New in Town: Teijin

Pharma Expansions: CHS

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on August 9, 2000. All rights

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New Pharma at Carnegie Center: JT’s Akros

Akros Pharma Inc., a 12-year-old, wholly-owned

subsidiary

of mega Japanese firm JT, has opened an office at the Carnegie Center,

occupying temporary quarters at 214 and soon to move to 302. It also

has an office in the San Francisco Bay area.

With concentration on metabolic and renal diseases, cardiovascular

conditions, and antivirals, it works with combinatorial chemistry

and with genomics, in collaboration with Maryland-based Gene Logic.

Akros has licensed its products to such companies as Johnson & Johnson

and Pharmacia & Upjohn.

The name of the firm is based on the Greek word for peak or pinnacle,

says Tatsuya Yoneyama, the president. After majoring in chemistry

at Hokkaido University, Class of 1970, Yoneyama joined JT and has

worked in the pharmaceutical area for the past 10 years. He is an

avid golfer with a single digit handicap.

"Our mission here is to perform clinical development of products

coming out of the pipeline, overseeing clinical trials in the U.S.

and Europe," says Ken Kiyose, director of contracts and licensing

and development. "We also have a business development function,

establishing relationships with biotech companies and universities,

arranging licensing, and bringing our products to the attention of

multinational companies here. We also have a network of consultants

to identify collaborative research and licensing opportunities."

"We are a fairly new entrant into the pharmaceutical sector, and

initially we will be working through CROs," says Kiyose. "We

began in 1988 and our products are just now coming through the

pipe."

Akros participated with a Warner Lambert company, Agouron, in the

joint development of an AIDS drug, Viracept, the top selling protease

inhibitor in the U.S. Other partners are Tularik in San Francisco,

Chiron in the Bay Area, and Corixa in Seattle.

The son of a linguistics professor, Kiyose majored in psychology at

Reed College, Class of 1987, and has a graduate degree from Yale in

East Asian studies. He and the other Akros personnel moved here from

Japan in April. The choice of Princeton was based on a need to be

close to the industry’s major players, on a safe and pleasant place

to live, and on the area’s value for recruitment, Kiyose says. "We

plan to expand next year and were advised by consultants that the

Princeton name had a cachet that might help in recruiting."

Akros Pharma Inc., 214 Carnegie Center, Suite 302,

Princeton 08540. Tatsuya Yoneyama, president. 609-919-9570; fax,

609-919-9575.

Top Of Page
New in Town: Teijin

Teijin America Inc., 600 Alexander Park, Suite

304, Princeton 08540. Yuko Hartley, office manager. 609-716-7636;

fax, 609-716-9482.

The Princeton office of the pharmaceutical company based in Tokyo

has been open for about six weeks.

Top Of Page
Pharma Expansions: CHS

Founded by Jane A. Donahue, Consumer Health Sciences

has more than doubled in size in two years and has moved from 346

to 165 Wall Street in Research Park, an expansion of 3,000 to 10,000

square feet. This healthcare information company conducts

disease-specific

surveys of patients and caregivers that help to bridge the gap between

the doctor and the consumer.

Until recently CHS was self funded, but last October it was purchased

by Grey Healthcare Group, a division of Grey Advertising. "We’re

in the big time now," says Donohue. "It enables us to grow more

rapidly." Two years ago she had 14 employees, and now she has 32 and

is looking for more. The company name stays the same.

One of the company’s most visible efforst, the National Health and

Wellness Survey — which profiles health, including both attitudes

and behaviors, use of over-the-counter and alternative medicines,

and the frequency of visits to doctors — is now being conducted

in the U.K., France, Germany, and the United States. The firm had

four condition-specific, longitudinal studies for depression,

schizophrenia,

Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, and has added a fifth, for organ transplant

recipients.

Such data is particularly important in today’s "direct to

consumer"

market, in which patients respond to mass media advertising to ask

their doctors for a particular drug. CHS data also helps doctors

understand

patients — to know, for instance, why patients sometimes resist

taking a particular medication.

"Grey gives us a tremendous amount of autonomy and a lot of

exposure

in the pharmaceutical industry. Grey has a lot of cachet, and with

that relationship we have become an international company in short

order," says Donahue.

She is thrilled to get questions about how attitudes are different

in Europe and Asia. "Surprisingly, the methodologies are the same

— classic market research techniques. The field work is done in

the countries, and we do the cleaning, coding, and scoring here."

The daughter of a Readers Digest executive, Donohue majored in

psychology

at St. Lawrence, Class of ’74, and has a Ph.D. in social research

from Bryn Mawr. Donohue, formerly director of outcomes research at

Janssen Pharmaceutica, founded this firm nearly four years ago (U.S.

1, June 28, 1998). "It has been incredibly rewarding to take an

idea literally from my basement," says Donohue.

Consumer Health Sciences LLC, 165 Wall Street,

Princeton 08540. Jane A. Donohue PhD, president. 609-924-4455; fax,

609-924-7794. Www.consumerhealthsciences.com.


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