Ten years after founding a drug discovery company, F. Raymond Salemme successfully sold it to Johnson & Johnson and was recruited to head another promising company, Linguagen. Less than two years later, he is leading that 22-person firm in a major expansion.

Linguagen, a molecular biology firm, develops ingredients used to improve the taste of food, beverages and pharmaceutical products. It will more than triple its space with a move from 5,100 square feet at Eastpark at Exit 8A in Cranbury to 18,577 feet at 7 Graphics Drive in Ewing. Tom Giannone of Cushman & Wakefield represented Linguagen in the lease with BioMed Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that owns the 72,000 square-foot building formerly occupied by J.D.S. Uniphase; another tenant of the building is Medeikon.

“We have plans to expand our range of capabilities,” says CEO Salemme. “One of our key product development areas has to do with the creation of more acceptable and more efficacious formulations. To put those together and test them requires some unique facilities.”

Salemme started out as a crystallographer, described as “a physical scientist who is interested in biology.” It is actually similar to his late father’s profession, metallurgy, which focuses on the crystal structures of metal.

Even as a child, Salemme was drawn to crystal structures. He tells of wanting Tinker Toys when he was 12 years old. “My mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I pointed to the toys with the little sticks and nodes. Like many good mothers, she read the age group for that toy, ages six through nine, and said, ‘This is not an advanced enough toy for you.’ But I have spent my whole life investigating those kinds of structures,” says Salemme. At age 14 Salemme bought his own set of “sticks and nodes” and notes, “In my career I have spent quite a few tens of millions of dollars doing similar stuff.”

A molecular biophysics major at Yale University (Class of 1967), Salemme has a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at San Diego. He set up drug-discovery groups specializing in structure-based drug design, biophysics, and computational chemistry at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals and DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, and he founded 3-Dimensional Pharmaceutical in 1993.

When he came to Linguagen in 2004, he left crystallography behind. “I broadened my technological capabilities to many aspects of drug discovery besides crystallography,” he says, “and now I do a half dozen things reasonably well, including building a company.”

He has his name on more than 25 patents from his 3DP days, and in his 18 months at Linguagen he has filed some more. Says Salemme: “That’s one of the best parts about working in a small company, you can contribute to the projects.”

Linguagen, 2005 Eastpark Boulevard, Eastpark at Exit 8, Cranbury 08512; 609-860-1500; fax, 609-860-5900. F. Raymond Salemme, CEO. www.linguagen.com

Contracts Awarded

Semandex Networks Inc., 201 Washington Road, c/o Sarnoff Corporation, Princeton 08540; 609-799-8887; fax, 609-514-4061. Daniel Reininger, CEO. Home page: www.semandex.net

In 2004 Marines in Iraq found and distributed battlespace information more quickly by using a content-based network from Semandex Networks, a company that is headquartered within Sarnoff Corporation’s building just off Princeton-Hightstown Road.

Now Semandex has landed a five-year, $10 million defense contract to license its commercial, off-the-shelf networking products and to provide engineering services to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

To create a “semantic web,” the network uses XML tags to classify information based on content instead of search terms and URLs. “A Semandex network overlays current systems and can work through existing applications, essentially eliminating the user learning curve,” says a press release.

The networking project allows for the rapid dissemination of real and near real-time information. According to CEO Daniel Reininger, it can be used not only by Marines in battle situations but also by those in embattled industries, such as health care and financial services.

Care Capital LLC, 47 Hulfish Street, Suite 310, Princeton 08540; 609-683-8300; fax, 609-683-5787. Jan Leschly, CEO. www.carecapital.com

The Hulfish Street-based venture capital firm, Care Capital, has started its third life sciences fund, Care Capital Investments III, with $300 million from 20 institutional investors. The firm focuses on later-stage pharmaceutical and biotechnology enterprises.

Crosstown Moves

ABC Computers, 405 Route 130, East Windsor 08520; 609-443-1700. Evan Rector, president. www.abandccomputers.com

ABC Computers moved from 357 Route 33 to 405 Route 130 in East Windsor.

Beneficial Financial, Lawrence Square Boulevard South, Village Square Plaza, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-989-7400; fax, 609-392-8803. Mary Ann Gliottone, senior account executive.

Beneficial, a member of the HSBC group, has moved its five-person office from 1719 Brunswick Pike to Village Square Plaza, near Quaker Bridge Mall. With 850 branches nationwide, Beneficial does consumer lending, including refinancing and first and second mortgages.

Colfax/IMO Industries Inc., 240 Princeton Avenue, American Metro, Suite 111, Hamilton 08619; 609-896-7627; fax, 609-896-7633. Thomas M. O’Brien, vice president. www.colfaxcorp.com

The legal department for Colfax industries and the headquarters of Imo have moved from 993 Lenox Drive to American Metro Center. Colfax Corporation was formed in 1997 to acquire Imo. Colfax/Imo Industries is a marketer and manufacturer of pumps and fluid control devices, with manufacturing plants in four countries and four states.

Thomas M. O’Brien, senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary says he expects to add staff members in the next year.

Envirogenics, 18 East 6th Avenue, Mercerville 08619; 609-586-0700; fax, 609-586-4426. Jeffrey Olcott, managing partner.

Envirogenics, an environmental remediator, moved from 3812 B Quakerbridge Road in Lawrenceville to Mercerville. This company does environmental and industrial hygiene audits, as well as asbestos and hazardous waste management. Although the new office is somewhat smaller, the company still employs 15 people, according to the office manager.

General Abstract & Title Agency, 1155 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Hamilton 08619; 609-586-6030; fax, 609-587-2317. Robert E. Mule, president. www.generalabstract.com

General Abstract and Title Agency relocated from rented quarters in Yardville Bank at 3111 Quakerbridge Road into 3,000 square feet at the old headquarters of Roma Bank, the company’s new owner. Roma Bank has moved to new corporate headquarters and its eighth branch office in Washington Town Center.

Willis Pooling, 850 Bear Tavern Road, Ewing 08628; 609-538-0159; fax, 609-538-1927. Dave D. Ritch, director.

The risk management company moved last month from 340 Scotch Road, West Trenton, to 850 Bear Tavern Road in Ewing. The company offers risk management solutions, risk transfer expertise, and specialized consulting for public entity pools.

Downsizing

Electrosonic Systems, 684 Whitehead Road, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-393-0884; fax, 609-393-4350. Andrew Kidd, general manager. www.electrosonic.com

The Lawrenceville office of Electrosonic Systems downsized last year, moving from 11 H Princess Road to about 1,200 square feet at 684 Whitehead Road, according to Andrew Kidd. Electronic Systems, based in Minneapolis, is an audiovisual company, specializing in the AV needs of corporate communications, command and control rooms, museums, retail displays, theme parks, and exhibitions. Of the more than 300 employees, five work here.

Leaving Town

Exide Technologies (XIDEW), 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Building 200, Alpharetta GA 30004; 678-566-9000; fax, 678-566-9188. Gordon A. Ulsh, president and CEO. www.exideworld.com

Exide Technologies completed its move in 2005 from 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads Corporate Center, to a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. “Alpharetta offers a lower cost of living, and our Transportation Americas division is headquartered here,” says a spokesperson. “The new CEO thought it was pragmatic to be closer to the business in a place that made economic sense.”

Exide had no other operations in Princeton: The reason it was headquartered here is that its former president and CEO, Craig Muhlhauser, wanted to live in Princeton. (U.S. 1, March 21, 2001). He moved the headquarters from Reading, Pennsylvania, to the Carnegie Center and then, when the firm filed for bankruptcy, to Crossroads Corporate Center. None of the 40 workers in Princeton took jobs in Georgia.

Deaths

Peter Benchley, 65, on Saturday, February 11, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis. A novelist, screenplay writer, and environmentalist, he is best known for the novel “Jaws.”

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