Physiome’s Move


Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the July 4, 2001

edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

On the Move

At a time when financial companies and dotcoms are

announcing layoffs, two biotech companies — PharmaSeq and Physiome

Sciences — are expanding.

At Princeton Corporate Plaza on Route 1 South, PharmaSeq tripled its

space in an April move "next door" to Suite F. The company

now has 6,200 square feet for both laboratory and administrative


PharmaSeq has developed the world’s first light-powered


and nanotransponders for performing nucleic acid-based assays.

A major impetus to Pharmaseq’s expansion was a strategic partnership

with Mitsui & Company, one of the three largest corporations in Japan

and sixth worldwide in annual revenues. In February Mitsui announced

its multi-million dollar equity investment in the licensing


for Pharmaseq’s technology.

"That PharmaSeq is in a growth phase is related to completion

of technical milestones and the investment of Mitsui," says Wlodek

Mandecki, president and CEO. "We anticipated all this and made

arrangements with Harold Kent (the owner of Princeton Corporate Plaza)

to move to the new facility, so we could grow based on a very solid

foundation. We have 11 employees and have just hired two more, and

we have the capacity to grow within our current space to 25."

In January he tapped Hanan Davidowitz, formerly with the NEC Research

Institute on Independence Way, to be director of instrumentation


"The company’s strategy is to develop a new very powerful system

for gene analysis, based on microtransponders," says Mandecki.

These small, laser light-powered microtransponders are really


that carry DNA sequences to diagnose genetic diseases and mutations.

PharmaSeq is developing a family of these microchips, nanochips and

related instruments. In the future they could be used for drug


and evaluation, cancer detection and immunoassay development. Outside

of the medical field, they might even serve as microscopic barcodes.

Mandecki’s pride and joy is the first fully functional light-powered

nanotransponder. "The beauty is, these transponders are so small

that the numbers you can use are huge; you can put 10,000 of them

in a teaspoon of liquid," he says. Competitive microtransponders

are about the size of a Tylenol capsule.

Developed in collaboration with the Sarnoff Corporation, the


uses a chip measuring six nanoliters, less than 1/000 the size of

a grain of rice. This DNA chip achieved a record of being the


externally powered, monolithic integrated circuit that can transmit

its identity code by radio frequency. "We are completing the


prototype of this system and want to have a product on the market

in late 2002," says Mandecki.

Mandecki admits that the field of DNA diagnostics is very competitive.

"But we feel we have a breakthrough technology, powerful to the

point that we feel we will grab a significant market share."

PharmaSeq Inc., 1 Deer Park Drive, Princeton


Plaza, Suite F, Monmouth Junction 08852. Wlodek Mandecki, CEO.


fax, 732-355-0102.

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Physiome’s Move

Physiome Sciences, a company that develops software

products to simulate biological processes that enhance the drug


process, has tripled its office space. On June 25, the seven-year-old

company moved from 8,000 square feet at 307 College Road East to


feet at 150 College Road West. "We needed more room for the


says CFO Jane Maida.

The company, founded in 1994 by Jeremy Levin, needed more room for

its employees, too. "We’ve doubled in size this year," says

Maida, who joined the company in May of 2000. The company now has

"over 50 employees," and its new offices will accommodate

125. Still hiring, Physiome’s personnel roster includes doctors,


software developers, software modelers, bioinformatics professionals,

and database experts.

While other companies use computers to simulate disease states, Maida

says Physiome is the only company to develop computer models to test

the effect of a drug on human cells. To date, much of its work has

involved virtual heart cells. A drug under development is shown —

through computer simulation — interacting with heart cells to

see if it will damage them.

"There are a lot of failures of drugs that hurt the heart,"

says Maida. Physiome can conduct simulations at any time during a

drug’s development, and generally does so before human trials begin.

The earlier a pharmaceutical knows that a product under development

could damage an organ, the sooner it can "fix the


says Maida, thereby potentially saving millions in development costs.

In addition to pharmaceuticals, Physiome clients include biotechs

and universities.

Physiome develops the software that runs the simulations in-house.

Clients can run the tests themselves, or can choose to have Physiome

do the work for them. The work is data-intensive, and Maida says the

company is about to announce a strategic technology partnership with

a company that will add an enhanced data processing capability.

Physiome’s new digs are the entire third floor of 150 College Road

West, the new building owned by the Patrinely Group. Furniture in

the new offices almost certainly came by way of a failed dot-com.

Attractive and comfortable — the chairs are adjustable Aerons

— the furniture is used. It was purchased second hand from Office

Furniture Heaven, a New York City company that, Maida says, "is

buying back 50 to 70 percent of the furniture it sold to


Physiome Sciences, 150 College Road West, Princeton

08540. Jeremy M. Levin, CEO. 609-987-1199; fax, 609-987-9393. Home


Top Of Page

Philip David Company, 3625 Quakerbridge Road,

Suite A, Hamilton 08619. Philip Nasuti, president. 609-588-0141;

fax, 609-890-8560.

Philip David, a manufacturers representative to the gift industry, has

moved from 12 Roszel Road to 3625 Quakerbridge Road. According to a

spokesperson, the four-person company, which was founded in 1968,

moved because it needed more space.

Van Leeuwen & Company LLC, 777 Alexander Road,

Princeton 08540. Kenneth Van Leeuwen, managing director.


Kenneth W. VanLeeuwen has moved his office from 1,000 square feet at

the Daily Planet to 777 Alexander Road. VanLeeuwen majored in

accounting from State University of New York at Binghamton, Class

1979, and has a CFP from Adelphia and a banking and financial markets

certificate from NYU.

Durell Builders/Construction Managers, 60 Wilson

Street, Lambertville 08530. Chip Durell, owner. 609-773-0541;

fax, 609-773-0546.

Chip Durell has moved his 12-person construction firm from the

Witherspoon Street building previously occupied by Nassau Broadcasting

to a permanent headquarters, a 1,400-foot stand-alone building in

Lambertville. Phone and fax are new (U.S. 1, December 9, 1998).

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