Thomas A. Moore is the new chairman and chief executive officer at Advaxis Inc., replacing Roni Appel. Moore has been on the Advaxis board since September.

Based at the Technology Center of New Jersey on Route 1 South in North Brunswick, Advaxis develops proprietary Listeria vaccines that enhance the immune system’s cancer-fighting abilities and could also be helpful in the areas of infectious disease and autoimmune disorders. It has entered a Phase I/II clinical trial.

Thomas Moore moved to Princeton in 1996 for a four-year stint as president and chief executive officer of Nelson Communications. Previously he had been president of the health care unit at Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati.

He and his wife, Avril Barton Moore, 1973 graduates of Princeton University, bought and renovated the $3 million 82-acre historic Tusculum property, off of Cherry Hill Road. It had been the summer estate of John Witherspoon, Princeton University’s sixth president and signatory to the Declaration of Independence. The Moores recently closed a deal to permanently preserve the property as open space.

Moore is also on the board of Alteon, a public firm that focuses on diabetes and age-related diseases; El Dorado Inc., which markets to Hispanics; Medmeme, which measures medical education effectiveness; and Opt-e-scrip, which compares multiple drugs in the same patient. He is chairman of a firm that developed and patented Mayan pigment technology and is the former CEO of Biopure Corporation, which can intravenously deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues.

Appel, who co-founded Advaxis with University of Pennsylvania researcher Yvonne Patterson, remains on the board of directors.

Advaxis (ADXS), 675 Route 1 South, Suite 117, North Brunswick 08902; 732-545-1590. Home page: www.advaxis.com

Crime Watch

This story arrived, not with a press release, but with a letter from a lawyer. Robert L. Grundlock Jr. of Rubin Ehrlich & Buckley on Alexander Road, demanded in a letter on December 13 that U.S. 1 Newspaper remove an article about Allan Hilly, dated June 1, 2005, from its website (www.princetoninfo.com).

That article reported that Hilly’s firm, Leading Edge Insurance Company, based at Princeton Overlook, had refused to pay a $230,000 mediated settlement to a Florida-based human resource outsourcing firm, Professional Employer Plans Inc. (PEP). When PEP took Leading Edge to court on breach of contract, civil theft, and fraud, PEP was awarded $1.3 million.

Objecting to the headline “Crime Watch,” Grundlock pointed out that the article referred to a civil case, not a criminal case, and that “no crime was committed.” Grundlock wrote that “both parties agreed to settle their differences” and “have agreed that the suit did not involve a crime, or any criminal investigation.”

On December 13, the very day that the lawyer’s letter arrived claiming that the article was causing harm to both parties, Hilly was arrested by FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents, who also seized his assets.

In a press release FBI and IRS agents claim that Hilly, age 44, invested $13.5 million that was supposed to be used to pay taxes for his clients, and that he put that money into his own account. He was charged with 79 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.

At the time of the 2005 article, Leading Edge was renting space from the executive suites company, Regus, at Princeton Overlook. Its website listed a cluster of companies including a holding company, an audit group that has forensic fraud services, and groups for claims, finance, law, marketing, and technology.

The 2005 article told how PEP claimed it had made payments on a contract for workers compensation coverage with Leading Edge but that it had never received a copy of the policy or proof of the insurance. PEP claimed it had to find alternate coverage and ended up losing 40 clients.

Now the FBI says that Hilly owns both Leading Edge and PEP companies, and that on March 27, 2006, he told an employee to stop paying taxes and transfer the money to his bank account. In a phone call recorded by a witness cooperating with the government, Hilly said he would seek to pay back the IRS “when the time comes.”

Two calls made to Hilly and his attorney were not returned by press time.

Leading Edge Holding Company, 100 Overlook, Second Floor, Princeton 08540. Allan Hilly, CEO. 609-375-2384. www.leadingedgeholdings.com

Stock Watch: Valera Bought Out

Valera Pharmaceuticals, based at Exit 8A, formerly known as Hydro Med Sciences, has been bought out by a Massachusetts-based firm, Indevus, in a stock transaction worth about $120 million.

Valera develops and manufactures topical and implantable drug delivery devices. Indevus focuses on urology, gynecology, and men’s health, and it has a drug, Sanctura, to treat an overactive bladder. Indevus already has a sales force in urology and can add Valera’s urology products, such as an implant for advanced prostate cancer, to its portfolio.

Valera is also working in the area of endocrinology; it has filed with the FDA for a new drug application to develop a 12-month implant to treat the early onset of puberty in children.

Valera is expected to keep its 22,000 square foot facility at 7 Clarke Drive and another facility at 8 Clarke Drive.

Both company boards approved the sale and the deal is expected to conclude on or about April 30. Indevus trades on Nasdaq as IDEV and Valera as VLRX. James C. Gale, the chairman of Valera, will join the Indevus board.

Valera Pharmaceuticals (VLRX), 7 Clarke Drive, Cedar Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512; 609-409-9010; fax, 609-409-1650. David Tierney, president and CEO. Home page: www.valerapharma.com

First Choice Bank

First Choice Bank (In Organization) has received its conditional approval from the state banking department, and CEO Randy Hanks hopes to open the bank in the first quarter of 2007. Hanks has a temporary office at 1337 Route 33, Hamilton Square 08690; but the bank will be on Whitehead Road.

The next steps to getting the final charter involve joining the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and getting the state to approve some key executives. It will be the first new community bank chartered in Mercer County since 1999.

First Choice Bank (in Organization), 669 Whitehead Road, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-462-2684; fax, 609-631-8803. Randolph Hanks, president and CEO. Home page: www.firstchoice-bank.com

Expansions

HACBM Architects Engineers Planners LLC, 31 EAst Darrah Lane, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-452-7779; fax, 609-452-7959. Robert M. Mailer, president. Home page: www.hacbm.com

On the second weekend in December HACBM moved from 211 College Road East to its own 10,000 square-foot building on Darrah Lane, near the Lawrenceville Library. Phone and fax remain the same.

The one-story industrial building had been occupied by S.G. Frantz, which made separation equipment. Anne Labate of Segal Commercial found the space for the architects, who set about to redesign it to their liking.

Founded in 1989 HACBM offers architecture, planning and landscape architecture, as well as civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering.

Pepper Hamilton LLP, 301 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540; 609-452-0808; fax, 609-452-1147. Dennis F. Casale, co-partner-in-charge. www.pepperlaw.com

Pepper Hamilton made its planned expansion from 24,000 square feet at 300 Alexander Park to 31,000 square feet at the facility fronting Route 1, originally built for United Jersey Bank. Bank of America occupies one third of the building.

Pepper Hamilton offers corporate, litigation and regulatory services to regional, national and international companies, emerging businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. It is based in Philadelphia and has a total of 10 offices.

Regional Business Assistance Corporation, 3111 Quakerbridge Road, Second Floor, Box 2653, Mercerville 08619; 609-587-1133; fax, 609-587-1313. William Pazmino, executive director. www.rbacloan.com

Regional Business Assistance Corporation moved on December 14 from 247 East Front Street in Trenton to the second floor, above Yardville National Bank, in Mercerville. Phone and fax are new.

RBAC is a community development small business loan fund providing financing and technical assistance to businesses in a ten county region.

University Medical Center at Princeton Breast Health Center, 300-B Princeton-Hightstown Road, East Windsor Medical Commons 2, East Windsor 08520; 609-688-2700; fax, 609-688-2701. Rachel Dultz MD, medical director. Home page: www.princetonhcs.org

The University Medical Center opened a digital mammography center, the Princeton Breast Health Center, at East Windsor Medical Commons on December 4. The 8,000 square-foot facility cost $2.25 million and is intended to streamline the process of diagnosing and treating breast cancer. The auxiliary of the hospital contributed $1.6 million, and a foundation in the memory of Christina Walsh raised $30,000.

International Process Plants & Equipment, 17 A Marlen Drive, Hamilton 08691; 609-586-8004; fax, 609-586-0002. Harold Bogatz, general counsel. Home page: www.ippe.net

International Process Plants & Equipment is expanding by building out its office space into the warehouse area. Founded in 1976, the 30-person firms buys and sells plants and equipment around the world.

According to its website, the firm has more than 70 complete plants and process lines, and about 27,000 major pieces of equipment.

Law Merger

Hill Wallack LP Attorneys at Law, 202 Carnegie Center, Suite 200, CN 5226, Princeton 08543-5226; 609-924-0808; fax, 609-452-1888. Robert W. Bacso Esq., managing partner. Home page: www.hillwallack.com

On January 1 Hill Wallack will merge with an Atlantic City firm, Sandson & DeLucry, and open a new gaming division, led by Paul P. Josephson. Josephson, 40, went to the University of Michigan and has a law degree from George Washington University. He is the former assistant attorney general and director of the Division of Law.

Mark Sandson, the senior partner of Sandson & DeLucry, has been named as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge.

Down-Sizing

Prudential Financial (PRU), 1009 Lenox Drive, Building 4, Suite 102 C, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-844-1112; fax, 609-844-1114. Mike Marciano, managing director. Home page: www.prudential.com

In November Prudential Financial closed one office at 1009 Lenox Drive, Building 4. Some of the senior agents retired, and some joined the Clarke Group, an office associated with Prudential in the same building. Mike Marciano is the managing director of Prudential’s Central New Jersey agency, based at Tower Center in East Brunswick, which covers Mercer, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties (732-565-7500).

Leaving Town

Nesbit Systems, 230 North Union Street, Lambertville 08530; 609-397-7720; fax, 609-397-7759. www.nesbit.com/~nesbit/

Nesbit Systems moved out of 2,400 square feet at 5 Vaughn Drive, and now four development personnel are working in Lambertville, and two sales people, including founder Irene Nesbit, are working in New York at 450 West 51st Street (212-268-2717).

The 25-year-old company provides software to track equipment systems for big organizations, such as broadcasting networks, that cover events such as the Olympics.

Crosstown Moves

Meredith Realty Partners LLC, 81 Columbia Avenue, Hopewell 08525; 866-575-2528; fax, 609-737-5761. Edward B. Meredith Jr., principal. Home page: www.mrealtypartners.com

Last year Gayle and Edward Meredith were running their family business, a commercial real estate business with Gayle at the helm (U.S. 1, April 6, 2005).

But they found that working together was less profitable than working separately. Registering as a woman-owned business was supposed to give the company access to the contracts that the government at all levels must set aside for minority companies and that large corporations, most of which do business with the government, must also award to minority businesses. “But we were too young a company to represent big corporations. They preferred to hire us rather than have us work as consultants,” says Edward Meredith. “If we had sold paper products we would have done very well.”

So this year Gayle (Johns Hopkins, 1985) is commuting to New York, working for Grubb & Ellis in New York and Chicago. “We thought it was better to divide and conquer,” says Meredith, a 1983 Franklin & Marshall alumnus.

Meredith is still active in commercial real estate and says he is working on three build-to-suit contracts and some leases. He does this work when the couple’s three children are in school; he is a stay-at-home dad. When they were out of school for the summer, his summer project was building a post-and-beam barn to house the company on the family’s property. He has moved almost all of the business to “the red barn.”

Soon he will leave to return to New Orleans to build houses for Katrina victims; the church group he went with last year has swelled to 20 people. “I want to use my skills to help the people who need it,” he says.

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