properties include the capacity to prevent
or repair injury to the gastrointestinal tract, control inflammatory
cell activation, and inhibit the aggregation and adhesion of platelets
to the blood vessels’ inner walls (preventing clotting), says Joel
Morley, U.S. liaison for NiCox.
"It also contributes to the destructive action of certain
cells against tumors, bacteria, viruses, and other
NiCox has more than 140 patents all based on the same principle: to
graft nitric oxide into an existing drug able to release nitric oxide
into the tissue and blood stream in a slow and sustained manner. This
process could rescue the old drugs that are about to lose their patent
protection; it could decrease their side effects, increase their
and perhaps generate new applications that can be considered new
Drugs that NiCox is working on range from Alzheimer’s to asthma.
"One of our products is tagged with aspirin, so you get the
effects on platelet aggregation plus the aggregate effect of nitric
oxide to prevent the development of gastric ulcers," says Morley.
"Aspirin knocks out what protects the stomach from ulceration.
But the nitric oxide acts as a surrogate and puts back what the
blocks." He says that when the drug is administered before a
angioplasty, it cuts down on the incidents of re-stenosis.
"The critical role of nitric oxide has been shown to play in
biochemical processes include pain and inflammation, cardio vascular,
respiratory, dermatology, and urinary problems, and neurodegenerative
diseases," says Morley.
With so many possible uses, NO begins to sound like a panacea touted
by 19th century medicine show hawkers. If it’s so good, why didn’t
we have it before? The problem until about five years ago was
Then three scientists in the mid 1990s successfully grafted nitric
oxide onto another compound, and they won a Nobel prize for this work
Major companies may be quietly working on this research, and small
companies certainly are. NiCox has at least one major competitor,
NitroMed, in the Boston/Bedford area. Both have one of the Nobel
on their advisory board. NiCox has UCLA’s Louis Ignarro, and NitroMed
has Robert F. Furchgott of SUNY Health Sciences Center. "Many
of the other companies’ patents are for nitrites, but we work with
nitrates. And the other companies use a different spacer to attach
the nitric oxide and the drugs," says Morley.
The competitor NitroMed (www.nitromed.com), is a 40-person firm headed
by Michael D. Loberg, former president of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s U.S.
Primary Care businesses. Its investors include HealthCare Ventures
(which has an office at 44 Nassau Street) and Rho Management (which
is represented on the board by former Princeton resident, Mark
the son of pharmaceutical mogul Jan Leschly). NitroMed has 45 issued
or allowed patents for delivering Nitric Oxide (NO) therapeutics and
has filed for 140 more.
NiCox, in contrast, is located in Sophia Antipolis, outside of Nice.
One of the founders, Elizabeth Robinson, is a 1977 Wellesley alumna
with graduate degrees in chemical engineering and biotechnology from
MIT. She is executive vice president for business development. The
other co-founders are Italian: Michele Garufi, who is chairman and
CEO, and Piero Del Soldato, the executive vice president of science
technology. On the board are Laurent Ganem of Apax Partners, Frank
Baldino Jr., CEO of Cephalon Inc., and Bengt Samuelsson, the Nobel
prize winner, at Karolinska Institute.
"Our philosophy is to bring drugs to an early phase of clinical
development and then to partner the drugs with companies that have
sales and marketing forces," says Morley. Discovery research is
conducted in Milan. Morley will start new drugs through Phase I
trials in this country and look for a pharmaceutical partner by Phase
II. He has six drugs in clinical development now.
Morley met Robinson when he was at Glaxo Wellcome in North Carolina.
He grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, where his father was a fire
He majored in biology at Tennessee Tech, Class of 1978. After a stint
as a medical technologist he went into pharmaceutical sales with
and Glaxo Wellcome and then did liaison work between the pharmas and
the universities. He and his wife, an internal medicine physician,
live in Bucks County and have four children. NiCox was set up in
to take advantage of the favorable venture capital market there,
says, and in 1999 it began to be publicly traded on the Nouveau
France’s Nasdaq equivalent. It may eventually trade on Nasdaq, but
currently has $80 million to work with.
"Princeton is the perfect location," says Morley, "a hub,
with access to Philadelphia, Newark Airport, and New York." Morley
has hired just one employee since he opened the office, and he is
looking for a regulatory officer, a clinical development officer,
and a project manager. He says his firm hopes to acquire a U.S.-based
company that will come complete with a sales and marketing force.
liaison. 609-419-1116; fax, 609-419-1117.
Those who file records are often paid at a
pole rate. When those records could mean the difference between life
and death, storing them ever so carefully is worth any amount of time
and trouble. Developments in cyber technology make it possible to
store images both accurately and easily.
Wally Soufi has moved his new company, NovoVision, from Montgomery
Commons to Jefferson Plaza, where he has 16 employees. He offers an
image archive that allows the general user to associate data and to
manage the images in an efficient way — to control access,
what is and isn’t available to certain people — and to easily
retrieve images based on certain search criteria. These images could
be microscopic virtual slides or X-rays often used for medical
"Healthcare is one of the vertical markets that we are attacking,
but the image archiving software has a broader base," says Soufi.
One of his current clients, Pratt and Whitney, uses the image database
to store records of engine materials. Law enforcement is another
client group. One of the earlier products he developed under license
to another vendor is being used in police departments for
of crime suspects.
"We allow our customers to capture their images using any variety
of digital camera and video cameras," says Soufi. "Some are
high definition, some are basic cameras. We store them with our
and make those images available to them."
Though the software is for archiving images, it has some unique
and can meet the stringent requirements of pathologists, for example.
"They must capture demographic and quality control information,
and they need to know who is doing what on the system," says
"Our software allows them, among other things, to integrate the
images in the final report."
Soufi is working with another startup company to prepare virtual
"We start out with a slide and take it through the histology
process, but we come up with a really high definition image so that
the user would not have to actually look at the microscope again to
see the details of the slide." As for the engineers, engine
must consider metal fatigue and stress conditions. A failure analysis
group photographs the parts of an engine, exposes them to stress
and then takes the pictures again. Those before and after photos are
put into the image archive.
"Several vendors are trying to accomplish the same task,"
Soufi admits. "But we have high tech access codes suitable for
`export controlled’ government use, and our images can be higher than
4,000 pixels. Also, we can save data with images, and save sounds."
Like most founders of small companies, Soufi carries two sets of
cards, one acknowledging that he is chairman, CEO, and president,
and one that uses the title of product manager. "Chairman and
CEO doesn’t work well in a sales situation," he says.
A native of Tripoli, Lebanon, Soufi, 35, is the son of a
An electrical engineer with a master’s degree from Cornell, Soufi
worked as a computer consultant for various companies and got his
start with this product at a laboratory in Florida.
Soufi has established a line of credit with Sovereign
Bank, and Marilyn Jerry of Jerry & Jerry at 760 Alexander Road is
his attorney. "She was instrumental in drafting initial contract
with our customers in Florida," he says. Another important contact
was Katherine Kish, whom he retained as a business consultant. "I
found her name in a U.S. 1 ad and have been working with her for all
of last year."
Says Kish: "Wally really understands the problems to be solved
in the pathology laboratory and how to categorize and archive images
to assist in the process. Errors are an enormous problem in
Any product that can lower the incidence of error would be
"So far," says Soufi, "the clients maintain the images
on their own property and we supply the software, but we are about
to put those images on our servers."
"We are going through quite a bit of growth and are starting to
think about new capital. As a long term goal, I would like to be able
to see us become a publicly traded company with a serious value for
investors. Short term, I have to focus on sales."
"It took a lot of courage to start my business," he says.
"I am still not very comfortable with the risk factors involved
in what I do. But I feel that if there is a time to do it, now is
the time. Thoughts of `what if’ things don’t work will only hold you
back. This is the way for me to grow and fulfill my potential."
08540. Wally Soufi, product manager. 877-668-6123; fax, 877-668-6124.
What 10-person software company wouldn’t like to have
Allstate as its major client? That is the fortunate position in which
Vladimir Bernstein, founder of SimX Corporation, finds himself. Though
he is now "safe in the hands of Allstate," as the jingle likes
to say, Bernstein hopes to sign up more insurance companies soon:
"Our ultimate goal is to make a `killer application’ and package
it for other clients." Earlier this month he moved into an office
suite on Route 130.
Bernstein, 50, went to the Moscow Institute of Energy Technology.
He emigrated from Russia 10 years ago on an H-1B visa and a year later
was followed by his wife and their two young sons (now 15 and 22).
He and his partner, Andri Afanssenkov, started their own firm in 1993.
They started out consulting for Continental Insurance, later known
as CNA, and that division was bought out by Allstate. Then they worked
for Sasha Migdal, also a Russian emigre, at Real-Time Geometry (now
Metacreations) on three-dimensional manipulation of visual computer
data. (Migdal’s company now belongs to the Manhattan-based ViewPoint.)
SimX employs 10 people — including Nikita, Vladimir’s son —
and hopes to grow quickly. Bernstein’s software would put all the
functions of a company on the web with minimal programming. It is
a components-based system, like a software Lego, in that it uses the
components visually to build complicated applications for various
levels and functions.
On a low level, the software does data warehousing. On the next level,
it offers local reporting and data processing diagnostics. It can
also build datamarts, which are necessary for high level reporting.
For now, SimX is working with management’s information, not with
that goes to customers.
Asked why Russian emigres are flourishing in technical businesses,
he cites his country’s scientific tradition: "We were raised in
an atmosphere that there is nothing better than work," he says.
"We didn’t have any other opportunities. Now it is too late to
change our habits. The next generation knows how to enjoy life."
"We also have the ability to see the abstract nature of the
— the big picture. One of the typical problems we faced here,
is that there are a lot of very smart people, but they are focused
on what they are doing. That is good, because they are achieving high
quality results. But they are missing the big picture."
Windsor 08520. Vladimir Bernstein and Andri Afanssenkov, 609-371-8495;
Princeton 08540. Christopher Perez, sales manager. 610-727-3992; fax,
The largest provider of flexible office space in the
world is opening a 38,000 square-foot branch on the second floor of
Princeton Overlook on Monday, July 23. Rentals can be as short as
one-half day. At this location an office will rent for $22 for one
day, and a meeting room will cost for $50 for half a day. An
office, a mailing address and telephone, will cost $175 per month.
The owner/landlord of this building, Mack-Cali, was represented by
Diane Chayes, senior director of leasing.
Regus’ company history recounts how founder Mark Dixon had wanted
to expand his bread baking business but had trouble finding short-term
office space. Now his shared office business has 490 locations, is
expanding at the rate of 200,000 square feet per month, and is a
company with a $2 billion market cap. Company policy is that real
estate agents who refer new customers to Regus will receive what is
termed "a substantial introduction fee."
Perez, the sales manager, grew up in Drexel Hill, a western suburb
of Philadelphia, where his father was an insurance agent. He went
to the University of Rochester, Class of 1991. He has owned a sports
bar in Media, Pennsylvania, and did commercial financing for real
estate before joining Regus.
Regus started in Belgium, and is now based in Purchase, New York.
It has just opened a branch on the 93rd floor of the World Trade
and a branch in Bridgewater is scheduled for next March. Although
HQ (which has a branch at Forrestal Village) has more offices in the
United States, Regus has more offices globally, Perez says. "Our
average location is a lot bigger than their average location."
Reed Road, Pennington 08534. 609-737-3500; fax, 609-737-8041.
Ed Kasses is a New York producer who hated commuting to New Jersey
and moved to a quiet little four-person office on Reed Road. He
live entertainment, television shows, and tours for orchestras and
popular recording artists, and among his more eminent clients are
the Kennedy Center and John Lithgow. In fact, he met the latter at
Though he likes to attract publicity for his clients, Kasses is shy
of the spotlight himself, as befits the experienced producer. "Put
the spotlight on my client," he likes to say.
A.C. Diwan, president/owner. 609-631-9000; fax, 609-689-3091. Also
Carpenter Emergency Lighting assembles and sells emergency lighting
fixtures and exit signs. Its sister company, Carpenter East West,
just moved here from Virginia. It is involved in foreign trade.
Suite 206, Princeton 08540. Joe Betti and Patrick Heher, branch
609-987-0500; fax, 609-987-1715.
in over-the-counter stocks founded by Ken Kamen and Steve Taromina,
has changed its name to Kirlin Securities. It had been bought by a
subsidiary of Long Island-based Kirlin Holdings in April but was kept
as a separate entity until now. Joe Betti and Patrick Heher are branch
managers here. Betti majored in accounting at Villanova University,
Class of 1990.
Kirlin Securities is in acquisition mode, and if the most recently
announced purchase goes through, it will have 250 employees (with
200 registered representatives) and seven locations. Still, compared
to the well-known broker dealers, it is tiny.
"We are tiny to the large firms, but we are looking for the
slice of the pie," says Anthony J. Kirincic, co-founder and
"Most of our clients have from $50,000 to $200,000 to invest.
At Morgan Stanley, with $100,000, they want to send you to a service
center — a help desk with an operator."
Kirlin Holding Corp., co-founded by CEO David O. Lindner, is engaged
in retail securities brokerage, investment and merchant banking, money
management and E-commerce activities. In addition to Princeton
it recently bought First Long Island Securities, and it is in the
process of purchasing M.S. Farrell, with locations in Red Bank, New
York, and Fort Lauderdale.
Anthony F. Dwyer, the chief market strategist, seems ubiquitous with
regular appearances on CNNfn, The Street.com, Yahoo, AOL, and
Kirlin’s website features Dwyer’s daily commentary with such
titles as "Fear is normally worse than reality," "Patience
my friends," and "Wait till you see the whites of their
Talking about the recent stock market downturn, Kirincic says the
Long Island brokerage started out as a fixed income firm and has a
lot of conservative investments. "About 20 percent of our client
base invests in fixed income, in contrast to Princeton, which started
out as an over the counter market maker, where most clients were 100
percent in stocks," he says.
"Two years ago, trying to sell anyone a bond, when they were
25 percent in the stock market, was like selling ice in the
Recent market volatility has reminded people that markets go in two
directions and that including fixed returns, such as bonds, in a
portion of their portfolio, is a good method of allocating their
says Kirincic. "Now we can go back to finding good places to
people’s money. It is all about expectations and expectations got
Princeton 08540. Louis F. Mercatanti. 609-452-9696; fax, 609-452-6017.
Millennium Radio Group of Amherst, New York, has bought five of Nassau
Broadcasting’s Jersey radio stations for $90 million. CEO Louis
sees this sale as the alternative to last year’s plan to raise $200
million by going public. Earlier this year Millennium had purchased
NJ101.5 FM in Trenton, and three stations in Atlantic City. Its Nassau
Broadcasting acquisitions are in Asbury Park, Toms River, Lakewood,
and Ocean Acres. Millennium expects to get Federal Communications
Approval for this expansion by September.
Princeton 08540. Ruedi Stalder, chairman and CEO. 609-252-0680; fax,
The three-year-old gene discovery firm announced on June 14 that it
has achieved its goal, to extend the shelf life of cut carnations.
The cut flowers last 12 days, instead of the previous six days, if
they have been genetically engineered.
This is good news for florists, because the current "fountain
of youth" for flowers, silver thiosulfate to slow down
aging, has been criticized for being toxic.
Princeton 08540. David Reim, president. 609-252-9741; fax,
The E-business solutions firm has made its move from 16,000 feet in
several locations at Research Park to 30,000 feet at the Carnegie
Center 202 (U.S. 1, May 23). It does strategy, development, and
of E-business solutions for the pharmaceutical and healthcare
4, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-219-0759; fax, 609-219-1888.
COMQuest Research moved from 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet
within the same building. For Fortune 50 companies, it does market
research, analysis, and consulting services in brand image and
satisfaction. Principals are Robert Clark, Gary Ocher, and Jeff Brown.
Princeton 08540. Michael J. Bavaro, partner. 609-430-1500; fax,
The CPAs, who also have an office at 10 Park Place, Morristown, have
moved from 1,000 square feet at 43 Wall Street to larger quarters
at 342 Wall Street.
08540. Vikki Hiel, office manager. 609-750-9244.
Morgan Stanley has moved into 33,686 square feet at 212 Carnegie
after occupying temporary space in the Covance building. Patrick Luzzi
and Greg Lezynski of Gale & Wentworth represented the tenant in the
long-term lease, and John K. Brandbergh did the lease for Boston
The building has a total of 159,000 square feet and used to be solely
occupied by Covance. Now it also has Velio Communications and Exide
Corporation as tenants.
1 & Adams Station Road, Box 6023, North Brunswick 08902. 732-297-5100;
In a consolidation of space, the accounting department of Webcraft
moved from 205 North Center Drive to the Adams Station Road building.
The firm does direct marketing and printing. This web offset printing
operation produces direct response packages. It had 300 people here
plus a dozen at the Lawrenceville headquarters as of March.
Other locations of Webcraft, which has 1,300 employees overall, are
in Chalfont and Bristol, Pennsylvania. It is owned by Vertis Direct
Marketing Service, which has more than 10,000 people.
08540. Lisa A. Mosso, project director. 609-466-1234.
The Mosso Group, an event planning company specializing in medical
symposia, has moved from Research Park to 109 Cherry Brook Drive and
has a new phone number. Lisa Mosso’s father, Gus Mosso, founded the
company in 1990. "He was creative services director for Squibb
and planned meetings for them. I trained under my father."
Mosso majored in communications and theater at Trenton State College,
Class of 1984. After a brief shot at theater, she decided to join
her father in the business. In 1999 the firm was organizing oncology
meetings for Bristol Myers Squibb and moved from a home office to
Box 9707, Cranbury 08512-9707.
In April the catalog company closed its fulfillment center in Cranbury
and transferred all its shipping and billing services to a Tennessee
firm, National Fulfillment. As the largest fulfillment center in the
United States, National Fulfillment serves more than 150 companies
from this location: 6960 Eastgate Boulevard, Lebanon, Tennessee 37090.
08648. 609-392-4181; fax, 609-392-2859.
AMI Truck Lease bought the Biddle Company, a truck leasing firm, and
is moving this operation to Florence. The new owner is based in
Campus, Suite 106, Princeton 08540. 973-235-5000.
Roche Laboratories has closed its 2,100-foot business office at
Gateway. The office did sales and marketing for Roche products. Moving
into this space will be a sister company to Medarex, Genmab.
08512. Rich Cohen, general manager east coast. 609-409-2832; fax,
This company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing down,
both here at this 40-person warehouse, and at its headquarters in
Rosemont, Illinois (near Chicago). The multimedia technology firm
billed itself as distribution solution for voice, video, datapower
and security systems.
Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540. Leigh Clayton,
609-919-9190; fax, 609-919-9655.
BAI Personnel Solutions has filed for Chapter 7 in the United States
Bankruptcy Court of Judge Stephen A. Stripp (Case number 01-52408).
The nine-year-old firm started as Bullock Associates, the in-house
placement agency for General Electric on Independence Way. In 1999
it had expanded, within Forrestal Village, to 2,300 square feet. It
did temporary and permanent placements.
Matthew Klutznick, manager of the MarketFair shopping
mall, competed in a crowded Route 1 retail market by creating a niche.
Under his watch, MarketFair, located in West Windsor, developed into
a collection of specialty stores catering to the nesting instincts
of affluent suburbanites. Klutznick, having overseen the mall’s
and signed on a number of new tenants, including Restoration Hardware,
Smith & Hawken, and Pottery Barn Design Studio, is moving on.
In his next gig Klutznick won’t have to worry much about what the
mall up the road is doing. He is trading a clientele of sometimes
fickle mall shoppers for a captive audience, one that, especially
on a foggy or snowy day, will be his — and his alone — for
many hours at a stretch. Klutznick is leaving MarketFair to become
director of retail operations for Midway and O’Hare International
Airports in Chicago.
Klutznick will be working for Reston, Virginia-based Unison-Maximus
Consulting, an aviation planning and consulting firm headquartered
in Chicago, where Klutznick grew up and where his father developed
12 malls and shopping complexes. Unison-Maximus specializes in
developing, and managing airport retail concessions. Its clients
Philadelphia International Airport, which has put up a billboard on
Route 95 showing an ecstatic couple sitting in rocking chairs backed
by palm fronds obviously enjoying the experience of being stranded
at an airport because of the shopping opportunities such a travel
glitch can offer. Newark International Airport, a facility not yet
known for its superior shopping, is another client.
Says Klutznick, "Unison recognizes the tremendous revenue
and community benefits offered by airport retail programs." As
he did at MarketFair, Klutznick will be hunting for and interpreting
demographic and regional data in his new job. "We’ll be looking
to bring new and innovative products that enhance the time the
spends at the airport," he says. "We want the airports to
provide a sense of place as well as uniqe shopping and dining
Corrections or additions?
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