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These articles by Barbara Fox, Michele Alperin, Bart Jackson, and Jack Florek were prepared for the July 3, 2007 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Traffic on Route 1 South has been moving more smoothly since the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) began its drive to cut out as many traffic lights as possible in the busy stretch from Princeton to Trenton.
As the annual U.S. 1 rush hour traffic survey reveals, most evenings there is a short delay at Meadow Road, a slightly longer delay at Quakerbridge Road, but then a big back up as three lanes of traffic try to squeeze onto the entrance ramps for I-95 and I-295. Fender benders are not uncommon.
Beginning on Monday, July 2, NJDOT began work on a new road configuration to ease the jam. Its plans include a ramp and improved access and signage on Route 1 southbound at the interchange with I-95/295 in Lawrence Township. The ramp will separate Route 1 southbound traffic bound for I-95 and that bound for I-295.
In addition, NJDOT will improve an existing connector roadway to provide access to and from businesses along Route 1 southbound and closing the existing driveway near Joe’s Crab Shack onto Route 1 southbound.
To help drivers navigate the changes, NJDOT will revise the existing directional signs and install a new overhead sign to provide clearer guidance for motorists traveling on Route 1 southbound.
In order to minimize traffic impacts upon the 80,000 vehicles that use this roadway daily, NJDOT will construct the $2.7 million project overnight and maintain current lane configuration during daytime and evening hours. Single and double lane closures will be permitted overnight. The project is scheduled to be completed by July, 2008.
Variable message signs will be installed to inform motorists of upcoming lane closures.
Petrone Associates Inc./Guardian Life Insurance Company, 2 Research Way, Princeton 08540; 609-452-9292; fax, 609-452-0838. Home page: www.petroneassociates.com.
Once more Petrone Associates has outgrown its space. On July 1 it was scheduled to expand from 3,800 square feet at the Carnegie Center to 5,000 feet on 2 Research Way, part of the College Park at Princeton Forrestal Center. An agency of Guardian Life Insurance Company, the firm has 25 financial representatives and 6 administrative workers, and it expects to staff up to 40 by the end of this year.
"This is an exciting time for our firm, our financial representatives, and our clients," says Tom Petrone, the founder. A history major at Gettysburg College, he started the company when he graduated in 1965 and moved it to Princeton in 1970.
"Our firm continues to add more and more specialists in the areas of investment planning, insurance planning, and estate planning," says Michael Petrone, son of the founder. A 1988 graduate of Haverford College, he passed the certified financial planner examination last year. His brother, Andrew, a 1994 graduate of Lafayette College, also works at the firm. A third brother, Brian, used to be in operations here but is repositioning his career to be a golf pro, and the fourth brother, Scott, lives and works in New York City.
In addition to individual clients, the Petrones focus on small businesses and small group planning, particularly for professionals who run their own firms, such as physicians, attorneys, and accountants.
Clients get access to a web-based financial services tool, the "Living Balance Sheet," which can consolidate financial information, monitor assets, and store copies of important documents in a password protected, encrypted personal website.
"This is a secure web page that only the client has access to," says Andrew Petrone. "Imagine having your complete financial life organized, in one secure place, and updated continuously."
Bohrens had the moving contract, and the Petrones were represented by Gregg Nowell and Chris Santoro of Sitar Company. Vince Marano and Tom Stange represented the Lawrence Zirinsky Associates, owners of the 815,000 square-foot College Park complex. The Petrones are changing counties (from Mercer to Middlesex) but they get to keep their Princeton zip code.
Young Audiences of New Jersey, 200 Forrestal Road, Princeton 08540; 609-243-9000; fax, 609-243-8999. Larry Capo, executive director. Home page: www.yanj.org.
Institute for Arts & Humanities Education (IAHE), 100 Jersey Avenue, Suite B 104, Box B-17, New Brunswick 08901; 732-220-1600; fax, 732-220-1515. Maureen Heffernan. Home page: www.iahenj.org.
Two arts education providers have merged as of July 1 – Young Audiences of New Jersey and the Institute for Arts & Humanities Education. Larry Capo will be executive director of the combined organization, which will be located at the Young Audiences office. Maureen Heffernan, formerly with the Institute, will have the title of director of Young Audiences Institute.
Established in 1973, Young Audiences is known for bringing artists into the schools. The 12-person organization provides programs to 420,000 children annually.
Established in 1982, the Institute provides school programs and artist residencies, professional development workshops, family arts programs, and summer programs, such as the Summer Arts Institute for teenagers. Its programs affect more than 180,000 students, families, and teachers.
"The Dodge Foundation sees this integration of two remarkable organizations as a very positive, and very brave, step," says David Grant, CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation which, along with the state arts council, is a major funder of both organizations. "This is an appropriate consolidation around shared values and a shared mission, and we are sure it will lead to even greater impact. With the national conversation about learning finally beginning to acknowledge the importance of arts education, it is exciting that we will have a national model of effectiveness here in New Jersey."
One example of potential collaboration: YANJ has a special photography program for vulnerable youth, and IANJ has one that employs video. After the merger, there will be 17 employees. "We hope this creates a legacy for art education," says Coby Green-Rifkin, communications director.
NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), 211 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6213; 609-524-4500; fax, 609-524-4501. David Crane, president and CEO. www.nrgenergy.com.
NRG is joining global companies such as Ford, IBM, and Intel by joining Chicago Climate Exchange, the world’s first voluntary and legally binding greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading system. NRG is a merchant power generator with 5,540 plants in four countries, 3,800 employees worldwide, including 240 at 211 and 104 Carnegie Center.
"Joining the Chicago Climate Exchange is part of our ongoing program to increase our carbon awareness, track our emissions, and address climate change proactively," said CEO David Crane, in a prepared statement. "A cap-and-trade system, like CCX’s, will minimize the cost of achieving carbon reductions because it allows the lowest cost emission reductions to be used to help meet reduction targets."
Emissions trading allows companies to trade or exchange rights to produce greenhouse-gas pollution with other companies that have difficulty meeting emissions standards. CCX is the world’s only global system for emissions trading based on all six greenhouse gases.
PhytoMedical Technologies Inc. (PYTO), 100 Overlook, Second Floor, Princeton 08540; 800-611-3388; fax, 604-659-5029. Greg Wujek, CEO. Home page: www.phytomedical.com.
PhytoMedical, an early stage biopharmaceutical at Princeton Overlook, has agreed to work on a cancer research drug with Dartmouth College. PhytoMedical focuses on plant-derived pharmaceutical and neutraceutical compounds, and it will test the college’s new compounds against prostate, lung, brain, and bladder cancer cells. Dartmouth’s compounds are based on a new class of anti-tumor agents that are supposed to bind more tightly to cancer-cell DNA than the current cancer drugs.
PhytoMedical’s own prize plant-derived compound, BDC 03, has significant potential in the lucrative obesity market. Its active elements have been shown in animal tests to reduce body fat percentage, increase lean muscle mass, and lower cholesterol.
BDC 03 also has potential for those with cancer and AIDS who suffer from cachexia – dramatic weight loss of muscle tissue and bone as well as fatty tissue. Half of all cancer-related deaths are really due to cachexia, says the company, because losing lean muscle mass affects the major organs.
Founded in 1986, PhytoMedical was formerly known as Enterprise Technologies and should not be confused with Phytomedics Inc., the private company on Cranbury South River Road that has its research engine at Rutgers (page 37). Bruce David Cherksey, PhytoMedical’s scientific founder, does his research at NYU.
Harmel Rayat, the chairman, owns a majority share of this firm, which traded above $1 in 2005 and early in 2006. The stock price has been below 50 cents in 2007.
The company points out that 20 of the best selling drugs come from natural sources and 25 percent of prescription drugs are based on compounds derived from plants.
Voxware Inc. (VOXW), 168 Franklin Corner Road, Suite 3, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-514-4100; fax, 609-514-4101. Scott Yetter, president. www.voxware.com.
Voxware announced contracts with two distributors in June. Somerfield Stores, with 1,000 grocery stories in the United Kingdom, ordered Voxware’s wireless voice logistics solution to streamline its flow-through operations in four warehouses. Somerfield already uses a Voxware product for its "picking" operations.
Also Eastern Bag & Paper Group has deployed Voxware’s software on its LXE HX1 wireless mobile computers at a Connecticut facility. It distributes more than 1,500 janitorial and non-food service items in nine states.
"Eastern Bag has benefited greatly by getting paper orders out of the hands of its workers and directing them instead via voice instructions," said Scott Yetter, Voxware’s CEO, in a press release.
"Voxware delivered a solution that has increased our order picking accuracy and reduced the time required for each warehouse worker to pick their orders," said Eastern Bag’s Jack Jurkowski in a press release.
Also in June, Voxware validated its voice technology at the Motorola Solution Center in Holtsville, NY, proving that the Voxware software is compatible with Motorola devices. Voxware is a 14-year-old firm with offices in Cambridge, MA, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France. It regained its listing on Nasdaq in May.
GPC Biotech Inc. (GPCB), 101 College Road East, Princeton 08540; 609-524-1000; fax, 609-524-1050. Bernd Seizinger, CEO. Home page: www.gpc-biotech.com.
GPC Biotech has licensed some commercialization rights for an oncology drug, satraplatin, to Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd. Satraplatin, now in the development stage, is a member of the platinum family of drugs used in chemotherapy. Current platinum drugs are given intravenously, but satraplatin can be taken orally.
Yakult paid $10 million, plus it will pay potential milestone payments and royalties, to develop the drug in Japan. Yakult invented a colorectal cancer drug, irinotecan, and successfully commercialized a platinum-based drug, oxaliplatin, in Japan.
Another firm, Pharmion, is commercializing satraplatin in Europe. GPC is based in Munich, Germany. Though satraplatin has not yet been approved by the FDA, GPC hopes to get a response on its FDA application by the end of the summer.
AGS Benefits, 34 Chambers Street, Suite 210, Princeton 08540; 609-924-2420; fax, 609-924-2421. Jordan Gray, partner. Home page: www.agsbenefits.com.
AGS Benefits, an insurance and pension brokerage, has opened an office in Princeton. The firm, which also has offices in New York and Boston, administers benefit plans for over 300 companies ranging in size from two employees to thousands. @head 14:Expansion
Health Care First, 103 Morgan Lane, Suite 102, Plainsboro 08536; 609-356-1700; fax, 609-356-1701. David Lepping, executive director. Home page: www.hc1st.com.
Healthcare First, a medical communications firm, moved from a small office at 9 Davidson Avenue in Jamesburg to about 4,000 square feet in Plainsboro. A startup medical communications firm of only two people in March 2006, the company has grown to a staff of 12, including a medical director, program manager, writers and editors, and account supervisors.
Healthcare First does medical education for doctors, in particular the programs offering the certified medical education credits that physicians must accumulate. @head 14:Crosstown Moves
Casa Bella Design Build, 2277 Route 33, Suite 415, Hamilton 08690; 609-587-8788; fax, 609-587-8776. Lori Horowitz, office manager. Home page: .
Casa Bella Design Build, a three-year-old interior design firm, has moved from 101 Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown to larger quarters in Hamilton. The firm has six employees. @move lede:Princeton Forrestal Village, 114 Stanhope Street, Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540; 609-799-7400; fax, 609-799-0245. David B. Kuna, senior property manager. Home page: www.thegalecompany.com.
The Gale Company has moved the administrative offices of Princeton Forrestal Village from 201 Rockingham Row to 114 Stanhope Street. @head 14:Downsizing
Spectrum Scientific Recruiters, Box 638, Plainsboro 08536; 609-936-8850; fax, 609-936-9344. Scott Nagrod, president, senior recruiter. Home page: www.spectrumscientific.com.
Spectrum Scientific Recruiters, which specializes in professional search and recruitment for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, has left 666 Plainsboro Road, Suite 2000F, for another office in Plainsboro. Phone and fax have not changed.
Fleetmatics, 196 Princeton-Hightstown Road, West Windsor 08550. Luke Malchodi, business manager. Home page: www.fleetmatics.com.
Fleetmatics, which uses satellites and web-based software to track vehicle locations, has closed its office in West Windsor. Interested parties may contact the New York office at 869 Old Country Road in Westbury, 516-478-6716.
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