Buyout Days

More Time: Village

Crosstown Moves

Arc/Mercer Expands

Legal Maneuvers



Corrections or additions?

These stories were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 31, 1999. All rights reserved.

Merial: For Horse Ulcers

Fifty years after Merck began developing medicines

for animals, and 100 years after Rhone-Poulenc went into the animal

health business, the two companies combined their animal-health businesses

to form Merial. They moved the new company into the New Jersey Technology

Center at 681 Route 1 South in North Brunswick early this year and

have just come out with a splashy new product for horse ulcers.

Yes, horses do get ulcers. In fact, the more expensive the horse,

the more likely it is to suffer that malady so common in the Age of

Anxiety. Up to 93 percent of racehorses, and 60 percent of other performance

horses, such as show horses, suffer from gastric ulceration.

Merial announced earlier this month that it received clearance from

the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market Gastrogard Paste,

the first and only prescription medication so approved to heal and

prevent equine stomach ulcers, and this week it has been made available

to veterinarians.

Gastrogard is Merial’s first big win since it moved into its new quarters

and, says spokesperson Stephen S. Resnick, it represents only a smidgen

of Merial’s potential contribution to the Central Jersey economy.

"Think about the $21 million we put into the facility and our

$120 million R&D budget — that represents Merial’s dedication

to the New Jersey pharmaceutical industry and a significant ongoing

investment in the Route 1 corridor," says Resnick, associate director

for business operations. A Rochester native (the son of a Bausch &

Lomb scientist), he went to Cornell, Class of ’89, and earned his

MBA from Carnegie Mellon.

"We are in the business of developing very safe products,"

says Resnick, "such as Heartguard. That compound is so safe that

Merck donates a significant amount of the compound for use in human

applications, to treat `river blindness’ in Third World countries."

Merial is a joint venture between Merck and Rhone Poulenc that merges

Rhone Merieux divisions and Merck’s AgVe. At its new pharmaceutical

research and development center it will focus on new and existing

products for companion animals (such as dogs, cats, and horses) as

well as for livestock (such as swine and cattle). It is billed as

the world’s largest animal-health company solely dedicated to the

discovery, manufacture, marketing, and delivery of veterinary pharmaceuticals

and vaccines, and it also leads the market in developing and producing

poultry breeding stock.

With about 1,600 employees in North America, and 6,500 worldwide,

Merial has a North American operational headquarters in Iselin (the

former site for Merck AgVet) plus a global headquarters in London,

England, and an operation in Lyon, France (formerly Rhone Merieux).

It is owned jointly by the two founding firms and has operations in

150 countries. Merial had $1.76 billion in revenues in the United

States in 1998, down from $1.9 million the previous year, but it is

maintaining its $120 million R&D budget, the largest in the industry.

"Our facility in North Brunswick will be an invaluable centralized

resource for Merial’s R&D capabilities globally," says John Chintall,

laboratory operations manager. Chintall majored in chemistry at Rutgers

Camden, Class of 1967, and has a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania,

joining Merial last year.

"Now our researchers will have access to the latest tools and

technologies to create a wide variety of innovative products. They

also will continue development work on novel products such as Frontline

(a leading treatment for the control of fleas and ticks on dogs and

cats) and Ivomec brand products (for the control of parasites in a

wide range of livestock)," says Chintall.

Some United States administrators remain in Iselin, where Kevin Schultz,

vice president of pharmaceutical research and development, has his

office. The North Brunswick building has 70 workers now but can hold

up to 100 scientists, and it combines three core scientific groups

— drug analytical chemistry, pharmaco-kinetics and drug metabolism,

and formulations development. In addition to 14 new positions hired

here, scientists have come from Pennsylvania, Iowa, and France.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) built Merial’s

60,000 square foot facility, part of its 50-acre research park, Technology

Centre of New Jersey (TCNJ), on Route 1 South in North Brunswick,

practically adjacent to Rutgers’ Cook Campus. When the EDA took over

this property, there were some existing buildings, and the EDA is

building more.

Assorted small firms had expressed interest in taking

footage equivalent to half the first new building, but when Merial

offered to base its North American headquarters — as well as part

of its global operations — at the Tech Center, the EDA jumped

at the offer, saying that the Tech Center’s vision has always been

to provide a place for major companies to expand, to be a home for

growing businesses, and to foster synergy between high tech companies

and the state’s universities.

"The EDA did not contribute money to the cost of the buildout,"

says Resnick. "Once we signed the lease, we leased the core and

shell and the surrounding property." The majority of the $21 million

went into the walls, furniture, and infrastructure with the remaining

money spent for new analytic equipment. Merial’s lease also includes

an option for an additional four acres behind the building to build

anything from a parking lot to additional laboratory to additional

office space.

Merial’s fitout was designed by Mark Devlaminc of the Hillier Group

and Turner Construction did the buildout. "Eight months from the

time we signed the lease, we moved in," says Resnick. Meanwhile

CUH2A, based on Roszel Road, is doing the architecture for the EDA’s

second new building, which will have 200,000 square feet.

As for that ulcer medication: it was granted accelerated review by

the FDA because the molecule was new to veterinary medicine and could

treat a condition that seriously affects as many as 1.8 million performance

horses and more than half of the foals. It reversed the usual R&D

order. Usually before a medicine is approved for humans, it is tested

on animals. But Gastrogard paste has the same active ingredient (omeprazole)

found in the already successful Prilosec, an anti-ulcer medication

for humans.

Merial Ltd., 681 Route 1 South, Technology Center

of New Jersey, North Brunswick 08902. John Chintall, laboratory operations

manager. 732-855-2071.

Top Of Page
Buyout Days

News of four Princeton area companies involved in buyouts

surfaced this week. Parent companies of two software firms — Computer

Associates (at Orchard Road) and Platinum Technology (at Campus Drive)

— will merge.

Strategic Technology Systems, the defense contracting firm at 1 Electronics

Drive that was founded as Base Ten Systems, has been bought by a competitor,

a British conglomerate, Smiths Industries. And Integra LifeSciences

has bought NeuroCare, a Wisconsin-based group of medical products


The Princeton outpost of Platinum Technology, with 165 employees at

111 Campus Drive, was founded here by Benjamin Cohen as Logic Works,

and it was a darling of Wall Street when it did its IPO in 1995. Last

May it was acquired by Illinois-based Platinum Technology (Nasdaq:

PLAT) in May of last year. For Logic Works’ database development and

data warehousing tools, such as ERwin and BPwin, Platinum Technology

paid approximately $174.8 million in stock. Platinum has more than

5,000 employees overall and revenues of nearly $1 billion last year.

Computer Associates (formerly Applied Data Research here in Princeton)

is based in Islandia, New York, and at Orchard Road at Route 206 it

has 325 employees who supply software for business, government, research

and educational organizations. Internationally, the firm has 13,000

people working in more than 100 countries and revenues of more than

$5 billion. Both Platinum and Computer Associates are considered consolidators

that buy up companies at fire sale prices.

Strategic Technology Systems, a defense supplier with technology being

used in NATO’s current air raids, spun off from Base Ten early in

1998 so that Base Ten could devote itself to software for pharmaceutical

and healthcare services. Five of the executives, including then-CFO

Edward Klinsport, got financial backing to purchase the defense business,

which had sales of about $12 million last year. The British competitor,

which has annual sales of $2 billion, has bought the Hamilton-based

company for $14.5 million (pending federal approval) but plans to

keep the facility and its 100 employees intact. Klinsport, nevertheless,

will leave STSI and get involved in two other businesses.

In an effort to become profitable for the first time in 10 years,

IntegraLifeSciences has bought a profit-making firm with a sales and

distribution network in 50 countries. Integra has always been highly

valued by analysts for its technology — tissue and organ replacements,

including artificial skin, cartilage, and nerve conduits — and

is best known for its "artificial skin" for burn victims,

but even with revenues of almost $17.5 million it lost $12 million

last year.

By buying NeuroCare for $25 million (funded in part by a prestigious

partnership that includes billionaire George Soros), Integra will

get $50 million in revenues and about 150 new employees. It’s a big

win for Stuart M. Essig, president and CEO, who for nearly two years

has been trying to increase profits while still supporting R&D. About

20 new jobs will come to Morgan Lane, which will house an international

customer service and distribution center. The deal involves an $11

million loan from Fleet Capital Corp. and $14 million cash, based

on $10 million in preferred stock and warrants sold to the Soros Private

Equity Partners LLC.

Platinum Technology (PLAT), 111 Campus Drive, University

Square at Princeton, Princeton 08540. 609-514-1177; fax, 609-514-1175.

Computer Associates (CA), Route 206 and Orchard

Road, Box 8, Princeton 08543-0008. David Cook, facilities manager.

908-874-9000; fax, 908-874-9420. Home page:

Strategic Technology Systems, 1 Electronics Drive,

Trenton 08619. Edward Klinsport, CEO. 609-584-0202; fax, 609-584-0505.

Integra LifeSciences Corporation (IART), 105 Morgan

Lane, Box 688, Plainsboro 08536. Stuart M. Essig, president/CEO. 609-275-0500;

fax, 609-799-3297. Home page:

Top Of Page
More Time: Village

So many new small banks have come online in the past

several years, that it began to seem easy. In response to the mega

banks, the little banks began popping up everywhere. Hopewell Valley

Community Bank began operating as a commercial bank last month, as

did Mark Wolters and Tom Gray and their cohorts from the former Carnegie

Bank, which was sold to Sovereign. They opened the Grand Bank, National

Association, in 7,000 square feet at 4275 Route 1 South, across from

Dow Jones in Monmouth Junction.

But it may not always be as easy as it seems. Village Bank — the

latest entry in the "small is better" model for the banking

business — has had to extend its initial public offering beyond

the announced deadline. Its parent holding company, Village Financial

Corporation, has extended the subscription offering beyond March 26

for an unnamed period of time.

Kenneth J. Stephon, president and chief executive officer, indicated

that the minimum amount of stock necessary to open the bank for business

had not yet been sold. The bank launched its initial public offering

of up to 1,200,000 shares of common stock for a purchase price of

$10 per share on February 3.

"At this time, we do not have a final count as to how many shares

were subscribed for," says Stephon, "but we do not intend

to release this information in any event until the offering is consummated

or the bank is opened for business." Stephon, 39, was formerly

president, chief executive officer and a director of CloverBank, Pennsauken.

He left CloverBank to organize Village Bank in July 1998. He has a

degree in accounting from College of New Jersey and a master’s in

business administration from Rider University. Stephon owns 4.8 percent

of the bank’s stock and has an annual base salary of $110,004 plus

stock options.

Other directors include William C. Hart, president and chief executive

officer of Mercer Mutual Insurance Company on Route 31; William V.R.

Fogler, a securities arbitration consultant and founder of Van Rensselaer

Ltd., on Cleveland Road; Paul J. Russo, vice president and part-owner

of the Lawrenceville Home Improvement Center on Eldridge Avenue;

Jonathan R. Sachs, a physician with the Princeton Gastroenterology

Associates, Princeton; and George M. Taber, founder and president

of Business News New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Organized as a federally chartered savings bank, Village Bank expects

to have its main office in Lawrenceville and a limited service

facility in the Pennington Point office complex and retirement community.

It is the only publicly traded thrift institution proposed to be opening

in Mercer County.

Village Financial Corporation, 590 Lawrence Square

Boulevard, Lawrenceville 08648. Kenneth J. Stephon, CEO and

president. 609-689-1010; fax, 609-689-0689.

Top Of Page
Crosstown Moves

National Medical Systems Inc., 2117 Route 33, Lexington

Square Commons, Square 08690. William Palmieri, president. 609-588-6800;

fax, 609-588-0234.

The five-year-old health management company moved from 2561 Yardville-Hamilton

Square Road. it does drug screening and corporate employee physicals.

K.P. Burke & Associates, 162 Nassau Street, Princeton

08540. Kevin Burke, owner. 609-737-2600; fax, 609-737-0828.

The builder moved from 65 South Main Street in Pennington.

Top Of Page
Arc/Mercer Expands

Arc/Mercer has purchased the 27,000 square foot property

at 180 Ewingville Road in Ewing Township that was on the market for

$1.5 million. Commercial Property Network represented both the buyer

and the seller, Ernel Realty. The current tenants, the accounting

firm of Pisauro, Levy, Palumbo, & Noble, will be moving to a Scotch

Road address in May. Arc/Mercer is expected to move by this fall and

a dedication ceremony is planned for early next year, the 50th anniversary

of the organization.

The purchase was made possible with proceeds of a $2.7 million bond

issue from the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA), which also

allows Arc/Mercer to renovate its two existing facilities at Fairmont

Avenue and New York Avenue. "Consolidating into these three facilities

will allow the Arc/Mercer to expand and perfect its mission of advocacy

and service to children and adults with mental retardation," says

Kenneth Rubin, president of the board.

"It’s been the dream of the board of directors to consolidate

our programs, many of which have been scattered throughout the county

in rented buildings," says Gary Backinoff, past president of the

board. "For the first time in our 50-year history, we will own

all of our properties."

Top Of Page
Legal Maneuvers

Lapidus Market, 515 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro

08536. Fred Siegel, owner. 609-799-0334.

FSES Inc., doing business as Lapidus Market, has filed for liquidation

under Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is represented by Wilentz Goldman &


Top Of Page

Princeton Learning Systems Inc., 707 State Road,

Princeton 08540. 609-924-2882; fax, 609-924-5090.

An incorrect fax number was printed in the March 24 issue.

Top Of Page

Robert James Kennedy Sr., 59, on March 23. He had been

quality control officer with Lockheed Martin Corp.

John R. Clarke on March 22. Until 1990 he was head of

radio frequency projects at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Franklin C. Cawley, 62, on March 24. He had managed Nelson

Glass Co. on Spring Street.

Andrew W. Zalay, 80, on March 24. He had worked for Textile

Research Institute.

Violet Elaine McAdam, 70, on March 26. She had worked

for McGraw Hill in East Windsor.

Next Story

Corrections or additions?

This page is published by

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments