Bangladeshi Web Designers


Realty Move

HR: Name Changes

HR: Leaving Town


Leaving Town


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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the December 18, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

A French pharmaceutical firm, Ethypharm, has opened

its business development headquarters in 5,000 square feet at 821

Alexander Road, at the corner of Vaughn Drive. Ethypharm has drug

delivery systems, both oral and injectable, that optimize the delivery

of active molecules into the body.

Founded in 1977 by Patrice Debegeas (a pharmacist and Wharton MBA)

and Gerard Leduc (a chemical engineer and patent attorney) in St.

Cloud, a suburb of Paris, Ethypharm is a privately owned firm. It

has 700 workers in eight countries, more than 120 pharmaceutical partners,

more than 100 clients in over 70 countries, and more than $100 million

in sales. The Montreal operation has 26 people and will grow to 50

to 55 employees, and the Princeton office is expected to have 12 to

15 people within the next year, about 25 eventually.

Pierre Lapalme, CEO of Ethypharm North America, says he located the

office here because this is where he started out — at University

Plaza, with another company. "And because it IS the Princeton

area. Princeton will increasingly become the governing body for Ethypharm

in North America."

Three executives are here so far: the COO/CFO for North America, Laurent

LaPortz; the senior vice president for business development and R&D,

North America, Jerome Martinez; and the vice president of business

development, Hafid Touam. "Our skeleton group will be beefed up,"

says Lapalme, "in the following areas: medical and regulatory,

some administration, additional business development, marketing, and,

at some point, legal. We have no plan to manufacture at that site,

but we are looking at various scenarios to set up, or acquire, or

strike a strategic alliance with a company that has manufacturing


Ethypharm has been active in North America for nearly four years,

and it settled its R&D operations in a Montreal building that had

been constructed, partly with government funds, specifically for drug

delivery technology companies. It was not being used to its full capacity.

"We were able to acquire an already-built facility which matched

our needs 100 percent," says Lapalme. He notes that both Canada

and Quebec "have incentive programs galore in biotech."

Represented by Bill Barish of Commercial Property Network, Ethypharm

bought out the lease that Intertrust had had on Alexander Road.

As to why he opened this Princeton office, "It’s my home turf,"

says Lapalme. "In 1986 I founded Rhone Poulenc Pharmaceuticals

right across from the Hyatt" (at 117 University Plaza). Lapalme,

a graduate of the University of Montreal, spent the first part of

his career with Ciba/Geigy (now Novartis). He joined Rhone Poulenc

in 1979 and became CEO of Rhone Poulenc Pharmaceutical. When his company

acquired Rorer he moved all the operations to Pennsylvania and headed

Rhone Poulenc Rorer in North America.

Martinez is a native of Paris, where his parents were educators. He

has a pharmacy degree from the University of Paris and an MBA from

HEC in Paris and a master’s degree in health administration. After

working as a pharmacist in France, he was the scientific director

for a pharmaceutical wholesaler, Roussel Uclaf, in Japan. He met Lapalme

when he was working for Lavipharm, another French pharmaceutical firm.

Martinez began working in Lavipharm’s Princeton office in 1998 and

moved to the United States in 2000. He and his wife, Anne, live in

Princeton and have three school age daughters.

Ethypharm’s proprietary technologies are on four technology platforms:

oral modified release, taste-masked and orodispersible formulations,

enhanced absorption, and injectable sustained release formulations.

Competitors in the drug delivery area are Cima, Cardinal Health, and

Biovail, which recently bought a 15 percent stake in Ethypharm. With

Biovail, Ethypharm has a licensing deal regarding a therapy for brain

cancer. The two companies expect to begin Phase III trials for this

product in 2003 and possibly put it on the market in 2005.

"We have been rather successful in North America," says Lapalme.

"We have announced alliances and contractual agreements with Aventis,

Reliant, and Bristol-Myers Squibb." The B-MS contract is for a

new Excedrin delivery system, Excedrin QuickTabs, a no-taste tablet

that melts in 30 seconds on the tongue and can be swallowed without

water. "Products that are easy to take anywhere, anytime, and

without fluid, and with no bad taste are increasingly popular,"

says Lapalme, "for those who have difficulty swallowing, the senior

generation, and the kids."

— Barbara Fox

Ethypharm, 821 Alexander Road, Princeton 08540.

Jerome Martinez, senior vice president. 609-919-9773, fax, 609-919-9766.

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Bangladeshi Web Designers

The age-old pattern: Immigrate to the new country and

network with your ethnically related friends to found a business.

Count on your countrymen to patronize your business while it’s getting

started, then reach out to a wider group of clientele. This worked

for the Irish in Boston in the last century, and over the last decade

it has been working in New Jersey for people from various Asian countries.

Hussain Sheriff and Asifa Nahad, a husband and wife team from Bangladesh,

founded an Internet company last March and are following this path.

Sheriff is an engineer who had been working in ADC Telecommunications

(formerly Commtech), a telecommunications firm in Cranbury, but his

division was eliminated. Figuring that telecommunications jobs would

be few and far between, Sheriff and his wife — a recent MBA —

tried their hands as entrepreneurs.

Like many early Internet pioneers, they thought they could make money

by setting up a portal that would fill a dire need. They saw that

graduate students who were looking for postdoctoral positions must

browse the whole Internet because no appropriate equivalent to

exists for them. So they started the website

But like many others who had good ideas for websites, they found out

that filling a gap doesn’t necessarily make money. Though the "about

us" section of the site says that it intends to be "the catalyst

for accessible and standardized academic announcements by providing

our services to users around the world," the site has only a smattering

of listings.

As Nahad tells it, they then turned to retail web marketing. Again,

not much success. "We started a roommate search service, a place

to buy and sell secondhand books, and a little store called Cinderella

Mall," says Nahad.

They found that what does make money is the very basic business of

custom web development for small companies and web-based marketing.

Webmastering is a service industry that, like the Eveready rabbit,

just keeps going and going. "For the academic portal and the online

store, we never lost any money, but the web design is growing more

quickly," says Nahad.

She and Sheriff began with their Bangladeshi friends who had businesses

and professional practices and are now expanding. He does the technical

work and she does the marketing and some of the design. Among their

clients are a doctor, a chemist, an accountant, attorneys, and a medical

equipment business.

Also at this address and with the same phone numbers, is Sheriff’s

brother’s business, Oil and Gas Machinery Inc.

Sheriff had majored in mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute

of Technology in Calcutta, and has master’s and PhD degrees from Clemson

University. His parents and hers arranged for them to be introduced

while they were students. Her father is a retired government official.

She majored in economics at a university in Australia. After earning

an MBA in international business from Boston-based Brandeis University,

she did telecommunications consulting for the Yankee Group and software

research for International Data Corporation.

"It took us time to come to the right business," says Nahad.

Postdocme Corporation, 25 O’Neill Court, Lawrenceville

08648. Hussain Sheriff. 609-689-3664; fax, 609-890-1935. E-mail:

Home page:

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Cambridge Mercantile Corp., a full-service global payments

solutions provider, moved its United States office from Independence

Way to 5 Vaughn Drive. Through a network of offices in the Americas

and business partners worldwide, the company serves more than 7,000

corporate clients. The company’s co-founder and CEO is Bernard Heitner,

and the president is Jacques Feldman. Leslie George, who is in charge

of the United States operations, says that — in a virtual world

— he did not need to set up shop in a major metropolis, yet the

Princeton area is an appropriate center for international trade.

"We do both telephone and web-based business — personalized

and competitive solutions for international payment needs," says

George. His clients are large to medium-sized companies that need

to settle a transaction in a foreign currency. "We provide a legitimate

niche for companies that have an obligation to make or receive payments

in foreign currency. Our state-of-the-art cutting edge online capability

allows companies to securely do transactions online — for transparency,

audit, and control. With our web portal, we can provide instantaneous

pricing and settlement."

A native of the British Virgin Islands, George is married and lives

in Monmouth Junction with his wife, school-age daughter and two younger

sons. He attended Rhodes, a boarding school in Manhattan, and majored

in economics at Georgetown University, Class of 1981. After working

in the foreign exchange and precious metals business with Deak International

in Washington, D.C., he did precious metals commodity trading at Westpac

Bank in New York, then worked for Thomas Cook Currency Services. Based

in Manhattan, he was the regional manager there. Two years ago he

launched the U.S. operations of this Toronto-based firm on Independence


"The Euro changed how people did business and made it easier for

a lot of companies to do business overseas," says George. "but

banks traditionally treat foreign exchange as a sideline, and we focus

strictly on corporate foreign exchange. We use the positioning of

our company and expertise in the market to give our clients a competitive

edge in the currencies. We are dealing with formidable competitors."

Cambridge Mercantile Corp., 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite

307, Princeton 08540. Leslie R. George, vice president, general manager.

609-452-5000; fax, 609-452-5010. Home page:

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Realty Move

Linda Carnevale and 19 agents from Princeton Crossroads

Realty have joined the office of Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate on

Witherspoon Street. Founded in 1979, Princeton Crossroads had been

independently owned and operated.

The parent company of Gloria Nilson has 17 offices in New Jersey and

has access to a national network of 1,400 offices for relocation,

mortgage, and real estate brokerage services. Linda Carnevale will

be assistant manager in the new office.

Gloria Nilson/GMAC, 33 Witherspoon Street, Princeton

08542. Catherine McCool, manager. 609-921-9300; fax, 609-921-3299.

Home page:

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HR: Name Changes

First Staff, 800 South Broad Street, Trenton 08611.

Bob Brown, owner. 609-393-4200; fax, 609-393-4302. Home page:

When Bob Brown and his partner split their business between the New

Jersey and Pennsylvania offices, the name of Brown’s business changed

from London Personnel Services to First Staff. With service centers

in Trenton, Pennsauken, and New Brunswick, it provides all kinds of

industrial workers from assemblers, janitorial, and lift operators

to market researchers and demonstrators. His workday starts at 6 a.m.

for this market, when the first vans leave from the inner cities to

transport workers to the warehouses at Exit 8A.

"There is no labor force at Exit8A, and we have to provide the

buses," says Brown. Workers make from $6.50 to $8 an hour, but

they get workers’ comp, social security, and unemployment, and many

get semi-permanent "Many companies outsource their HR function

and use us for long-term staffing."

A Vermont native, the son of an engineer, Brown has been in the staffing

business for close to 30 years. He served in the Navy, on the USS

Intrepid, then went to Georgia State. But first he did plenty of temporary

jobs in Atlanta, so he knows the business from both sides. "I

thought the people on the other side of the counter had a good thing

going. And I became a dispatcher and a sales person."

"I love this business," says Brown. "There has never been

a more equal opportunity employer. Our clients they don’t care about

race or height. A number of them have after-work English as a Second

Language program. And on Friday afternoon, payday, my company will

dump $40,000 on the streets of Trenton in two hours, and none of the

people will leave Trenton to spend it. It didn’t come from taxpayers.

It came from companies that pay their bills out of Phoenix."

Ajilon Specialized Staffing and Recruiting, 125

Village Boulevard, Suite 240, Princeton 08540. Lori Kennedy, branch

manager. 609-452-7117; fax, 609-987-0681. Home page:

This branch of the temporary and permanent agency specializes in accounting

and financial services and also office personnel, one of more than

500 offices nationwide. Though it is a division of Adecco, it is a

different company from the Adecco office on College Road. its fees

are contingency based. In the past it has been known as Accountants

on Call and Olsten Temporary Services.

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HR: Leaving Town

BMF Reynolds Inc., 217 Nassau Street, Princeton

08540. John H. Reynolds, president. E-mail:

The executive search firm has moved to Corralles, New Mexico, and

can be reached at 505-898-0484, fax 505-898-5951. Asked why he moved,

Reynolds says it was "too many factors to explain." He does

retainer-based searches in these industries: — pharmaceutical,

medical device, biotechnology, and diagnostic products, and electric


He graduated in 1958 as a chemistry major from Bowdoin College in

Maine and had a 25-year pharmaceutical career, working for Monsanto

in St. Louis, Becton Dickinson, and Carter Wallace. Most recently

he was vice president of research & development at Wampole Laboratories,

a Carter Wallace company.

Munson Placement Services Inc., 101 Grovers Mill

Road, Suite 103, Lawrenceville 08648. Mary Munson, president. 609-799-4242;

fax, 609-799-7657. E-mail:

Munson Placement Services, a company that supplied permanent and temporary

office support personnel, has closed at this address and the number

is disconnected. No information was available about another office

at any other location.

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Source 1 Personnel, 2239 Whitehorse Road, Mercerville

08619. Edie Foley, recruiting manager. 609-689-0700; fax, 609-689-0730.

Ginny Savage sold her company, Preferred Personnel, to Source 1 Personnel.

It offers graphic design and general office placements

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Leaving Town

Shire, 212 Carnegie Center, Carnegie Executive

Center, Princeton 08540.

After two years at Carnegie Executive Center the business development

office of this British pharmaceutical company closed, and calls are

being taken at the United States headquarters in Kentucky (7900 Tannersgate

Drive, Florence, KY 41042. 800-536-7878 or 859-282-2100).

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Gledhill C. Zapolski, 81, on November 29. She was a feature

writer for national publications and the Trenton Times.

Theodore T. Tams Jr., 83, on December 3. He was a judge

in Princeton Borough and Township and in Mercer County Court.

Robert P. Popino, 81, on December 3. He was a chemist

at American Cyanamid.

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